If you’re a purist when it comes to Stephen King’s works then you might already know which side you’re leaning on concerning which version of this story is better, and it would likely be neither. The novella that spawned these attempts was without a doubt one of King’s creepiest and most powerful stories for the sheer realization that you really didn’t know what was in the mist, and when you found out your mind wanted to shut it out so that the madness didn’t have time to settle and fester. The only problem with finding out what really lies behind the veiled shroud of madness that is the heart of King’s writings is that putting a face and a name to them makes the monsters a little less impressive. They become mortal in a way, weaker, and easier to defeat. Or at least that’s the theory.
So how does the TV version of The Mist stack up to the movie version?
The settings are different.
In the movie there were few any real settings to worry over. However they were made to be multidimensional, meaning that everything from the parking lot to the store room was used in a way that made the space seem that much larger, and thus that much more believable. The budget for a TV show is understandably smaller, but the different settings are bound to give a certain amount of depth to the story that wasn’t originally intended.
Killing off the one main protagonist so early on doesn’t seem wise.
Mrs. Carmody was one of the worst overall characters in the novella, but somehow seeing her with her jaw ripped off as she’s attacked by something in the mist seems a little climactic all at once. In the movie she was pure evil at one point, and was ready to sacrifice a child to make certain that the forces allied against them would cease. Of course that didn’t work, but still her death was so quick and so unexpected that it almost seemed like a cheat. In the novel and in the movie version she stuck around for a while long enough to cause trouble and become a plot point that helped move the story along.
The deviation from the story on the part of both TV show and the movie could cause some backlash.
There are so many diehard Stephen King fans that were salivating over a story like this that the eventual representation left them a little disappointed. Both attempts were solid and are still worthy of note, but the differences and the representations given by the different directors fell a little short of the source material, or expanded in directions that were not expected. As of now the ending to the film was highly disappointing, and the ending for the show is not expected to be much better. It can only be hoped that any new direction will be something that fans can get behind.
So far both the TV show and the movie have their share of ups and downs. One can only hope that fans are willing to look past the obvious differences between them both and the novella.