The Fog (2005)
What’s This About: After a 100 or so years, the port town of Antonio Bay is having a little celebration but the town’s founders were assholes who picked over some seafarers out of some gold and stuff and now a menacing fog is taking action. Deadly action.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- The music doesn’t suck.
- RIP Debra Hill
- Fallout Boy setting the scene. Take it away…
- This version keeps the young lady working at the radio station. In 2005 this is kinda a stretch. Were people, especially young people, still listening to the radio in 2005?
- The movie’s first scare scene is an anchor snagged on something as the fishing boat tries to leave. Instead of dropping the anchor again and maybe going in the opposite direction to loosen it, they fight the snag and nearly drown the boat in the process. Dumbasses.
- Token black friend is not as funny as I would’ve hoped.
- Old man is wandering the beach with a metal detector and finds an old timepiece. Moments later, another old man finds one of his dogs on a dock dead. Coincidence?
- Smallville star Tom Welling plays Nick Castle (named after famed Carpenter friend and actor who plays The Shape in the Halloweens) and Lost star Maggie Grace plays his girlfriend. I guess at the time this was great casting but both those two have done jack-squat since those shows ended.
- Selma Blair plays Stevie Wayne, the radio DJ. Nice sultry voice. Sucks she’s battling MS now.
- Spooner, the token black friend, is partying on the boat with another friend with two drunk chicks. Wondering if they will be stuck out there being tormented by the pirate ghosts for the remainder of the film or will these 4 youngsters die early on?
- Elizabeth (Maggie Grace) is confronted by the creepy metal detector guy who shows her the watch he found and Elizabeth knows exactly how to find the inscription on it to find its year and place of origin.
- This remake is implying that the actual fog itself is alive like a creature and now it’s seeping into the vents on the boat and causes malfunctions with the equipment. I don’t recall how the fog was portrayed in the original. I thought it just acted like fog and just was a cover for the vengeful pirates or was a harbinger of doom.
- It also rolls into town and breaks all the windows in Nick’s truck as he’s driving.
- 3 of the youngsters on the boat are now dead. Spooner yells off screen as the fog envelopes the whole screen. So not sure if he’s dead or not.
- I’d totally be down seeing a sex scene with Tom Welling and Maggie Grace. Sure.
- Wait, if the fog destroyed Nick’s truck earlier, that means it’s in town. But it’s not really because nothing has happened since the truck scene.
- Wet footprints on the ceiling! I didn’t realize this was a Japanese horror film. Are creepy kids going to attack soon?
- Elizabeth’s computer goes wonky. She sees the wet footprints on the ceiling and hears the loud banging on the door. Yet she still is brave enough to wander outside in her underwear.
- I gotta say, all these modern 21st century horror movies are have much more braver females in them than the ones we grew up with.
- Of course Nick finds her out there and nothing of note happens to either of them. Yawn.
- Luckily, Nick and Elizabeth find Spooner’s boat in the middle of the ocean.
- Nick and Elizabeth find everyone but Spooner dead on the boat. Spooner was somehow still alive in the freezer. Not sure if the fog put him in there or he hid there himself but that raises the question as to why the fog couldn’t get to him by seeping in under the door or vent or something.
- Now Spooner is a suspect in the other three victim’s death since death by fog isn’t possible.
- Nick gives Elizabeth Spooner’s camcorder to keep safe because it might prove his innocence. Why hiding that from the cops is a good idea is beyond me. if there’s proof that he didn’t kill the others than wouldn’t showing that to the cops immediately be a better idea?
- The footage in the camcorder perfectly shows Spooner’s friends dying unexplainable deaths while still showing Spooner’s innocence. Which is odd, because the fog made all the boat’s equipment break and malfunction but the camcorder was filming fine the whole time with adequate light.
- Elizabeth is somehow attacked by the fog (I didn’t see a mist at all) and she falls into the water under the dock. She sees a dead body briefly and on her way back to the surface she finds a bag.
- Now the whole radio station is going wonky! The old hairbrush that Stevie’s son found on the beach made a small fire that somehow made burn marks in the shape of scales on the pictures of the boats her son made. Apparently the “logo” for the ship that perished back in 1871 had a scale, a crown, and the number 7.
- Wait a minute, why do those old sailors/pirates from the 19th century have a hairbrush anyway?
- Stevie warns her kid not to pick up anything else from the beach, so of course that’s the first thing he thinks to do next.
- Someone spray painted some latin phrase on a wall in a cemetery and the priest there tells Elizabeth that it means “the writing on the wall.”
- The sheriff says they found a knife on board Spooner’s boat. He theorizes that it’s the knife that killed the friend of Spooner. Nick and Spooner run a fishing charter boat. The knives are there to filet the fish that are caught.
- Sean, the friend of Spooner’s, is briefly reanimated to walk slowly to Elizabeth and tell her “Blood for Blood” and then died again.
- “Since I’ve come home horrible things have been happening.” Elizabeth, you’ve been home for like 36 hours.
