The Fog Recap

Jamie

I guess I’ll start the recap for The Fog by discussing the John Carpenter original a bit. It’s pretty classic Carpenter: great music, good practical effects, and a simple way of telling a story without getting bogged down. Was it scary? Not really. But The Thing wasn’t really all that scary and it’s still the best. I really had only one complaint about the whole thing. It’s that we didn’t really know any of the characters, even by the end of the film. Very little character development to the point where they were hard to distinguish. Case in point, in the A.V. Club’s review of 2005’s The Fog they mixed up the characters that Adrienne Barbeau and Jamie Lee Curtis played. And I don’t blame them. It was hard to figure out their distinguishing features. Besides that it was an alright horror film of the era.

Now how does this all compare to the 2005 film? Well you can think of the 2005 film as pretty much the same as the original except take everything good and turn it into a pile of garbage and take everything bad and turn it into more of a pile of garbage. What I’m trying to say is that the film is a pile of garbage. I experienced Strange Wilderness level despair at having to sit through it. It’s not even a Silent Hill: Revelations or Legend of Hercules where they are so ridiculously off the charts horrible that I couldn’t stop laughing. This was just an assault on my senses. On top of all this it was no doubt the least scary horror film I’ve ever seen and had a couple of the worst horror deaths ever put to film. Was this 70 level BMT? I certainly think so. I honestly just don’t know how enough people watched it to garner a 70.

This film doesn’t deserve a game. Instead I’ll tell you a tale. It was a comedy of errors trying to get Rupert Wainwright’s commentary for this film as it’s only included on the (seemingly rare) unrated DVD release. Netflix claimed to have the unrated DVD for rental, but I saw through their lies and ordered the 1980 original (settling for streaming the remake on Netflix proper). Lo and behold they still mistakenly sent me the 2005 version and my hunch was confirmed when it did not have the commentary on the disc (so it was useless garbage like the film it contained). I then had the brilliant idea to order the disc through my local library system. The great thing about the system is that the details of each disc (including special features) are included when making an order from an outside library. I found a copy of the unrated DVD with the commentary in the system and was on my way to Rupert Wainwright-town. Or was I? When it arrived it was still just the regular DVD without the commentary! Damn public library system. Who would have thought that the wonderful librarians at the Mabel Public Library (Mabel, MN, population: 780) couldn’t figure out my nuanced request for a particular version of 2005’s The Fog? Obviously I want to listen to the commentary! Just like any red-blooded American! Whatever. In the future I’ll have to embarrassingly note the version I would like and make sure the librarians work their arthritis-plagued hands to the bone providing me with exactly the bad movie viewing experience I need at the expense of the taxpayers of MN. Harumph.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Fog? More like … y’know what, surprise NY Post headline! There would be a picture of Maggie Grace in a stupid hat with the headline: Lost in the Fog! Anyways, I’m glad Jamie his the big message because I’ve got more important things to attend to. But quick hits, let’s go!:

  • The Good – Um … it was a nice relaxing film. No stress. They didn’t go the cheap route and kill the black guy first, or have him say “Aw Hell Naw!” or “That’s what I’m talking about!”. Good for them (I was seriously considering just leaving this blank, but resolutions and silver linings and all).
  • The Bad – This is literally all that is terrible about late 90s / early 00s horror. It is not scary. All the actors are skewed weirdly young and are awful. The story is convoluted, shock horror abounds, terrible kills, terrible CGI, an unnecessary remake. It wasn’t even so ridiculous you laugh at it, you stare at it in confusion and disgust. Blah.
  • The BMT – 70? Weirdly I say yes, even though confusion still exists about how it ever could accrue the amount of necessary votes. It is quite confusing, it keeps me up late into the night. But the BMeTric I think gets it right, this might be the worst horror film ever made.

Usually here I would play some game, but this upcoming movie has thrown us a little curveball. So we need a little BMT:CSI:SVU (We’re the Special Victims). A long time ago I discussed the BMysTery of the IMDb inflection point (remember? No? Whatever). After solving that I, naturally, took a triumphant seven month long hiatus. But this graph, the ratings / vote graphic for Material Girls shocked me!:

MaterialGirls_RV

Look at that rating trajectory, it climbs over two points! I you were like me (a literal crazy person) you’d know this is absurd. After reading this fivethirtyeight blog entry I could only conclude one thing: Material Girls was tragically brigaded by awful people in its early days and is, in fact, a hidden diamond in the rough for us to enjoy (hooray!). But something I remember from long ago was bothering me … what if it is just regression to the mean. What if whenever I looked at a ratings plot and thought to myself “Huh, I wonder why the rating of The Fog is rising over time? People are dummies” is was in fact me who was the dummy?

So here is the crux of the story: it is totally plausible that this entire time, whenever I expressed mock horror at the rating trajectories rising through time for bad movies, I was a dummy and pretty much exclusively looking at regression to the mean. No joke, just look at this plot!:

RatingsPlot

Basically with such a steep and definitive negative correlation between where a movie’s rating started and how it changes pretty much all of the movement I’ve seen in the ratings of bad movies was due to regression to the mean. Take Material Girls as an example (the blue square). It is a movie that climbed so thoroughly out of the gutter it genuinely shocked me, and yet, it is actually pretty close to what you’d expect from a movie of its initial caliber (it climbs not much higher, although I do think there was some element of trolling on the Material Girls rating when it first came out).

Unfortunately with how I got this OMDb data, as impressive as it was, it isn’t really enough to use this idea for much beyond guessing at what a movies rating might have been when it was first released. But it has inspired me in a way that hopefully will benefit BMT real soon (but that is for a later date). Read the full write up here. Cheerios and back to you Jamie.

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