Horror maestro Stephen King is having a bit of a moment right now — again. There are currently four movies and television shows in the works or ready to premiere with the venerated horror writer’s name on them. Stephen King’s The Mist, IT, The Dark Tower, and Castle Rock are expected to revolutionize classic horror stories and introduce audiences to new reasons to be scared of that cursory bump in the night.
Spike’s The Mist, an ongoing series based on King’s 1980 novella of the same name, will be the first of these Kingverse projects to hit the market. Inverse spoke with The Mist creator Christian Torpe prior to the show’s premiere to get to the bottom of this King revolution. Like many of King’s stories, The Mist plays with peoples’ fear of the unknown, and it’s that terror of the “other” and the “unknown” that Torpe says is so relevant in 2017 and is exactly why we keep turning to King.
“We are terrified,” Torpe said. “All of us. We are terrified about what’s going on in the world. It’s a fear that’s still a little abstract; it’s not a physical fear that’s threatening our lives on a daily basis, but it’s a constant fear that’s right under our skin. So, I think with a horror writer of King’s caliber he allows you to go in and process that fear, he gives you an outlet for it. It’s therapeutic, in a way, to read his novels or see shows based on his novels because it scratches a place in your brain you can’t access on your own.”
The first episode of The Mist introduces viewers to the fictional town of Bridgeville, Maine, and its complicated cast of characters. Bridgeville is as stereotypical a small town as you can imagine; football players are local legends, everyone’s just a bit too involved in each other’s lives, and tolerance is a mere, polite facade. So, when a mysterious, unexplained mist rolls into town and traps various characters in their homes, as well as their local police station, shopping mall, and church, their fates suddenly fall into the hands of their intolerant, untrusting neighbors.
Like with most of King’s stories, The Mist — from the original novella to the 2007 film and, now, Torpe’s series — finds the greatest fault in human nature. Despite what may lurk just out of sight in the mist, humans are, often, the worst kind of monster. And that’s something that feels all too real.
The Mist premieres on Thursday, June 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV.