Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Fog

Hollywood has not gotten over its John Carpenter remakes, and The Fog is the latest in a series. From the trailers, we were teased that "there is something in the fog", but we do not know what. And no, despite being nice to look at and all, the Fog is not at all suffocating.

Antonio Island is celebrating its founding fathers, and we're introduced to the descendants of the Malones, the Waynes, the Castels and the Williams. Tom Welling (Clark Kent in the Smallville television series) stars as Nick Castle, the hero of the story who runs a washout boat business. Maggie Grace stars as Elizabeth Williams, Nick's girlfriend who has returned to the island and somehow feels responsible for the events that transpired when the fog descents. Selma Blair stars as Stevie Wayne, a single parent running the only radio channel up atop the only lighthouse on the island.

Pretty standard fare, one-dimensional characters. What will probably keep you engaged in the movie, is the quest to discover the truth and back story to the entire fog shenanigans. A mysterious menacing looking fog arrives, contrary to physics and wind directions, and strange killings and happenings occur on the island. Age old objects like a hairbrush and timepiece turn up at the beach, and itchy-handed folks pick it up despite us folks knowing bad things will happen.

But it bores you after a while, with its usual sins of the fathers theme having little depth (ok, so it's a horror flick after all). It's simple, but with potential, which degenerates into almost a Pirates of the Caribbean copycat in the special effects department. And the special effects and makeup could perhaps be the only saving grace in this movie. There are loopholes in the storyline, especially the ending. You understand what the filmmakers are trying to suggest, but it just doesn't make much sense anyway.

Is it frightening? No. It's a tame pussycat in its scares, relying on cheap, loud, clanging and knocking of metal three times to signal the demise of the characters who hear them, knowing that Evil is around and knocking at your door. Any more, you'll probably go deaf with the theatre's surround sound system.

If there's a movie like The Fog which can be made, perhaps someone would be bold enough to make The Mist, or The Haze in local context. Don't waste your time, you'll need strong fog-lamps to attempt to look at the good in this picture. Being a Tom Welling groupie fan, will probably help.

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