The Fog Review
By Joe Lozito
You don't go see a remake of John Carpenter's mildly-revered 1980 B-movie "The Fog" expecting brilliance, but you at least expect it to deliver the adequate chills and scares. Not this remake. This "Fog" seems to have no interest in entertaining its audience and only a mild concern for coherence. There's not a single moment in the film to recommend. So devoid of creativity is this movie that the fog announces its arrival with four really loud knocking sounds. Screw the little cat's feet, this fog's out for blood.
This is exactly the type of film for which the zero-star rating was invented. While I can't pinpoint the moment when the film slides from two-star potential to zero, I know it's pretty early on. It could be the would-be steamy, Cinemax-level sex scene between its two blandly attractive stars. It could be the moment when the kindly old librarian asks our harried heroine how she's doing and she dimly responds "good."
As you can tell, the dialogue by Cooper Layne ("The Core" - see, there's your problem right there) is the worst kind of filler and the direction by Rupert Wainwright (of "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em: The Movie" fame) is at best incompetent. The script falls victim to the classic horror movie blunder: there's no rhyme or reason to the mayhem. The fog behaves randomly; sometimes just getting touched by the fog will kill you, other times you can happily walk around in it looking for your friends with nary a care in the world.
The film isn't helped any by its two TV-star leads: "Lost's" Maggie Grace and "Smallville's" Tom Welling. Ms. Grace continues to exercise the two facial expressions she's been hawking for two seasons on "Lost", both of which manifest themselves as mild annoyance. Witness the scene in which she watches a video tape of three people killed in the fog. She turns away with a glare that says, "Do these shoes match my purse?" And if there is some untapped range of emotions beneath Mr. Welling's beefy exterior, this movie hasn't found it. Selma Blair is also on hand as the world's most unconvincing DJ/single mom. But that's not really a detriment in this movie since even the fog itself is unconvincing - sometimes it looks like smoke, sometimes a light mist.
Even the geography of the film doesn't seem to make sense. The fog will look like it engulfs the entire town, yet the movie will then cut to a clear meadow. What these filmmakers (and I use the term sarcastically) don't understand is that there have to be rules in a horror movie. Think back to your favorite horror classics - "The Exorcist", "The Shining", even "Nightmare on Elm Street". They all had rules. That's why they were so frightening. If everything is supposed to be scary, nothing is. In this movie, it's only the lack of scares that's shocking. There was no reason to remake "The Fog" and there's even less reason to watch it.