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Fog, The (2005)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Fog, The (2005) It's the much lauded remake of John Carpenter's classic horror film (which took me about thirty years to fully understand and appreciate properly), and all things considered...it's not TOO bad. Antonio Island is once again invaded by ghosts in the fog when they're celebrating the town's founding fathers in festive anniversary events. Back story kind of remains the same with the founding fathers double-crossing a group of lepers that wanted to colonize there and killing them instead---burning them alive, in this case. Once again, they fade in with the fog at night and go after descendants of those that betrayed them---for revenge and more. The characters and many sequences (right down the CAMERA PLACEMENT and the same THUMPS on the wall as the ghosts zero in on victims) echo the original FOG pretty close, almost like director Rupert Wainright was making a PSYCHO-ish shot-by-shot remake most of the time. John Carpenter and Debra Hill co-produced this one, so maybe he was afraid to stray too far from the original's style? Either way, this FOG feels slightly off, like a Bizarre-O World Seinfeld version of the original, with a much younger and "prettier" cast in the lead roles. I've gotta say, Selma Blair and Maggie Grace were pleasant on the eyes in this one! Radio station antics in the lighthouse (with rock music this round) have been cut down to a minimum this round. The locations (filmed in Canada) aren't nearly as memorable and stylistic as the ones in the original film (in Marin County, California), especially the lighthouse and its surroundings. Dean Cundey's eerie, panoramic cinematography and lighting are also sorely missed, as is Carpenter's classic musical score, replaced by subtle, almost non-existent cues by Graeme Revell. I honestly think that if they had just simply re-used Carpenter's original score in this pup the movie would've had added power right there to enhance its visuals. It could have really worked and given this version a powerful link to the original. While the original's "practical" fog matted onto the film looks WAY better than the CGI fog in the new one, I actually had no problem with the virtual fog in the remake---this is the kind of effect that is perfect for digital effects, in my book. I like the way the fog snakes into rooms, going through air vents, and even up through a sink drain in one sequence. Pretty neat stuff! And the ghosts at the end don't disappoint, more great digital trickery here, perfect for the kind of effects being realized. I did miss those demonic red eyes that Carpenter's pirate specters had, but overall, the leper ghosts were suitably creepy and it was really neat when they were PART of the fog and shapeshifting into a more humanoid apparition form. There's also a pretty neat twist at the end involving one of the descendants of the founding fathers that I liked, and overall, I didn't feel TOO disappointed when the end credits rolled on this one.

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Rating: 2.5 out of 10.0 - 4 votes cast total
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