One Moment From 2007’s The Mist Genuinely Scared Stephen King

To viewers who haven’t yet seen the movie, King gives a cryptic caution, “Watch for the hand.” The rest of the interview doesn’t specify what scene gave him a start, but there’s one solid scare that fits the description, and it’s a surprisingly bloodless, creature-less moment. It follows one of the most horrifying scenes of the movie, especially if you’re remotely arachnophobic. 

David (Thomas Jane) leads a small group to the nearby pharmacy on a medicine run, where they find a festival of nightmares that includes human cocoons, acidic rope-like substances, and arachnid creatures of all sizes. It’s a genuinely creepy scene that’s lit entirely by the actors’ flashlights, according to cinematographer Rohn Schmidt. The surviving members of the party punctuate their return by banging on the glass front of the mist-entrapped grocery store; specifically, it’s the hand of “The Shawshank Redemption” star William Sadler (one of the ensemble known as Darabont’s Traveling Players alongside Laurie Holden and Jeffrey DeMunn) that gets the honor of frightening King out of his chair. Like any jumpscare worth its salt, the sudden mayhem is preceded by dead silence and growing unease as the trapped shoppers await the fates of the bravest among them.

So it wasn’t the acid spiders, it wasn’t the barbed tentacles, neither flying venomous bugs nor cosmic abominations that got the author of “It.” As it turns out, you can still catch a seen-it-all (wrote-it-all) horror head off-guard with the oldest trick in the book.

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