THE FOG: Another needless remake
(horror thriller remake)
Time: 101 mins
Rating: * *
THIS plodding and needless remake of John Carpenter’s 1980 movie is apparently aimed at the young crowd. It can be rather boring for those who have seen the original which has become a cult movie.
The main reason for this remake is its hot lead star Tom Welling who plays Clark Kent on television’s Smallville. Welling has a huge following among the school girls, while for the males, we have Maggie Grace who plays the spoilt Shannon in ABC’s Lost series — and Selma Blair of Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde.
Welling is Nick Castle, operator of a fishing charter at a small town called Antonio Bay in Oregon, USA. On the eve of its Founders’ Day celebrations, when the town is to unveil a new statue, Nick’s anchor stirs up something sinister and angry on the seabed. Dark clouds hover over the island and a huge fog is heading in — seemingly going against the wind...
At this time, Nick’s old flame, Elizabeth (Grace, taking over the role by Jamie Lee Curtis in the original), returns from New York, to make amends with her estranged mother, Kathy (Sara Botsford). Nick runs into Elizabeth that misty evening when he is on the way to see radio deejay Stevie Wayne (Blair, taking over from Adrienne Barbeau) — and the two conveniently pick up from where they left off.
Yes, director Rupert Wainwright interrupts the story flow for the mandatory shower scene and some tender moments as Nick and Elizabeth rekindle their affair. He also delves into a subplot about Stevie’s son picking up a weird object that has been washed ashore but fails to capitalise on it. The fog, we soon learn, brings with it a variety of nasty events, like mysterious fires, a near drowning by killer seaweeds and even a fateful encounter with the garbage disposal unit of a sink.
Then Elizabeth stumbles on a journal in the most unlikely of places — and a couple of girls are murdered on a boat enshrouded by the fog.
Wainwright is rather faithful to the original story about the ghosts of men and women seeking revenge on the descendants of the culprits who left them to die at sea in 1871. In the original, written by Debra Hill and Carpenter, the victims were lepers but Wainwright does not mention the disease in this remake. The ghosts look more pathetic than frightful.
Like Carpenter, he is also not very particular about acting, leaving Grace and Welling to do what they do best — show off their physical assets. Blair, however, is convincing as a single mother and the cocky radio deejay. I had expected Wainwright to bring something new to the material, not just a rehash.