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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.27%
Worth A Look: 3.41%
Average: 6.82%
Pretty Bad: 30.68%
Total Crap56.82%

7 reviews, 46 user ratings

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Fog, The (2005)
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by Scott Weinberg

"How to turn a pretty solid horror flick into an episode of Dawson's Creek"
1 stars

We should have seen it coming when the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Dawn of the Dead" remakes turned out to be fairly novel and entertaining: The latecoming deluge of the also-rans; the rushed into production, beholden to nothing aside from store-bought name recognition, amazingly limp and unoriginal remake parade. It was with the tempered enthusiasm of a cynical horror geek that I gladly lined up for remakes of "House of Wax" and "The Amityville Horror" -- and left those screenings bitter, annoyed, and jonesing for the original versions. And now comes "The Fog," which is just about as bad as a movie can be and (somehow) still earn a wide theatrical release.

It all starts out in workmanlike, if overtly familiar, fashion: The citizens of Antonio Island, Oregon, are preparing to celebrate their town's centennial anniversary, but there are some water-logged secrets floating just beneath the surface. Seems that this cozy little island town was built on lies, deceit, and the brutal murder of several creepy-looking lepers.

Our main characters are fisherman Nick Castle (Tom Welling), the recently back-in-town blondie called Elizabeth (Maggie Grace), and an allegedly sultry-voiced lady DJ named Stevie Wayne (Selma Blair). These three idiots get a whole bunch of obscure clues dropped into their laps regarding their town's unpleasant history, but they don't piece anything together until their seaside burg is overtaken by a huge fluffy fogbank filled with ghostly zombie leper things.

It's not the changes made from the original film that bother me, nor is it the shamelessly "toned-down" violence used to ensure the PG-13 rating. And it's not the amazingly banal screenplay and helplessly wooden acting performances that got me down.

It's that this misshapen mass of cinematic product is so amazingly, effortlessly, and irretrievably boring. The dialogue is bland, the characters are ciphers, the "scary stuff" is wholly inept, and once the movie's all done and over with, you'll leave the theater certain that The Fog was conceived, written, shot, cut, and released over the span of three lazy months.

I was with the flick for the first 15 minutes or so, but that charity soon turned into contempt as I realized I was watching one of the most sloppily directed movies of the past five years. Film students could use this movie as a 100-minute example of "what not to do" when making a horror film. Actors simply wander around the CGI-laden screen, unsure of how to speak their lines or where to cast their eyes. Technical glitches and gaffes abound, and I'm not just referring to the truly atrocious special effects. The only thing that director Rupert Wainwright seems to enjoy is the sound of shattering glass; the foley artists on this flick deserve top billing (not that they'd want it). The CGI work is passable at best, amazingly bad at worst; 85% of the flick's budget seems to have been spent on really loud and clangy sound effects; and, as a whole, the movie feels like it was edited by a cough syrup junkie wielding a pair of rusty scissors.

By the time this tragic remake limps to its "who the hell even cares anymore" finalé, you can practically hear the off-screen producers yelling "Ok, cut, print, move on to the next scene. We gotta mid-October release date set, and we're not missing it!" One particularly egregious sequence ends with Welling and Grace in a loud car accident (complete with broken glass) -- but when we come back to these two characters, they're hopelessly lost in the fog and wandering around for each other. This piece of editorial ineptitude is symptomatic of the entire chintzy flick:

Nobody seems to care. The actors look bored, and therefore deliver their "written on the fly" dialogue droplets with all the flavor of a salt lick. Tom Welling, purportedly our hero, exudes the screen presence of a Banana Republic mannequin; Maggie Grace is even worse, displaying perhaps 2.4 emotions throughout the whole of the film; and poor Selma Blair, left to deliver her radio-gal banter in low drawl that's meant to be sexy, but comes off more like sleepy.

John Carpenter's original The Fog is nowhere near a flawless horror movie, but many genre fans hold it in high esteem because the intent is there. That film is meant to be a low-key and quietly creepy little ghost story, but the producers of this remake seem more intent on infusing a whole lot of soap opera pap into the affair. There's a whole boatload of unnecessary backstory among the three main characters, which might actually work if the characters were even remotely worth learning something about.

And whoever had the idea of "fleshing out" the backstory of the killer ghost-lepers (I assume it was screenwriter Cooper Layne, but reliable word is that The Fog went into production with very little in the "finished screenplay" department) should be kept away from horror movies forever. The interminable flashback junk exists only to make the ghosts less spooky ... and make the movie painfully longer.

