The Fog (2005) Preview

Leaving The Avengers behind, we make our way to the Horror/Thriller category of the calendar. Unfortunately, the calendar is woefully bereft of thrillers so this is really just  a horror category. With that in mind, why not choose one of the worst reviewed horror films released in the 2000’s? That’s right, we’re doing the remake of The Fog from 2005. The original was directed by one of my favorite directors of all time John Carpenter, so at the very least we’ll get to enjoy watching that before being disappointed by the new version. It’s the most BMT film released on October 14th, beating out Elizabethtown, Domino, Exit to Eden, and (most interestingly) the 2011 prequel of The Thing. A different John Carpenter material made (terribly) for the modern world. What are the chances that it would be released on the exact same day 6 years later? Let’s go!

The Fog (2005) – BMeTric: 76.4

TheFog_BMeT

TheFog_RV

(So I have a theory. The past few weeks we’ve hit the 70+ BMeTric hard, and the plots have looked amazingly similar. Cat in the Hat, Taxi, The Avengers, this … they don’t half ass it. They go balls to the wall and hit that 70+ hard. Really I think that is the key. When Jack and Jill came out, for example, everyone knew this was a catastrophe (it sits pretty at 80+ these days). I think that these are movies that just seem like a bad idea on paper and then double down with terrible execution to boot. And yet … out of those four doesn’t The Fog kind of stand out? Seems like an outlier, like it doesn’t belong? For me I barely remember this thing. I wonder why people were so immediately against the film (2.9 rating early on is absurd). I have theories … see the box office section below for more. I finally put the votes/rating chart up because why? Why would The Fog’s rating rise over time? All part of the weird world of IMDb user ratings)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – A dense fog from the Pacific creeps over a Northwest seaside village, bringing with it murderous, vengeful ghosts. Lame remake of John Carpenter’s 1980 movie alters the plot slightly but is no improvement. Carpenter and his longtime partner Debra Hill produced this. Alternate version also available.  

(This sounds like a 1.5 star review considering Leonard already didn’t like the original all that much (2.5 stars). For those that are interested, the alternate version is an unrated widescreen edition that includes a director’s commentary that I may or may not have ordered through my local library system [Editor’s note: little old library ladies seemingly don’t know what unrated means. I. Am. Furious].)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWH1WlzXbko

(Not sure what I’m supposed to get out of that trailer besides the fact that Antonio Island is perpetually shrouded in darkness. Not even sure who the main characters are.)

Directors – Rupert Wainwright – (BMT: The Fog; Blank Check; Stigmata; Notes: Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat? You telling me staple-of-the-sklogs-childhood Blank Check was (1) a bad movie, and (2) directed by the guy who directed The Fog? Count me in, this movie is definitely amazing. An apparently prolific music video director he was featured on the British Millionaire Matchmaker.)

Writers – Cooper Layne (screenplay) – (Known For: The Core; BMT: The Fog; Notes: Saaaaaaaaaaay Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? You telling me staple-of-the-sklogs-late-night-movie-watching-indulgences The Core was (1) a good movie, and (2) written by the same guy who wrote The Fog? Count me double in, this movie is definitely double amazing. There isn’t much more about him besides that he had a small part in Coneheads.)

John Carpenter (1980 screenplay) – (Known For: Halloween; They Live; Escape from L.A.; Escape from New York; The Fog; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Prince of Darkness; Assault on Precinct 13; Assault on Precinct 13; Eyes of Laura Mars; Dark Star; BMT: The Fog; Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Ghosts of Mars; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5; Halloween; Black Moon Rising; Halloween II; Notes: A lot of these credits are for this kind of stuff, remakes. But BMT classic Ghosts of Mars is pretty special. Honestly, Halloween, Escape from New York and especially his directing credits like The Thing are all remarkable both as films, but also for their mind blowing practical effects. I can say without hesitation he is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time.)

Debra Hill (1980 screenplay) – (Known For: Halloween; Escape from L.A.; The Fog; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; BMT: The Fog; Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5; Halloween; Halloween II; Notes: One of the most famous female producers of her time she worked with Carpenter on many of his early films. Was serving as producer of The Fog right around when she was diagnosed and subsequently died of cancer sadly.)

