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One more FOG review before you take the plunge this weekend!!!

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!

Harry-

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.



Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 13, 2005, 10:41 p.m. CST

    And hopefully the last

    by seppukudkurosawa

  • Oct. 13, 2005, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Wouldn't it be cool

    by underscore_only

    if they made a remake of SCREAM all with midgets? Get midget lookalikes to play all the parts. Wouldn't it? Put a lot more fucking tension in the chases, that's for damn sure . . . and the killer'd have to hang midget-Casey from a bush or something, not a tree. Oh, I'm probably not gonna see The Fog until it's on DVD.

  • Oct. 13, 2005, 10:53 p.m. CST

    P.L.A.N.T.

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Naw, not really. I guess I get this reviewer's point about the rules of a weak/enjoyable horror movie, but, call me jaded, is it too much to ask for a horror movie to live up to its title. These teen slashers are like romances with no sense of affection, action movies where everyone sits around a room talking or sports movies where, erm, everyone sits around a room talking. Why should we have to expect bad movies to just be enjoyably bad- I mean the original, though slightly flawed, was a pretty watchable film. And it had some genuine chills in that vacuum-sealed Carpenter sort of way. Ah man, I guess I'm expecting to milk blood from a stone.

  • Oct. 13, 2005, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Seppukudkurosawa

    by Vim Fuego

    Don't you work? Or sleep? You're on every talkback! Student???

  • Oct. 13, 2005, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Nope, I work long and hard

    by seppukudkurosawa

    but for the last six years I've found AICN to be my favourite site online, so I spend a lot of time here. My job means I can fuck around on a computer as long as I want anyway, though I do hear the outside world's got a few interesting features, so I might go check it out sometime. And I try to sleep as little as possible, as Michael Stipe said, "Sleep delays my life, where does the time go?" I guess in my case, the answer's AICN. Actually, scratch all that I've just said, I employ stooges to use my username and keep the seppuku legacy alive.

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Is This The First Remake of a Carpenter Film?

    by skoobyx

    I can't think of any others. I hope this doesnt start a trend though. A Halloween remake would be worse than a sequel to Casablanca.

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 12:47 a.m. CST

    You have to check out this new FOG image!

    by I Dunno

    ...later. But now, learn about how fog is formed through Amazon.com! And buy the special production DVD where they make actual fog in a lab! $39.99. I can't wait!

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Sadly NOT the first remake

    by autobahnmessiah

    Nope, they already did a remake of Assault on precinct 13, and I fear that if this movie is somewhat successful, they'll remake a bunch more...oh, the horror, THE HORROR! Just imagine a remake of Escape from New York, or perhaps Halloween...I shudder (for all the wrong reasons) at the thought.

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 3:42 a.m. CST

    I Dunno

    by DocPazuzu

    That post made my whole morning. Thanks.

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 4:11 a.m. CST

    You lost me at "remember The Blair Witch"

    by Sithlord_999

    ...

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 4:20 a.m. CST

    it's predictable??!...no freakin way!!

    by General_Hospital

    it's probably/most likely predictable cuz you/we have already seen the original and know what's gonna happen and how it's gonna end.

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 6:05 a.m. CST

    "The Fog" remake can easily be retitled "I still know what you d

    by Thirteen 13

    I'll skip it and wait for "Jarhead"

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Coming Soon.... "The Smoke"

    by IAmMrMonkey

    When a group of old men are shot to death whilst smoking their pipes by greedy teenagers after their inheritance, nobody could have expected the old codgers to rise again! Now, surrounded by a thick black cloud of tobacco smoke, the evil old pensioners are stalking the town... Watch in horror as half the cast of "The OC" are given cancer! See Buffy Michelle Gellar cough herself to death! Amazing stuff.

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Brilliant I DUNNO, just brilliant

    by DannyOcean01

    Fantastic post.

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 12:58 p.m. CST

    I think I'll wait for NEVER.

    by www.valiens.com

    Usually with a film like this I'll wait for DVD. but NEVER sounds more feasible. I don't wanna lay on my deathbed thinking, 'If I only had 2 more hours...just two more hours...' And then I die in regret because I saw THE FOG remake 50 years earlier. No way, John Carpenter--FUCK THAT.

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Hmmm

    by Halloween68

    How's this guy a horror movie buff/fan/whatever? He's never even seen the original. And he seems to be comparing all genre films to things he picked up from watching BLAIR WITCH and SCREAM. Not what I'd call top notch films there. Certainly not top notch horror films. I felt sure we'd get a review from someone who really dug the original and who knows their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to these types of films. No offense. I'm just trying to figure out if I'd like the thing or not. I don't seem to be in the same boat (no pun intended) as anyone else. 'Guess I'll wait till it comes out on video. I can't figure if I'd appreciate it...seeing as I'm a big fan of Carpenter's first. Any (early) Carpenter fans out there seen this?

