The Mist

TV review by
Edie Nugent, Common Sense Media
The Mist TV Poster Image
King's murky horror series lacks substance, has violence.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It’s hard to find positive themes among the all small-town bigotry and abuse, where characters lie to, hurt, and steal from each other to varying degrees. And that’s before the supernaturally violent, titular mist shows up. Moral ambiguity shrouds most of the main characters, with only one or two exceptions. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

An elderly couple demonstrates love and concern for the environment, but one is executed in front of the other. A priest offers the remaining widow comfort. A soldier tries in vain to warn of the coming danger, to no avail. These characters are overshadowed by townspeople who range from petty and selfish to violent and dangerous. 

Violence

A bloody, decapitated dog is shown. A man repeatedly kicks a woman who is bound and gagged in the ribs and bloodies her nose. The woman kicks him in the groin before stabbing him through the gut with a pitchfork, killing him. An off-camera drugging and rape takes place. Many guns are shown and used, including several murders and a suicide all at point blank range. Two dead bodies are shown, one with a grisly exit wound in the head. A person with a missing eye and bloodied face attacks someone, and mother has her jaw torn away off-camera: the resulting injury is graphically shown while she screams in pain.

Sex

There's mention of sex education classes, a teacher "showing" students a condom, and talking about "oral sex." The teacher claims she caught a teen watching porn on his phone, and uses the term "blow job." A teen chats about eye-balling the bodies of football players and tells a classmate "I thought you were the bottom" in a sexual way. Another character makes a rape threat to a woman: "I can do whatever I want to you," while the rape of a teen character is referenced several times -- including once when a fellow parent accuses her of lying about the assault.

Language

"Bulls--t," "s--t," "G--damn," and "bitch" are present, as well as "faggot," "pussy," and "balls." "F--k" is used, but bleeped, multiple times. The word "whore" is spray-painted on a street. The term "blow job" is used.

Consumerism

No name brands are displayed. The TV series is based on a Novella by best-selling author Stephen King, which was also made into a popular Hollywood film. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Mist (based on the novella by Stephen King) is a violent sci-fi series where a small town gets scary when a supernatural mist shrouds the area. But even before "the mist" begins, local people assault and sometimes kill each other. Good decision making is in short supply among the show's characters, even the nobler among them lie to each other for selfish reasons. The threat presented by the mist itself is in another league: the series revels in depicting graphic and disfiguring violence. Adult horror fans and mature teens may get a kick out of the gore, but won't find much else to engage them.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAcornBlue May 8, 2020

Episode 5 gets sexual

There’s a lengthy sex scene in bed, no nudity but inappropriate.
In another scene a teen boy starts making out with another teen boy in the bathroom where he la... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bymoviesatmidnight60 May 13, 2020

Stephen King wouldn’t approve

At first I was drawn in because it’s based off of a novels from Stephen King. It’s interesting at first but then gets way too dramatic. And the acting is so poo... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byLb0909 December 25, 2018
I think at the start it was a bit confusing, but after a few episodes it became addictive! Wish there was going to be a season two!

What's the story?

The small town in THE MIST has plenty of nasty things hidden beneath its picturesque surface: Rape, extortion, and kidnapping, to name a few. The first of these touch a local family in a very personal way when their teen daughter falls victim to sexual assault. Reactions to this crime, including the local sheriff's, reveal dubious morals and values. Not long afterward, the town is engulfed by a supernatural and deadly mist. Cut off from the outside world, survivors take refuge from this mysteriously fatal fog. If the mist doesn't dissipate, will the trapped citizens be able to put aside their differences and find a way to survive? And just how will they battle a threat they can't see or understand? 

Is it any good?

It's a shame the potential of King's classic story is squandered on an uninspired script and bland performances. The premise is solid; a deadly mist engulfs a town, trapping its characters together. There's a lot of entertainment fodder to be mined as alliances are formed and relationships tested, allowing the best and worst of humanity to take center stage.

However, this series barely allows us to get to know the people of the town before the mist starts ripping them apart in increasingly bloody and violent ways. As a result, the impact of these deaths is minimal. What little we do know of these characters rarely goes beyond stereotypes; coming across as plot devices more than multi-faceted human beings. Were the townsfolk more engaging and well drawn, the series might've been a solid entry in the pulp-horror genre. As it stands, it's tough to see that The Mist offers anything of substance to adult and teen viewers alike.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sexual assault among teenagers. How do the parents of The Mist fail to prepare their children for the realities of underage parties involving alcohol? What methods can teens employ to be aware of their surroundings and look out for each other?

  • Why do shows that depict graphic and supernatural violence appeal to audiences? Do shows that feature more real-world violence, such as that of war or organized crime, bear more or less responsibility to depict the impact it has on people?

TV details

For kids who love sci-fi

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