Martin Carr reviews the second episode of The Mist…
This is turning into a concisely structured, episodically interesting little show. As a set up The Mist might not be groundbreaking but what it does is done well. Driving tension through incidental music, building character within a claustrophobic environment and being aware enough to play within the confines of established tropes, this adaptation is an easy watch.
Splitting up key players between locations and swathing these locales in huge banks of mist allows different dynamics to emerge. Those in the shopping mall are action driven and focused on keeping things out, which inevitably leads to something getting in. Across town in the police station the mismatched group of people are more battle hardened and willing to venture out despite any consequences. Then finally we have the occupants of a local church who find time for quiet contemplation and diverting character beats.
This is Stephen King to a tee. Divergent character types, structured yet ambiguous threats and numerous plot twists which play out over time. At forty minutes this is the shortest episode of any series I am currently reviewing, but that remains a strength as things are concisely drawn. Character moments are fleeting yet effective, threat is high on impact and low on budget, while your imagination is everything. This show chooses not to waste money on showing anything unnecessary, but rather invests its running time in building back story.
Animosity between Kevin Copeland and Jay Heisel is still evident and any time these two share a space tensions are raised. It does feel a little soap opera at points but these actors are full invested and it’s evident. Elsewhere Eve Copeland is the go to girl when it comes to getting things done. Drawing the short straw in most situations she is the epitome of a plucky heroine being both short on luck but big on street smarts. Again Alyssa Sutherland plays this to full effect never drifting towards caricature but instead relying on earnest as her go to emotion.
That pivotal plot point ripe for exploration gets sensibly overlooked this week in favour of running up and down corridors, fending off assailants and looking fraught. That above all is the most enjoyable thing going on as everyone is squeezing as much out of the script as possible. Archetypes are in full effect, stereotypical situations are being played out in copybook fashion, but everyone is on board with the idea, because King is their source material. Free of excess fat, focused on the essentials and making it work without unnecessary flourishes, The Mist remains solid viewing worthy of your time and attention.