I'm a longtime fan of the original, 1980 version of "The Fog". I'd go as far to say it's probably my third or fourth favorite Carpenter movie. Like Hooper, it was another o ne of those movies that played on the ABC Movie of the Week on Sunday nights. Unlike Hooper, it scared the hell out of me when I was a kid.
Maybe it's the nostalgia, but of course I ended up liking the original more than the remake.
The original started with John Houseman telling a campfire story about the ship that crashed 100 years ago, the Elizabeth Dane. The remake instantly turns to using the lame-ass teeniebopper horror movie cliche that I know what you did last summer and Scream made all the rage. As soon as the opening credits are done, a horrible Fall Out Boy song kicks in full volume and the show Selma Blair taking over the role of DJ Stevie Wayne, which Adrianne Barbeau once played so well. Again, this is Hollywood thinking that the horror movies that get people into the theater all have to be like "The O.C."
That said, there was one significant improvement on the movie: they get a lot deeper in terms of telling the story of the ship (the Elizabeth Dane). In the original, that story was almost an afterthought. In this one, it's the centerpiece. Although, they tried to add a twist to the end. That's fine, I didn't mind that... except it made absolutely no sense. I won't give it away, but I'm sure you'll watch the last two minutes of this movie and say "What the hell?"
The effects are a huge improvement over the original. They've used digital techniques to make a much more ominous looking fog than the glowing DXed (double exposured) fog from the original. However, there's something a lot less scary about the whole thing. I think it was scarier in the original to see the silouhetted ghosts. In this one, they've made them into digital creations that look scary, but just aren't scary.
My recommendation is to see the original, then see this movie. Actually, see these Carpenter classics before you see The Fog:
- The Thing (1982)
- Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
- Escape from New York (1981)
Note I did not include Halloween in that list. Undoubtedly you've seen it.
Rating: Good/Bad, Worth renting if you like the genre, othewise wait for it on HBO.