Back in January, I said I was done with Stephen King for a while because of the vulgarity. Then I got a new idea for a horror novel, which meant I needed to study up a bit on the genre. That was when I ran into “The Mist,” originally in a collection of Mr. King’s short stories, known as “The Skeleton Crew.”
In reading “The Mist,” I realized I was wrong concerning an earlier statement about King’s stories. Just because you’ve read one, does not mean you’ve read them all. “Mr. Mercedes” was more of a suspenseful mystery. “The Mist” is definitely a horror. I know, there’s a fine line in between, but the gruesome and mysterious ways many people die in “The Mist” is enough. I’d also like to pitch a possible defining factor between suspense and horror is how much the protagonist is chasing the killer, versus being chased by the killer.
This novella also plays a lot with the unknown fear factor. There are a LOT of questions asked throughout the story and (slight spoiler) not all of them are answered – actually most of them aren’t. These unanswered questions add to the mystery and horror, as you really don’t know what’s going to happen next – even though it’s written in 1st person, past tense, so the narrator gives some clues by saying “That was the last time I ever saw her.” I’m not a fan of those moments. It’s like the story gives spoilers for itself.
Cleanliness Warning: There are F-Bombs dropped every couple dozen pages, there is an unnecessary sex scene (thankfully, it’s only half a page), and lots of people die in very gruesome ways. It’s definitely a horror story.
Although it’s on a very different scale from “Mr. Mercedes,” I give it the same rating of **2** stars (maybe 2.5) because as interesting as it was to read, the one-time read was enough for me.