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Overall Rating
1.64

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 Peter Sobczynski

"If Only Someone Involved Were A Carpenter"
1 stars

The story goes that when John Carpenter screened his initial version of “The Fog,” the 1980 ghost story that was his first theatrical film after the release of his landmark “Halloween,” he realized in an instant that it just didn’t work–it wasn’t creepy, it wasn’t spooky and it was more boring than anything else. Realizing his mistakes, he went back and re-shot and restructured a large portion of the material while adding in a few new scenes and came up with a film that was, if not another classic, a respectable genre entry that got the job done quickly and efficiently. That original cut has never been publicly seen but I have a nagging suspicion that the new remake of “The Fog” currently in theaters is probably pretty close to what that version was like–a draggy exercise in which a bunch of bored actors go through their paces in a story that never generates even trace amounts of thrills, chills or simple narrative tension.

The basic plot is the same. The Pacific Northwest burg of Antonio Bay is about to hold a celebration honoring the legacies of the four men who were the town forefathers. What no one realizes is that the prosperity of the town was based on the riches that those men stole from a group of seafaring lepers whom they betrayed and murdered back in 1871. Now, their ghosts have decided to return, enshrouded in a mysterious fog that defies all the laws of nature (such as traveling against the wind), in order to get revenge on the descendants of those who wronged them all those years ago. Among those doing battle against the mist and its secrets are hunky charter-boat captain Nick Castle (the dull Tom Welling), his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth (the cute-but-dull Maggie Grace), who has returned to town because of mysterious dreams and visions that she has been having and sassy disc jockey Stevie (Selma Blair, not quite filling out the role once played by Adrienne Barbeau).

The screenplay by Cooper Layne follows the basic outline of Carpenter’s original but makes the fatal mistake of trying to have everything tie in. Much time is wasted, for example, giving the elaborate backstory of the lepers and the strange connection that Elizabeth (who was an outsider to the town in the original version) shares with them without it ever really paying off. Sure, it may make a little more sense than Carpenter’s version but the film fails to heed the basic rule of ghost stories–the story is generally less important than how the story is being told. The first version might have had a patchy story but Carpenter told it with enough style and flair that you didn’t really notice how slapdash it was. By comparison, director Rupert Wainwright (previously responsible for the unholy mess that was “Stigmata”) tells his story in such a slow and uninvolving manner that it is impossible to get caught up in it enough to suspend disbelief.

Another problem is the simple fact that while a fog can add a lot of menace to a horror film, it isn’t very effective as the sole threat itself–it is sort of the cinematic equivalent of trying to pass off parsley as a main course. The first time around, it still sort of worked because it lent a certain atmosphere to the proceedings because it had a certain tactile presence. Here, the fog is entirely CGI and while it can now do fabulous tricks (which look oddly like darker versions of the sandstorms in the “Mummy” remakes), the fact that it is so blatantly computer-generated constantly takes us out of the story and reminds us that we are basically watching actors being menaced by a giant screen saver. In an effort to ramp things up, Layne and Wainwright throw in some other tricks to goose the body count–the fog suddenly has the ability to hurl a knife into someone’s eye–but they just come off as silly afterthoughts.

For the same $9 or so that you would spend to see “The Fog” in theaters, you could go to your local megastore and pick up the DVD of John Carpenter’s original. While that film was no masterpiece, it was an entertaining and efficient B movie that knew how to entertain audiences without utterly insulting their intelligence. Unless you have an overwhelming desire to see how Maggie Grace fills out a pair of tiny blue panties (and isn’t that what Internet screen caps are for), there is about as much reason to see this new version of “The Fog” as there was in remaking it in the first place.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13169&reviewer=389
originally posted: 10/15/05 12:00:57
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  14-Oct-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Jan-2005

UK
  24-Feb-2006 (15)

Australia
  02-Feb-2006


Directed by
  Rupert Wainwright

Written by
  Cooper Layne

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



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