The Fog (2005)

"Unbearable"

The Fog (2005) Review


It should be an unwritten rule of moviegoing: if it's not reviewed in the papers (or here) by Friday you shouldn't see it. Studios know when they have critical duds on their hands. They know when a film is atrociously acted, exceedingly dull, and entirely contrived. They don't screen those films for critics. They don't want the bad press on opening night. For a good many films, this sort of passive aggressive deception works. People go to see the films and the studios make their money back. My only hope is that you take my advice: If it hasn't been reviewed on Friday, wait a day. Or two. Then look online for the review. Chances are it'll be like this one.

The Fog is a terrible movie. Simply put, it sucks. It should have gone straight to video. No, even that is a better fate. It should have gone directly to the Sci-Fi Channel, the latest repository for "new" terrible films.

I've had more fun watching C-SPAN at 4 in the morning than watching this limp remake of John Carpenter's most frightening film. The original The Fog was a brilliant exercise in sustained tension. It was a true campfire horror story, all about mood and atmosphere. This remake removes the tension, extinguishes the mood and garbles the originals simple, straightforward story so badly that it's literally laugh-out-loud bad.

The plot revolves around a small Oregonian island community that has a grim history hidden in all manner of signs and portents, none of which are remotely interesting or believable. Our protagonists consist of Nick (Tom Welling), great-great-grandson of one of the community's founding fathers and a hunky tour boat operator, his blonde bimbo babe Elizabeth (Lost's Maggie Williams), and island DJ and way-to-young-to-be-the-mother-of-a-12-year-old-son lady Stevie (Selma Blair). Thrown in is a character I'm beginning to despise more and more, the "funny and urban" black guy who gets the ass end of everything, played with cringe inducing stereotypical "black" behavior by DeRay Davis. Altogether you've got a cast that is as paper thin as possible.

When a mysterious fog rolls into town everyone starts dying and scary shapes flit in and out of the noxious plumes that engulf the island, stopping all electronics and leaving menacing graffiti. Yeah, that sure wasn't in the original film. The original film also had pacing, a nice script, great effects (the CGI abominations in this Fog are dreadful and look like something whipped up on a Mac in an afternoon) and a creepiness that was almost tangible. The only tangible thing about this remake is the woodiness of the acting.

I'm going to assign almost all of the blame for this travesty to writer Cooper Layne. This hack has ruined one of the screen's finest horror films and he's got a glaring record of shoddy work that should have tipped any financiers off. The Core, anyone?

I can see why theatre chains want to sue Hollywood for delivering terrible product. It seems the lunatics have taken over the asylum in tinseltown and are hell-bent on taking our best movies and remaking them as our worst. The Fog is proof that maybe even moviegoers should sue.

Welcome to summer in San Francisco.



Facts and Figures

Box Office Worldwide: $46.2M

Budget: $18M

Production compaines: Revolution Studios, Debra Hill Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Rupert Wainwright

Starring: as Nick Castle, as Elizabeth Williams, as Stevie Wayne, as Spooner, as Tom Malone, Adrian Hough as Father Robert Malone, Sara Botsford as Kathy Williams, Cole Heppell as Andy Wayne, Mary Black as Aunt Connie, Jonathon Young as Dan The Weatherman, R. Nelson Brown as Machen

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