Unlike many other films in the horror genre, The Fog, a remake of the 1980 movie by John Carpenter starring Jamie Lee Curtis, has a plot. There is a reason why bad things are happening when a mysterious fog bank enshrouds the small town of San Antonio. This isn't like a lot of films (recent examples include Hellbent and The Devil's Rejects) where there is just random killing. There is also less of a reliance on pure gore. So The Fog has the chance to be better than most horror films. It's too bad that like most other films, it is full of horror cliches, stupid people, and worse, fails to play by the own rules it sets with its back story.
The movie takes place over two days. San Antonio is a small isolated fishing village founded over one hundred years ago. It is proud of its heritage, and erected a statue of its four founding members outside its small museum. Not everybody is as happy. Elizabeth Williams (Maggie Grace, Creature Unknown) months ago. She came back because she's been having some pretty gnarly nightmares. In the meantime, her boyfriend Nick Castle (Tom Welling, Cheaper by the Dozen) has played the field with local DJ Stevie Wayne (Selman Blair, Pretty Persuasion, In Good Company). What does this last detail have to do with the rest of the film? Nothing.
An anchor at the beginning of the film plows up something in the bay. Soon, the fog bank emerges. The first victim is Castle's friend and coworker Spooner (DeRay Davis, Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, Johnson Family Vacation), who took Castle's boat out at night to impress some women. The next day, he's found in the freezer babbling incessantly, and there are three dead people on the boat. Of course he didn't do it, but nobody believes him. Night returns, and the fog goes buck wild, killing almost everything in its path.
Here is where The Fog goes awry. Cooper Layne (The Core) spends a lot of time setting up a surprisingly interesting back story about why the fog is doing what it does. The fact that Layne and director Rupert Wainwright (Stigmata, The Sadness of Sex) create an interesting world, where corruption and pride from years past comes to haunt the present. But all of this goes out the window in favor of standard horror movie theatrics. Williams, Castle, and Wayne all run around like chickens with their heads cut off. The premise of the film begins to get confusing - it seemed like the fog was there to kill certain people, but that doesn't explain all the killings. The fate of the Williams character is especially lame. In the end, it's another rote horror movie, with Grace and Welling essentially looking for a paycheck and hopefully some movie credibility during the summer hiatus of Lost and Smallville.
|Haro Rates It: Not That Good.|
|1 hour, 40 minutes, Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, and brief sexuality.|
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