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Movie Review: The Fog

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Despite some plot flaws, The Fog achieves the right balance of scaremongering without drifting too far into slasher movie. Tom Welling plays the hero we have come to expect from Smallville. Maggie Grace, best known for her role as Shannon from Lost, brings us another bad girl who is not as bad as originally portrayed. Selma Blair pulls out the sophisticated yet innocent other woman with aplomb. DeRay Davis, playing the sidekick, never lets you forget that he’s a standup comic, despite suffering the most at the hands of the demons (well, as long as you don’t count the minor characters who end up dead).

The movie begins in 1871, with a clipper ship afire and 4 escaping men. The horror of the burning bodies was shown in a wide shot. Those of us who needed to could pretend it was just pieces of the ship falling off. The real horror is apparently the wish and ability of the dying souls to wreak revenge.

The movie jumps forward to the present day and sets up the characters. Welling as the hero, Nick Castle, has a struggling charter boat business that he runs with his buddy, Spooner (Davis). He also has a girlfriend (Grace) who is 3000 miles away and we learn that he’s enjoyed the attentions of the local lighthouse DJ (Blair) in the girlfriend’s absence.

A rare voyage out with paying passengers is disrupted when the anchor gets caught in the wreckage of the clipper ship on the bottom. Disrupting the watery grave sets things in motion. The girlfriend, Elizabeth, returns without warning haunted by nightmares of the burning clipper ship.

A few hours later, the Fog rolls in against the wind, bringing magnetic effects a la the Bermuda Triangle, and the first of gruesome ghostly attacks. There’s some gore but most of the fear is delivered in the form of eerie music, sudden jumps out of the dark, and the Fog forming into the shape of decomposed bodies.

There were some plot flaws for those of us who pay attention to such things. Much is made of the family lineage of the characters but, in the end, the fates of the characters do not fall along family lines. The attaction and aborted romance between Nick and Blair’s Stevie Wayne seemed a promise unfulfilled. I strongly suspect that some scenes between the two remain on the cutting room floor. In my opinion, that was the biggest disappointment of the film because Blair does a remarkable job playing the sultry yet sensitive DJ.

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About Justene Adamec

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    One of the things that stuck with me from the original (besides the glimpses of Adrienne Barbeau’s figure) was the concept that vengeance was being wreaked on the townspeople in equal measure for what the town had done 100 years before.

    How does that play into the current movie? (Or does it?)

  • Shrub Dog

    I saw “The Fog” on Friday, and really was kind of disappointed. I found that with this movie, and with the remake of “The Amityville Horror” the characters were just too flimsy and one-dimensional; I really didn’t care if they died or not.

    I can understand why they changed some of the plot from the original, because frankly, times have changed. But some of these changes really screwed the story up big time. In the original, the ghosts came in on the fog to get their gold back–gold that had been stolen from them and used to build the town. In this one *SPOILER ALERT* they came back, and left when they got dude’s girlfriend(?). That makes no sense.

    I also found it strange that Selma Blair’s character (and her son) served almost no purpose in this movie, while that character was pretty much the main character in the original.

    I dunno, I just thought it was weak.

  • http://www.vespaquest.com Justene

    When I have seen the original, I usually don’t see the remake. I saw the original Amityville Horror and did not see the remake. I never saw the original Fog.
    If you see both, you either know what’s going to happen or, as happened here, you are disappointed by the changes.
    I have a theory about why the changes: Halfway through filming, Lost became a breakout hit and they wanted Maggie Grace to be front and center over Selma Blair. It was cheaper to change the script than switch the parts. I say that because the beginning of the movie made it seem as if it was the gold and as if the DJ was more important.

    Either that or someone saw the original, wanted it to end this way, and changed just the end without fixing the foreshadowing.

  • Jessica Wight

    I thought the movie was good up untill the end. But then I never saw the original and now hearing all this I am going to rent it. I didnt understand though the end. Why did he take Grace. If anyone can tell me thing please do!