Actors – Tom Welling – (Known For: Draft Day; Parkland; BMT: The Fog; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: Owns (or maybe owned) a house on Martha’s Vineyard (what, what) where he was married. Probably best known for playing Superman on Smallville.)

Maggie Grace – (Known For: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Taken; Knight and Day; Faster; The Jane Austen Book Club; BMT: The Fog; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Taken 3; We’ll Never Have Paris; Lockout; Taken 2; The Choice; Notes: Best known for running really weird in Taken… oh and for her work on Lost.)

Also stars Selma Blair who is becoming a BMT staple with The Sweetest Thing and Down to You in her repertoire.

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $29,550,869 (Worldwide: $46,201,432 Worldwide)

(Actually looks OK just by the numbers, but it was considered a pretty big disappointment when it came out. Just a year before The Grudge was able to make $187 million worldwide on a smaller budget, so I think that’s what they had in mind. That obviously did not happen.)

#32 for the Horror Remake genre

TheFogAnalysis

(Bam, new plot. I made this to explore my theory on why this movie was so destroyed in BMeTric. Using a windowing method, it sums up the number of theaters showing movies of this genre on a date plus or minus a year from a date in time (blue). And also the gross per theater for these movies (over their entire domestic run, green). The Fog is shown as a dashed red line in time. Hypothesis: This movie was the last straw for horror movie fans for remakes of 80’s films. And the plot bears this out! The genre was almost born in 2000 and grew to a plateau right when The Fog came out. And right as the gross was a-tumbling. It has since appeared to almost die as a genre. But I think this is a product of the blockbuster (Star Wars, Marvel, DC, etc.) dominating and saturating the theaters over the last five year. But we’ll see. Regardless I am convinced this is part of the reason this movie was thoroughly destroyed on IMDb (and thus the BMeTric), horror fans are … particular and love to vote on IMDb it seems. Right around future BMT classics The Eye and One Missed Call as well)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (3/68): The Fog is a so-so remake of a so-so movie, lacking scares, suspense or originality.

(I feel like this and Taxi have the funniest RT consensuses. Just very matter-of-fact despite summing up two of the worst reviewed releases of the decade. Maybe it was just a sign of the times. Before they started shoehorning puns into everything.)

Poster – The Meh (C-)

fog

(Just meh. A bit boring, needs to pick a color other than grey, and the font is too easy to turn into the spoof poster of The Sklog. Also, where’s my tagline? Bullshit. I would have put it down into D+ range, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with it, just nothing good.)

Tagline(s) – None. (F)

(There are taglines from DVDs and stuff, but there is no official tagline from the poster or major advertising. Unacceptable.)

IMDb Keyword – fog

(I had to note this little guy. Both of the Silent Hill BMT classics make this very prestige-ish list. Get it? … The Prestige is number one on the list).

Notes – Selma Blair did almost all of her own stunts. For her underwater scenes, she spent 12 hours in a water tank, with only short surface breaks, for two days straight. (… I don’t believe you)

In between takes in Vancouver, press were granted access to the set. During Selma Blair’s interview, director Rupert Wainwright made a joke she didn’t like. In response, Blair reached into her shirt, pulled out a rubber “falsie,” and flung it across the conference room at the director, deadpanning, “That’s the Adrienne Barbeau part of the role.” (wat)

Before Tom Welling was cast, actors considered for Nick Castle included David Boreanaz, Jesse Metcalfe, Matthew Davis, Henry Cavill, Adam Garcia, Michael Cassidy, Oliver Hudson, and Peter Facinelli. Matthew Fox and Ben McKenzie, were also considered for the role and met with the director, but due to conflicting television schedules they did not read for producers. (If only the charmless walking mannequin that is Henry Cavill would have been in this, perfecto)

Fergie (of The Black Eyed Peas) was attached to play Stevie Wayne before a last-minute conflict prevented her contract from closing. (Well they lost a fan here. Everyone loves musicians and especially Black Eyed Peas in any major motion picture. The more the better and this film is worse for that egregious casting misstep. Unforgivable)

Maggie Grace beat Emilie de Ravin, her Lost (2004) co-star, for the role of Elizabeth. (And with that we end, what a loss for Emilie de Ravin)

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