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  The Fog

Rupert Wainwright, USA, 2005

Rating: 0.9


Posted: October 18, 2005

If the Wishmaster series of films has taught me only one thing, it's to be careful what you wish for. A couple of years back, yours truly reviewed the comparatively excellent horror flick The Fog and in said review, I suggested that it would an excellent candidate for a modern remake.

Well, I got my wish, and like so many unfortunate wretches who have had their wishes granted by unnamed forces, I see that wishes are not all they're cracked up to be. You already know the story. The remake is a vile elixir of dialogue taken almost entirely from the original, clichéd scenes from a thousand other horror flicks, and a decision to add a little supernatural romance and make a nice tidy ending. In other words, it is a total deconstruction of a fine horror film.

The Fog '05 also has to be one of the worst examples in cinematic history of using a token minority character. DeRay Davis plays Brett Spooner, the first mate (I don't know nautical human resource terminology) of the charter vessel Seagrass. Even while acting, Davis conveys the notion that he is really unsure as to why he is in the film. It looked to me that if he could have found a way to crawl off the screen and into the theater, he would have sat with the rest of us and given thanks for being free from such a cinematic atrocity. Not that being the Franklin of The Fog '05 lacks its advantages, but all things considered, this forced attempt to introduce "diversity" into this project falls flat. His character is called on to deliver stereotypical dialogue, videotape two white women dancing, and of course, get accused of murdering each of the Caucasian honies. Somewhere, a chill must be running up Sidney Poitier's spine.

What is missing from this version is the eerie music, the creepy scenes, and Adrienne Barbeau. What we get are generic characters, cheap attempts at scares and CGI ghosts. We lose the glowing red eyes of the corpses in the small church, and get one of the women to actually kiss a ghost, appease his eternal search for whatever the hell he was looking for, and pave the way for an ending that looks like the cover of a pulp romance novel -- the kind you'd find in a weathered cardboard box at a yard sale for 17 cents.

Perhaps the makers of this film do not fully grasp the idea of the remake. A remake augments the original, enhancing all the positive features while exhibiting some creativity in retelling the story. It takes what made the original good, and makes it better. It should not detract, nor dull the edge on what was originally a pretty savvy horror story and turn it into a live-action Scooby Doo offering. I could wax eloquently on why this film blows, but quite frankly, my words of disdain are too good for it. So instead I'll sum it up with a very fitting line from the film Office Space: "This is a fuck!"

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 Clemenza's Ratings Key:

 5.0: A drop of bliss

 4.0-4.9: Touchdown!
 3.0-3.9: Close, but...
 2.0-2.9: Box of Rocks
 1.1-1.9: Time bandit
 0.0-1.0: Soul scarring
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