The Fog (15)
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Time Out says
Mon Feb 20 2006Yet another anaemic horror retread starring a cast of good-looking TV totty – Tom Welling from ‘Smallville’, Maggie Grace from ‘Lost’ – this clunky, pointless, moribund updating of John Carpenter’s undervalued 1979 weather-bound ghost story is both bloodless and boring. On the anniversary of the founding of small Oregon island community Antonio Bay, a sinister, glowing fog bank rolls in from the sea, bringing with it a long-sunken ship, the Elizabeth Dane, and its crew of ghostly lepers, returning to wreak revenge on the modern day ancestors of those founding fathers who were responsible for their deaths.
So far so vengeful, with Cooper Layne’s over-cooked screenplay adhering closely to the blueprint laid down by Carpenter’s film, lifting whole scenes and lines of dialogue (‘There’s something in the fog!’). It’s only when he tries to add backstory, humour or a modern twist that it comes hopelessly adrift. Not that he’s entirely at fault. While Carpenter channelled the spirit of Val Lewton, bringing a spare, lean menace to his spookshow, Wainwright, director of the lousy ‘Stigmata’, couldn’t raise a scare if his career depended on it, relying instead on a surfeit of CGI fog, cheap laughs and lazy shock moments. Meanwhile, the game Grace is required not only to prowl around in her panties but indulge in a PG-rated shower scene with Welling’s hunky charter boat captain who’s less a hero than a piece of flotsam. Even more depressing is Selma Blair’s lighthouse-bound DJ who’s rendered all but inconsequential in this version and, alas, is no substitute for the original’s husky-voiced Adrienne Barbeau.
Author: Mark Salisbury
Fri Feb 24, 2006