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 3:50 p.m. CST

    JESUS

    by Neaera

    I can't belive people cast Tom Welling!!!!!!!! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?? He's liek the worst actor of our generation!!

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 4:51 p.m. CST

    TOM ATKINS

    by la_sith

    That is all.

  • Oct. 14, 2005, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Actually...not that bad!!

    by jojo-pimp

    Saw it this evening.....the original Fog is probably my second favorite horror movie of all time right between Halloween and The Thing. While this new remake doesnt totally catch the erieness of the original, nor the great John Carpenter score....its not bad compared to most of this shit thats been out lately. Saw Cry Wolf a few weeks back..that sucked donkey ass! TO me, this was much more entertaining than the 2 Ring movies or The Grudge. The ending felt a little too abrupt, and that blonde girl from Lost had no personality whatsoever...but all in all, not a bad movie. I told my wife, if this were not a remake of such a great film, and were an original, i would definately consider it a damn good movie.....but still, even though it isnt nearly as good as the original, its pretty entertaining.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Stay out of the fog.

    by ArmandVA

    NEVER have adrienne barbeau's words been better advice. if this movie was an original, it wouldn't even be on par with ghost ship, which was a remake anyway, now that i think about it. this movie's more on the level of like 13 Ghosts. it really is that bad, nonsensical, underscripted, underplotted, and just plain underthought. i'm a huge fan of the original, but i tried to look at this movie on it's own merits. problem is, it has none.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 12:10 a.m. CST

    PS:

    by ArmandVA

    did anyone else notice that they took the janet and jamie lee characters and made them mother and daughter, even though in the original they were NOT? was that supposed to be some kinda cute inside joke or somethin?

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Here's a Fog review from a huge fan of the original...

    by Doom II

    I just saw it and as a HUGE fan of the original, I was happy that it was ok. They didn't "rape" the 1980 Fog and some of the f/x were pretty wicked. I am sure the movie will be ragged on, but it was decent. The pirates were well done (and not shown in full view until the very end). The actors did the job and a few scenes were actually shot for shot from the original movie. Also, several lines of dialogue were STRAIGHT from Carpenter's original screenplay. Had they thrown in some graphic violence and gone for a hard R, I would have called this a triumph (ala the Dawn Of The Dead remake). The ghost pirates look great in silouette like the original (no glowing red eyes on Blake though) and the fog f/x are really good. The cast is mostly young and hot, but that's what sells tickets these days. The original Fog cast was all classy theater trained 60's and 70's actors but they were not so good looking. The new cast is great looking tv trained disposable actors from the 90's and 2000's. To each his own. One thing that wasn't so great is that they SHOW us what happened to Blake and his leper colony in flashbacks which is good for the mainstream moviegoer, but I prefer to just hear about it and move on (like the original). Nice cinematography and some great locations gave it a very open feeling. The editing was a slower pace with no choppy cuts or Mtv style bullshit going on. So take it from someone who was OBSESSED with John Carpenter for about 10 years, the new Fog is worth a look, regardless of how much bashing it receives on this site. It's no Ring 2 or Cabin Fever, and that's a good thing!

  • I too am a Carpenter fan and the original Fog is in my top 5 horror films list (the others are Phantasm,The Thing,Halloween & The Shining). I am truly relieved that they didn't fuck it up. You can tell that the original was used as the reference for most of this movie. John Carpenter is listed as a producer and is also given the story credit (as he should). It does not replace the original, but I would rewatch certain scenes that they improved in this one. EXAMPLE: When the pirate ship first comes into view as it drifts by the schooner/fishing boat it looks wicked cool. The crew is just standing on deck in siloutte and the ship is a full size "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ship in this new one. Also, the new fog bank is enormous and HIGH (like 100 ft in the air). BIG LETDOWN: The pirates do not carry swords and hay hooks in this new one. They kill in supernatural ways instead. If there was no 1980 Fog movie, I would think this film was pretty fucking killer.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Why Give Carpenter Story Credit...

    by ArmandVA

    and then throw out 70% of his story? this movie doesn't even bother to explain why the ghosts pick this particular night to return for revenge. and there was not one original or interesting death in the whole film. hell, most of them we barely saw, and the rest were tired 25 years ago. the swords and hooks were SORELY missed. there was one death, with the glass shards, that COULD have been cool, but they totally pussed out and missed the one golden opportunity the film had. this is a total waste of film stock.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 4:12 a.m. CST

