Sunday, October 16, 2005

REVIEW: The Fog (2005)

"The Fog" is a remake of John Carpenter's early-80s horror film of the same name, and seems to contain just about every problem commonly associated with remakes of classic horror films. It adhere's so close to the remake "don't"-list that it would work as parody... if it weren't serious.

Like the original, the story is set in Antonio Bay (an island this time around) and involves various characters fleeing a massive, self-aware fog bank containing a crew of angry colonial-era ghosts seeking vengeance for the sins of the town founders. This was not, to be fair, the most original premise the first time around; but Carpenter infused his film with real menace and dread, utilizing mood and suspense (and an almost-entirely unseen) enemy to full effect.

Here, infamously-average genre filmmaker Rupert Wainright can't wait to get his special FX ghosts onscreen, which is a horrible mistake considering how lousy the effects actually look (a note to directors: see-through ghosts look ridiculous in full-bore horror films.) The titular meteorological menace looks decent enough, when "played" in brief scenes by fans and a smoke-machine, but elsewhere we get CGI-animated fog that chases the heroes through hallways and would look barely servicable in an X-Box game.

Also on hand from the "crappy modern horror movie" bad-idea toybox are: Cheezy moralism, 'scary' sequences shown from the perspective of a camcorder (curse you, "Blair Witch Project,") T&A teases and, yes, a Comic Relief Black-Guy who punctuates expository scenes with unfunny one-liners.

Instantly among the worst horror films of the year, devoid of sense, suspense or even a single interest sequence or noteworthy shot, I don't reccomend getting anywhere near this empty, useless excuse for a movie.