"Horror remakes" are not, in and of themselves, chronically and inevitably awful. Heck, two of the finest horror flicks ever made were remakes (hint: one was by Carpenter and the other by Cronenberg), but here's the rub: Producers see "easy cash" when they cook up a remake of, say, "The Fog," because the name's already known, the screenplay's already written, and the horror fans are known for their loyalty. But remakes like this one paint all the others with a huge and objectionable brush ... because this flick absolutely stinks of half-hearted effort and assembly-line cynicism. It's not that "The Fog" couldn't yield a half-decent remake; it's that, in this case, nobody even seems to be trying.

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originally posted: 10/15/05 06:34:03
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell lame as hell avoid it 1 stars
3/23/16 David H. The reason why some remakes are total crap 1 stars
3/17/12 Silkworm INCREDIBLY LAME REMAKE 1 stars
7/09/10 Not BeNamed This movie sucked ass how to delete previous comment? 1 stars
8/15/08 Shaun Wallner Well Made! 5 stars
3/10/08 Jayme Isaacs The Fog Remake Aint Nothing Compared To The Original Film 3 stars
6/14/07 Danielle Ophelia WHY? 1 stars
2/10/07 Charles Tatum Go rent the original, it wasn't as funny 1 stars
11/26/06 Stacie McCalla This was a great film it was so scare I think people that like scare films should see this 4 stars
11/10/06 American Slasher Goddess One of the worst mainstream horror movies in the past five years. 1 stars
8/02/06 Mark Louis Baumgart Rapes the original and gives us nothing back in its place. Bland and clueless. 1 stars
6/19/06 TreeTiger Please understand - this movie is one looong piece of turd... watch the original from 1980! 1 stars
4/07/06 N/A The movie was good it kept up our attention 5 stars
3/30/06 Indrid Cold About as good as the first one. In other words, a yawnfest. 2 stars
3/15/06 Shannon Robles didnt like this too much. go see the original 1 stars
3/03/06 chris f not bad just an average film 3 stars
2/27/06 Danny The original was much better, and even it wasn't great. 2 stars
2/17/06 Soha Molina bad 1 stars
2/11/06 Josh Standlee Why did they need a stereotypical black guy??? 1 stars
1/30/06 alice I dont get it, why dont they focus more on: CAN THEY ACT instead of: SEXY AND YOUNG?? 2 stars
12/15/05 Tiffany Thunderhurst Begins rather intriguingly but degenerates into random sight gags without coherent story. 2 stars
12/14/05 What WHY? WHY? WHY? 1 stars
11/22/05 Stefan Halka I prefer the original even though there is no beautiful people in them. 2 stars
11/20/05 Evil Wolfie So many chances to be scary, but they screw up every single one.Total letdown. 2 stars
11/13/05 cypress pretty damn bad, who got paid to do this movie?? 1 stars
11/10/05 Erik Van Sant The worst film of the year. Utter fucking waste of film. 1 stars
11/07/05 Trey I like bad horror movies, but this one was impossible to watch. 1 stars
11/05/05 jay good movie- watches forget its a movie use your imagination 4 stars
11/05/05 PAG Really bad. Awful. 1 stars
11/01/05 John barely competent film making - unbelievably bad 1 stars
10/26/05 shhhhhh quiet deffinently the worst movie I've seen since "ENVY" with jack black 1 stars
10/23/05 baseball-nut Why remakes always suck is beyond me! .. Should've left it alone, idiots! 1 stars
10/21/05 ShadowFace5 Did I dose off and miss something? 2 stars
10/20/05 odditie Why do they make movies like this? 2 stars
10/19/05 the untrained eye Selma Blair still rocks.. movie not so much 2 stars
10/19/05 CIARA IT'S ALL RIGHT 3 stars
10/19/05 Ashley Anderson i think it was a pretty good movie it made you jump but the ending was sweet!! 4 stars
10/18/05 Michelle Worst thing I've ever seen!!! I love every movie, except this one. Not entertaining. 1 stars
10/18/05 CajunGurl This movie sux!!! Plz do not waste your money on this horrible movie. 1 stars
10/17/05 jason watch this then rent the original for some real fun!!!! 3 stars
10/17/05 SD Horrible and Boring. Don't waste your time or money. 1 stars
10/17/05 David Fowler Unspeakably bad remake of Carpenter's 2nd best film. A shameful atrocity. 1 stars
10/16/05 Matt Holland Not so bad 3 stars
10/16/05 Anus The FAG lol 1 stars
10/15/05 Erik Nolan Not as good as the orginal, but not bad. 3 stars
10/15/05 Pooly Okay. If you enjoyed this movie you probably should consider suicide. 1 stars
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  14-Oct-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Jan-2005

  24-Feb-2006 (15)


Directed by
  Rupert Wainwright

Written by
  Cooper Layne

  Tom Welling
  Maggie Grace
  Selma Blair
  DeRay Davis
  Rade Serbedzija
  Kenneth Welsh

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