    Please Hollywood no more remakes, I'm serious.

    by The Founder

    The Fog was terriable and slow and boring. I didn't expect a really good movie, but i honesly thought it'll be enjoyable, and it wasn't.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 4:21 a.m. CST

    So are these the type of roles that Welling was hoping for so he

    by The Founder

    Welling is an idiot. Although he claimed he was never offered the role for movie, I still believe he could have gotten it. All I read was him b!tchin about not wanting to be typecast as Superman, and how he wasn't interested in the role for the big screen cause Smallville would have to end and a ton of other excuses. Then after the whole mess blows over and someone else lands the role, he sayd he was never offered the role. Welling is a fool, he could've made probably about 40 million for 3 films, and landed other smaller roles like his Fog character. Welling right, he won't be typecast, he'll be forgotten will Smallville ends it run. I'll give the show two more seasons tops.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 11:52 a.m. CST

    RE:ArmandaV

    by jojo-pimp

    They mention right away in the beginning of the movie that it is the 100 year anniversary of antonia bay..hence all the stuff with the statues of the forefathers and all....obviously that is why they picked that nite. But still, event if they had just picked any random nite on earth.....that really is besides the point.....i mean, who really needs a timeschedule and appointment to plan revenge? i hardly call that throwing out 70% of the original story.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 11:54 a.m. CST

    RE: TheFounder

    by jojo-pimp

    So what if smallville is cancelled in 2 more seasons....that will be longer than Angel ran, and as long as Buffy! And i think his debut in The Fog is a hell of a lot better than Boreanaz in Valentine and Sarah Michelle Gellar in that shitty Grudge movie.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Hey Doom II, I agree

    by jojo-pimp

    I said that to my wife right after getting done watching the movie.....if there was no original Fog in 1980, and this was just an original modern horror movie, it would have been very kickass...and i definately agree about the no sword and hook thing....that pushing them through windows stuff constantly was a little lame. But still, a pretty decent remake.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 1:35 p.m. CST

    JoJo

    by ArmandVA

    IF they mentioned that this was the town's 100 year anniversary, i missed that. but, that would be silly, since the diary the wrong character found that details the founding of the town was written in 1871. so, it would appear that this was the 134 year anniversary of the town's founding, with nothin but a small ceremony around a statue. while i would agree there's no need for a time-table for revenge, why wait 134 years and come after the great great great grandchildren of the people who wronged u, rather than the actual wrong-doers and their children, say? besides, if that night was just picked by the ghost's at random, that makes that ridiculous ending AWFULLY convenient, don't ya think? and, no, i wouldn't call the date issue 70% of the original story, either. i was thinkin about the entire rest of the original movie that they threw out, as well. this movie blows, there's no way around it.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Re: ArmandVA

    by jojo-pimp

    Ya know, you did bring a pretty good point up about that date...the original movie, it was the 100 year anniversary...i dont know what the hell aniversary this one was or whatever, maybe it just had to do with the festival and all that...or maybe it had to do with the girl coming back into town, SPOILER ALERT...cause maybe thats what they were after more than just reveng if you seen the ending. But i guess i am failing to see what this whole 70 percent thing is that you are talking about. I have seen the original Fog, litereally, about 100 times in my whole life, and really dont see what else they left out.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 2:50 p.m. CST

    The story changes (SPOILER)

    by ArmandVA

    i guess i just felt like everything was different but hung loosely on the framework of the original. how the betrayal took place, how the ship was destroyed, the ghost story bein legendary in the town, the weaponry, the reason for the return, WHY did they throw people through windows over and over?, stevie leavin the lighthouse, the character's bein so lifeless BEFORE they died, just all seemed like a pale immitation of the original. although, you're right about the time-table thing. i guess a 100 year anniversary really doesn't make any more sense than anything else, just seems to follow ghost story revenge logic better, i suppose. and, SPOILER ALERT...if they did return for the girl, why that night? she'd only been gone 6 months, but she grew up there. i guess it just comes down to a taste thing. the movie just didn't work for me at all.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 4:12 p.m. CST

    I agree

    by jojo-pimp

    Yeah, i agree with alot of what you just said...but you cant totally nit pick at certain things like stevie leaving the lighthouse..i mean, do you really want a total scene for scene remake? But yeah, the throwing through windows and door things was NOT a good replacement for the hooks and swords.