Monday, October 17, 2005

The Fog


(2005)*

I’m not going to waste time on a plot synopsis. Basically a fog rolls in off of Northern California containing the ghosts of men and women who died in the sea a century ago after being intentionally led off course by the small town’s founders. The ghosts have come for revenge and seek to eliminate any of the descendents of these founders.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Carpenter’s original version of The Fog. Sandwiched between Halloween and Escape From New York, these were Carpenter’s directorial golden years. The Fog has always seemed like a missed opportunity to me. There was so much unrealized potential in his film. A lot of time is wasted on exposition and when the “fog” finally, FINALLY hits and the creepy ghostly men begin to attack, the film ends. With so much build up; it’s always been a colossal disappointment to me. I haven’t been paying too much attention to the fact that there was a remake in the works. Given that a lot of old horror films are being remade for a new generation, it’s not surprising that they tapped into Carpenter’s old catalogue. In fact, it was recently announced that the original Halloween is being remade. Sigh. Don’t get me wrong, The Ring, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Dawn of the Dead (2004) have shown us that a remakes can work with the right team helming, but more often than not they miss. Granted I have no passion for the original Fog film, but this remake is about as horrible as they come.

The cast is excruciatingly bad. Note to self, don’t ever watch Smallville or any other work by Tom Welling. Poor acting aside, he’s about as convincing as a crusty seaman as Tara Reid was as a scientist in Alone in the Dark. His jive-talking, African American first mate is as racist a portrayal as I’ve seen in years (e.g., “Why I gots to do all da work?”). Maggie Grace (e.g., LOST), who plays Smallville’s ex-girlfriend, spends most of the film staring off into space. The most egregious crime here though is Selma Blair, who gives the worst performance of her career. She plays the lighthouse deejay who (a) has the worst taste in music) and (b) has the worst radio voice I’ve ever heard.

There was nothing satisfying about this film. Not a single genuine scary moment. Nothing worked. The original Fog might have been a letdown, but at least Carpenter used real fog for crying out loud! CG fog does not work, nor does CG fire or CD glass shards, also used in abundance in this tepid piece of crap. This is far worse than any of those horrible 90’s WB style, Dawson’s Creek like films. Avoid at all costs.

1 comment:

Octopunk said...

I like Selma Blair, so that's disappointing. I recall in the original that the dj was one of those characters who is meant to be wicked cool but just isn't.

I think John Carpenter saw The Warriors and thought "I'm gonna have a groovy dj too, but she'll broadcast in a tiny coastal town and she'll be white."