the mist trailer

While it has developed a faithful following over the past decade, Frank Darabont’s 2007 movie The Mist was a box office disappointment upon release. However, our relationship with gnarly horror stories has undergone a significant makeover since that (really, really good) Stephen King adaptation…and Darabont himself helped oversee that transition. While his divorce from AMC’s The Walking Dead remains an open wound for all parties involved, there’s no denying that he’s responsible for bringing modern horror to the small screen by having faith in a zombie TV show back when that sounded like a crazy idea.

And that brings me to the point I’m trying to make here: Spike’s new television adaptation of The Mist looks an awful lot like The Walking Dead, or at least it looks like an attempt to attract a similar audience. The new trailer even feels specifically cut to appeal to those already addicted to AMC’s ultra-violent post-apocalyptic series. We’ve closed some kind of circle here.

For those of you who didn’t see the original movie (or have read King’s even better novella, which opens his fantastic 1985 story collection Skeleton Crew), The Mist has a remarkably simple set-up. A strange mist descends upon a small town and within that mist lurks creature beyond imagination, creatures that have a thing for eviscerating and devouring human beings. The lead characters barricade themselves in a grocery store and find themselves not only battling the terrifying new ecosystem that has invaded their reality, but one another. Like many great stories about the end of the world, the real monster ends up being your fellow man once they’ve been pushed to the breaking point.

So, what are we to make of this trailer? It certainly gives off a Walking Dead vibe, with its unapologetic gore and nihilistic attitude. It’s a very different take on the material than we’ve seen before – Darabont’s movie is so classical in its presentation that the black-and-white version included in the DVD release has become the preferred way to watch it for many fans. Spike’s take looks a bit louder and a bit crasser and a bit more in-your-face. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. If the original movie was a ’50s horror movie, this one is an ’80s horror movie.

While the 2007 movie wraps up with a brutal conclusion that provides the story with a final and definitive ending, the novella is noteworthy for not wrapping up at all. In fact, it’s the literary ending that makes this seem like a strong fit for television – the story can keep on going and going and going, with the survivors fighting to survive season after season. If successful, it’s easy to imagine The Mist living beyond its initial 10-episode order.

The Mist will premiere on June 22, 2017. Between this, It, and The Dark Tower, this really is the year of big Stephen King adaptations.

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