Friday, October 10, 2014

Halloween Movie Month: The Fog (2005)

The Fog (2005)
Netflix instant

The Fog is about a small island town that becomes haunted when a mysterious fog rolls in on the day that the town is celebrating its past by unveiling a statue honoring its four founders.

This is a remake of John Carpenter's film of the same name from 1980.  I have not yet seen the original, but from what I have read and heard about it, the fear of the unknown and the use of your own imagination to fill in the gaps is part of what makes it genuinely creepy.  In the remake, the first startle is exactly where and what you expect it to be (based on the setting).  In fact, all of the "scares" were predictable.  That is part of what makes this film so disappointing.

One of my problems with modernizing movies too much is that it takes something that is a bit more timeless and turns it into something that feels very dated very quickly. I've not seen the original, so I don't know how timeless it is. But, I feel like it probably holds up better than this.

I love John Carpenter's films and his ability to draw you in and make you forget about the fact that you are watching a movie.  In this remake, there is nothing that drew me in. All of the actors were too "pretty" and lacked that sense of realism from Carpenter's films.  Most of the lines were either flat or overacted.  The sound effects and sound mixing lacked depth.  There were some plot holes - making a story about ghosts even less believable.  Since there was nothing that drew me in, the unknown did not intensify the fear.  Instead, the unknown intensified the boredom.  Also, there was so much foreshadowing, they didn't really leave much left to be unknown.

It's hard to improve on a John Carpenter film. And this movie does not meet the challenge.  The most disappointing part is that John Carpenter was one of the producers. I would have liked to have thought that meant that there would be better quality. But, I think that what it meant was that he gave them the "ok" to make it as long as he was credited as a producer.

Rating/Recommendation:  1/5.  Pass.  The Fog certainly was not the worst movie that I have ever seen, but I do not ever plan on watching it again.  With the lack of scares, the lack of connection to the characters, and the overacting, The Fog borders on being "so bad, it's good"...but without breaking the barrier back into the good category.  

Side note:  I lost track of how many times someone is thrown through a window and how many times someone says "we gotta go!"

Be sure to check back soon for more reviews in Halloween Movie Month!  In the meantime, leave comments on this (or any other) review, follow me here and on twitter (@GargyleReviews), and let me know what movies you'd like for me to review for Halloween Movie Month!

- The Gargyle

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