The Fog

on February 01, 1980 by Tim Cogshell
"The Fog" is a remake of the John Carpenter horror/thriller about a foreboding mist that carries the spirits of dead lepers murdered 100 years earlier by the founding fathers of the fictional Antonio Bay. For this tepid remake director Rupert Wainwright ("Stigmata") and screenwriter Cooper Layne ("The Core") maintain the key elements of the original and stick to Carpenter-like filmmaking. Yet "The Fog" manages to get lost in itself. It is a movie that is nonsensical even though the original (overrated though it is) made perfect sense, and despite the use of an abundance of fancy CGI effects (whereas Carpenter used... fog), it is neither scary nor suspenseful. While it eschews the use of gore, it replaces it with sheer dullness. And it cannot go without noting that Tom Welling ("Smallville") and Maggie Grace ("Lost"), extremely telegenic though they may be, are not nearly as magnetic as Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Atkins. And one shouldn't have to point out that Selma Blair is no Adrienne Barbeau.

That John Carpenter, credited here as a producer, had a hand in diminishing his own legacy would be tragic if any of this mattered. In fact, this is just bad horror movie remade from an okay horror movie, which is a bummer, but hardly a new occurrence. If we're lucky, maybe they'll forget about "Starman," which probably wasn't as good as we remember either. Starring Tom Welling, Maggie Grace and Selma Blair. Directed by Rupert Wainwright. Written by Cooper Layne. Produced by John Carpenter, David Foster and Debra Hill. A Columbia release. Horror/Thriller. Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief sexuality. Running time: 100 min

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