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The Fog (2005) Review

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Beware, oh residents of Antonio Bay. Just as celebrations for the community’s centenary kick off, a mysterious, vengeful fog rolls in, dragging in its wake a past so terrifying, only computer effects dare reveal it. Spooned into the pea-souper: a hunk (We

★★★★

John Carpenter’s 1980 original is a broody, insidious little chiller, a nautical ghost story with flashes of slasher and some cold scares ordered slow and certain. Presumably the cashflow ain’t what it used to be, because, 16 years on, Carpenter’s capped a producer credit on his own remake. Some day, this’ll come back to haunt him.

Happily, director Rupert Wainwright appears to have calmed down since the hilariously over-directed Stigmata. Unhappily, he still doesn’t appear to have graduated from Horror Elementary. Prepare yourself, then, for a flatpack horror so predictably assembled it stands up for half an hour then crumples the moment the dreaded dry ice descends on a boat of partying bimbos. Clearly, with ancient curses come even more ancient clichés.

The Fog rolls around like Scream never happened. Not necessarily a problem — hokey can often be a teen horror’s saving grace. But other than a granny getting vaporised over the washing up, it’s not even fun. Wainwright’s way too interested in the next visual to help out his small-screen leads, rendered helpless, aimless but most of all gormless against the slick, bland blitz of computerised ghosts and phoney loud jumps. DVD limbo beckons...

Well, it lives up to its title: thick, grey, can’t wait for it to go away. A formulaic remake awash with what the BBFC calls “mild peril”. Don’t be afraid.