- Elizabeth surmises that before 1871 this island town was a shanty poor town and then after 1871 it was a bustling thriving town. The plot thickens!
- It just dawned on me that Antonio Bay is celebrating the anniversary of the setting of the town by the old town elders but it’s an odd year anniversary—134 years if my math is correct. Why are they celebrating such an odd year? Not 100? Not 125?
- And why is this the year that Blake and his crew/fog coming to attack Antonio Bay? Like, what brought them back? In fact, both versions never really address this. Was it when Nick and Spooner snagged the bag that had some of the artifacts inside that awakened the Elizabeth Dane? Why do I care?
- Spooner escaped the hospital! That’s not going to reflect well on his innocence.
- Metal Detector man is back on the beach and finds a whole dining room set perfectly set up on the beach and it barely registers to him that this is strange.
- Instead he finds a rope that is attached to something in the ocean and follows it. Until he gets too close to the fog and Stevie’s son witnesses his demise.
- And now Stevie’s son is racing away from the following fog. Which is thwarted by him going inside his house. Can’t it come in through the chimney or something?
- The weather guy who has a crush on Stevie is experiencing some inclement weather for himself. By that I mean he was frightened by someone in the fog, makes him drop his lantern (which is oil fueled) making him engulfed in flames and someone launches him back into his office.
- Oh no the phone lines are down!!
- Oh no the whole island’s power is out!!
- This sure puts a damper on Antonio Bay’s commemoration celebration.
- Wait. Those lights are working.
- These flashbacks to the 19th century sailors are completely unnecessary. Although now I know that the hairbrush was Blake’s (the leader of the Elizabeth Dane, the clipper ship that burned off the coast of Antonio Bay with his people looking for refuse) wife’s brush.
- Some old lady washing dishes was grabbed by a zombie sailor through the kitchen sink drain! And now she’s quickly decomposing. How come this didn’t happen to Spooner and his friends earlier?
- Nice. Stevie stopped her car in the middle of the road while she was being attacked by the fog and then a truck collides with her knocking her car off a cliff into the water.
- Now she’s struggling to get to the surface but some bitch ghost is grabbing her. Again, if she’s touching the ghost, why isn’t she decomposing like that old lady?
- Stevie’s son scotch-taped the cracks in his door to try to keep out the fog. Not sure if that’s incredibly smart or incredibly stupid.
- Before the ghost can attack Stevie’s son, Nick somehow knew that he was being attacked in his room and broke the window in time to rescue him.
- Why were Nick and Elizabeth going to Stevie’s house anyway?
- Wait a minute, wasn’t all Nick’s windows of his truck smashed like a day or two ago? He fixed them super quick!
- Spooner is casually chatting with the priest on a dock very nonchalantly for someone accused of murder and on the lam.
- 3 seconds after Nick says that the fog is too thick and can’t see through it he rams into a boat on the road full speed. Hey, genius, maybe stop the car or slow down perhaps?
- The plot is essentially the same as the original. Blake and his people on the clipper ship are seeking asylum and pay the original founders of Antonio Bay. But they double-cross Blake, steal his gold and leave them for dead on their boat. Now, for some reason, Blake returns with his ghost people and terrorize the town and are seeking their riches back.
- Hahahaha. Someone not only painted the Elizabeth Dane massacre but they hung it up on the wall of the town hall. It was covered up by a bookcase! Why would anyone paint a reminder of the town’s greatest sin and hang it up in the town hall?!
- The fog is melting the bronze busts in the town hall. Again, why isn’t the fog melting people to kill them. The Fog’s powers vary from scene to scene.
- The fog is now making dozens of shards of glass circle the priest and then stab him a few times killing him.
- I have to say the ghost special effects are pretty neat.
- Blake is now showing the current mayor the original contract made in 1871 that the Mayor’s ancestors broke. Upon touching the paper contract the mayor bursts into flames.
- Elizabeth then walks towards Blake and Blake then grabs her and they kiss. Making her transform into his original wife and making Blake de-age to normal as well. Then they all disappear as Nick races back for her.
- Wait that’s it? Blake only wanted his wife back and he’s satisfied?
Final Thoughts: The John Carpenter original is a nice atmospheric ghost story but it’s not incredibly entertaining. It drags a lot and the ending is more or less dull. However, it’s a way better version than this remake. It’s way less entertaining and way more boring. One of the best scenes in the original was John Houseman’s opening 10-minute ghost tale on the beach which was a way better method of telling us the tragedy of the Elizabeth Dane. The flashbacks in the remake are not as compelling to watch as an old man with a distinct voice tell a scary tale. Like most of these 90s/00s remakes, they opt for showing instead of telling or allowing the audiences’ imagination fill in the blanks plus more gore and pretty faces. I did not care for this version and neither should you.
Score: 3 Wet Footprints on the Ceiling (out of 10)
Which was Better?: Carpenter’s by a long shot!