Spike’s gory new horror series, The Mist, isn’t going to be exactly like the Stephen King novella it’s based on, or the 2007 film adaptation. The show won’t limit itself to a single space like the book and movie did, and it will change up the characters in an effort to make a sustainable, ongoing series. When the show eventually comes to an end though, whether it’s after just a season or several years down the line, there’s one thing it should definitely change from the movie: the ending. Because, folks, that twist ending is bad.
The controversial twist ending has its fans — quite a few of them, actually. King himself approved of the ending, which was not in his book. “It is the most shocking ending ever and there should be a law passed stating that anybody who reveals the last 5 minutes of this film should be hung from their neck until dead,” he said following the release, according to CinemaBlend.
Okay, now I’m going to spoil the last five minutes of this film.
Our protagonist, David, escapes from the grocery store he had been trapped in along with his young son and three others. They get in a car and just start driving, hoping to escape from the monster-infested mist. They go pretty far before the car runs out of gas, but they’re still surrounded by the Mist, and the monsters are only getting larger. Knowing that they’ll be violently ripped to shreds soon, David does the merciful thing and shoots his passengers (including his son) to give them a quick death. He only had four bullets, though, so he then exits the car, distraught, and is ready to meet a terrible end after doing the unimaginable.
… And then, not two minutes later, the entire United States army rolls up and begins clearing out the mist! Rewatch the scene in this embedded video below. (And please note that the uploader made one extremely minor edit to the video. You’ll hardly notice it.)
The Mist is a pretty solid movie. The ending is irony porn. It’s cheap, unearned tragedy. It’s perfect comedic timing without meaning to be. It’s a mid-level Twilight Zone twist following a movie that didn’t need it.
The ending is really all that anyone remembers about The Mist. It’s such a brutally contrived, improbably timed series of events that you don’t really get a moment to appreciate David’s loss or anything that came before it. Rather than focus on the tragedy, you focus on how close he was to avoiding it. All they had to do was sit there. David fucks up so perfectly by not waiting 120 seconds before committing a triple homicide in the misguided name of mercy. If you’re shocked, it’s not because of the deaths, but because of irony for irony’s sake.
Also, what message is the ending trying to convey? When Carol from The Walking Dead drives by, safe and sound with her kids in a military convoy, are we really supposed to think that David should’ve ventured out into the fog with her at the beginning of the movie? Is he being punished for … hubris? Was the lesson “patience is a virtue, so don’t shoot your son in the face?”
Maybe. But if that’s what they were going for, they failed. Ultimately, the message The Mist conveys with its ending is “lol, sucks to be u, dude.”
Spike TV’s The Mist premieres on June 22 at 10 p.m. Eastern.