Fog, The (2005)


Fog, Smog — Both Very Bad

Main Cast: Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, Kenneth Walsh

Director: Rupert Wainwright

I tried. I really did try. I live in Virginia, and I watched this movie in the theater at Tyson’s Corner, the big shopping mall of the area. Brand sparkling new in a recently constructed wing of the mall, the place was immaculate, the big screen beautiful, and the seat plush and comfortable. So the conditions were most excellent for a good movie. I don’t expect greatness, especially from the horror genre, but a good time with nice scares is expected.

I didn’t get it. This is a bad movie. Faint praise: it is not as bad as Alone in the Dark, nor gut-wrenching unpleasant as Anchorman (my perennial whipping boy), but it’s bad enough for me to warn you: don’t go. Trust me, just don’t do it.

I’ll touch on the plot, but I’d like to devote most of my review to criticisms. In any case, here it is: we have an island in Oregon, and something bad happened in the past that cast a curse on the land. So when the officials are celebrating the founding fathers (honorable men? I think not!), a mysterious fog rolls in. Ghosts within the fog then start killing people, according to old sins. But never mind all that. A good horror movie does rely on a good plot to drive the story, but you do ask for consistency. Of which is very much lacking in this monstrosity. How bad? Let me count the ways:

– The ghosts have mysterious powers indeed. Never explained, they can do things one way one time, then another way another time. Do you think, maybe, they only do what the director and writer think is neat in each scene? Yeah.

– The lighthouse DJ, Stevie (Blair), is a piece of work. First off, she in no way, shape, or form appears old enough to have a son as old as he (a compliment on her beauty, by the way). Little brother, yes, I can accept. But unless she was very precocious indeed in her early (very early!) teens, it just ain’t possible. In any case, at one point when one of the extras gets killed right in front of her (in a way), her first move is to ask “anyone” to go get her kid. Emotional, true, but why would the lighthouse be any safer than where he is? And would she want just “anyone” to go get him? And what about the poor slob who just got deleted? Belatedly she throws in that he is dead, but no calls to the police are apparently needed.

– Why would the ghosts whack two young lovelies and another young guy on a boat? They sure didn’t have anything to do with, well, anything. And one of the stars there, of course, was not touched. There was time enough for the ghosts to get him, but they lay off. Sure, they kill the other three, but leave him alone? And the way he “escaped” is laughable.

– Our pouty heroine (Grace) is incredibly dense. While looking up something to do with the mystery, the computer flashes mysterious colors and goes out, then she sees wet footprints appear on the ceiling- like, some invisible guy is walking upside-down above her. And a voice calls her name and she goes out to the beach. Then. she doesn’t mention it. Sure, invisible people with wet shoes walk over my ceiling all the time, darn them! At least wipe your feet before coming inside.

– And the main ghost’s calling card was not scary, it was darn annoying. BIG BOOM RAPS ON THE DOOR. Every time I heard that I was angry rather than scared. Look: this is the Fog. What is fog? Silent. What would have worked? A silent tap on the door. Much more refined. Much more scary. But no. The director is of the “screaming music jolt camera around fast frame attention deficient disorder” type.

– One character was arrested for the murders of the previously mentioned three people on the boat. The evidence against him was pretty good. Nothing, however, is shown to tell us why the police let him go. Did the ghost stop by the station and confess to the crimes without us knowing?

And on and on. Forget it. Just pass this one up.

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