Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with probably my favorite review we've run on THE FOG remake hitting theaters this weekend. This is written by a lover of horror flicks who just wants to have fun with the film and is a really fun read. The overall feeling I get from all these reviews is that the movie is better than mediocre, but not quite up in the "really good" camp. It's good news to me if this is enjoyable, even on a campy level. Here's the review! Enjoy!
Got a chance to see "The Fog" at a preview screening here in Chicago last night.
It’s a remake, and a predicable one at that, so I’m not gonna rehash too much story. Back in the good old way-back, four bearded guys snookered a bunch of Lepers out of a land deal, and topped it all off by burning their Leper-schooner down to the waterline. The crime helped their island prosper, but little did the beardies know that the toasted victims they left at the bottom of the ocean would eventually come back to haunt their POP SOUNDTRACK LOVING decendents…
So the ghosts come back, all shrouded up by fog, and everyone spends the rest of the movie scurrying from fire, knives and shards of glass.
Not exactly a think-piece.
As far as the acting goes, not many famous faces. I stick to good old Magnum PI and MASH DVDs, so I’m not really up on the telegenic starpower of That Guy from ‘Smallville’ or That Girl from ‘Lost’. They both did fine, I suppose, and filled the requisite hotness that these films demand. Selma Blair actually shows up with her game face on, and is a contender for onscreen Hot Mom of the year. She also pulls off some pretty cheesy lines, which helps you forgive her for having such an ugly on-screen son. Most of the stars are really only required to run, scream and run some more from angry precipitation, occasionally while wet or in their underwear. Ah, the island life!
I hold cheesy horror films to three simple standards: at least 3 good scares, 3 cool deaths, and a creepiness that follows you outside the theatre and back home with you as you try to go to sleep. The Fog gets 2 out of 3 right.
Good scares: The movie gently requires you to forgive the stupidity of the victims in order for you to have a good time. I mean, if it was ME being attacked by Evil Ghosty Fog, I’d just grab a box fan or leaf blower as protection - and POOF – bad guys taken care of! The kids in this film have a much different approach: You think something’s in the water? Well…just stick your face up to it and get a close look, kiddo!
Maybe a creepy noise from below decks on your boat, Blondie?! Then just walk down there and investigate without letting anyone know where you’re going. Why not?
Their dumbness usually pays off with fun scares, no matter how much you think they may be telegraphed. I really think the sound (LOUD) and music helps it all pay off. For instance, there’s a scene with a loose knife rolling around on a table…a loose knife that everyone is just Too Damn Busy to notice. And as it rolls around, it keeps making a "shhhhnkk!" noise as if it’s being pulled from a scabbard. Totally silly, but it keeps the scene tense.
The deaths are pretty nice as well. The fact that it’s PG-13 means that most of the gore is off-screen…but *just* off screen. Remember the part in Blair Witch when she finds the bloody hankerchief with SOMETHING gross in it, but you never get to see what it is? (Teeth?)
Lots of that going on here. Also, all of the killings are unique, which is a nice change from just stab, stab, stab all the time.
The best part for me was that the film didn’t fall for what I call call the "Scream Reveal" syndrome, which is to show too much of the villain too soon, making him less mysterious and creepy as you get comfortable with his image. The Fog does a good job of keeping the ghosts (especially the one wearing Slash’s hat) in silhouette or covered up by the mist until the very end.
As far as my final rule…well, I’m afraid this film won’t require anyone to sleep with the night light on. It doesn’t really resonate or leave a sense of dread, like the classics do (Halloween, The Shining, even Blair Witch). I felt pretty stupid for jumping out of my seat at certain points, but it holds up well enough while you’re watching it.
Also, theres a really a silly epilogue and generally cheesy dialoge throughout. I know it’s not Mamet or anything, but all you hear after awhile is "Run…we have to leave…come one…let’s go…". Gets a wee bit annoying.
In the end, you mostly just end up thinking about the fun dumb deaths and occasional funny lines (Mostly from DeRay Davis, a fellow ChiTownian who is also a hilarious stand-up comic). If you go into it thinking more "Final Destination 2" and less "Ring", you’ll be pleased. Sit next to some chick/dude that you want to jump into your arms, and it should be a good pre-Halloween Friday night. That’s my prescription.