Prayer Focus
Movie Review

The Fog

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief sexuality

Reviewed by: Lori Souder

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Horror, Thriller, Action, Mystery
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
October 14, 2005 (wide)
Featuring: Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, DeRay Davis, Rade Serbedzija
Director: Rupert Wainwright
Producer: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics

Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem?

How does viewing violence in movies affect the family? Answer

“The Fog,” as many know, is a remake of the 1980 classic of the same name directed by John Carpenter. The original was rated R and was, in my opinion, very well done, wonderfully suspenseful, and downright scary.

The new movie version stars Selma Blair as Stevie Wayne, the lonely lighthouse DJ. Tom Welling (“Smallville”) also stars as Nick and Maggie Grace (“Lost”) is Elizabeth. The film is directed by Rupert Wainwright and produced by John Carpenter among several others. Rupert Wainwright directed the movie “Stigmata” which was rated R.

Because I am a fan of the original, I had high hopes for this movie.

The story begins with a fishing boat for hire that has its pleasant excursion interrupted by a mysterious force. Then a young woman returns to the isolated island that she has left for six months. She is mistaken for a stranger by her boyfriend who is trolling for loose women so he can get “lucky” while his girlfriend is away in New York. They then have an oh so romantic and artful shower love scene. Soon, more and more strange things start showing up in Antonia Bay, like a hot, haunted hairbrush and a ticking, barnacle-covered pocket watch. Fires break out; lots and lots of glass is broken; cars repeatedly crash, and oh yeah, there is something… in… the… FOG!

It is too bad that this movie was made for a younger audience. In the early 80’s movies were made for more adult audiences and the teen audience was yet to be discovered and exploited. Apparently, because the director was trying to appeal to younger viewers, there is crude language, discussion of casual sex, and skimpily dressed females, especially at the beginning of the movie. Also the movie has more violence and more exploitation of violence and cruelty than the original and should have been rated R.

The special effects are amazing, and the fog itself took on a distinctive and malevolent character. The movie does not exactly follow the story-line of the original, and the plot keeps the audience guessing about where things will lead. Unfortunately, it did not really go anywhere. I really wanted to like this movie, but there were so many things that I found wrong with the film, I could barely start to list them all here.

For one thing, the story seemed poorly paced. It seemed ahead of itself in delivering scares at the beginning of the movie, and then seemed to get behind a little later after all the dust settled, or I should say the mist. I have attended numerous theatrical movies, but I do not ever remember so many people getting up and leaving to do something in the lobby, like they were constantly doing in this movie. The crowd seemed restless and bored part of the time.

Then there was the awful way characters treated each other. When one person finds out another is totally innocent of three horrific murders, this person carelessly loses the evidence and barely mentions it in passing to another person. The authorities are never told. People watch while someone is burning up near the end of the movie, but do nothing. But the worst is the graphic and sickening scene of innocent, kindly people getting threatened, robbed, and finally, painfully destroyed.

The actual bad guys never get punished in the movie; it is their descendents, way down the road. Apparently, these people lived in the town with crucial historical evidence right on the wall of the town museum, but no one actually looked at the pictures or read the dates. Until things got very weird. Duh!

I thought there was exploitation of the female characters. All appear, at one time or another, in their underwear, although the temperatures keep men in shirts and coats. One character walks outside with a sweater and no pants, and answers the evil knock, knock at her door in nearly non existent sleepwear.

Dripping wet footprints on the ceiling, terribly disfigured spirits wanting revenge, a Victorian ghost ship swathed in a pale green haze—this movie could have been very interesting! But it wasn’t. It was hard to care about the characters because instead of getting to know them, there was only time to look at dead bodies, crashing cars and set fires. The sound track was totally forgettable as well.

Christianity did not fare well in this remake. In the original, the religious leader of the town was instrumental in understanding the curse and also in ending it. He showed incredible courage. In fact, many scenes (including the ultimate final fight between good and evil) take place in the town’s church. Yet the religious leader in the new version is a barely walking drunk who has locked up the church building so no one can enter. No scenes take place there, and he is portrayed as nothing but a coward.

I cannot recommend this movie. Many parts seemed thrown in for effect, like an extra crispy corpse and teens partying in bikinis. The end did not make sense. Somehow it went from a revenge/ghost movie to a romantic reincarnation story. All I can say is, “huh?” The moral of the movie, if there is any, is that if you do something unbelievably terrible, you will be able to get away with it for 100 years.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—I think that this movie left you on half of your seat and was tense in some scenes. I previewed this movie for myself to see if it was OK for my 10 year old to see. He enjoyed it very much.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
Bitty Moore, age 34
Positive—This movie was great. My two kids and I went and watched it as a family movie…
My Ratings: Average / 3
Jeff, age 45
Positive—I thought the film was really good. Throughout the whole film I was on the edge of my seat; it was very intense, and I had every intention of buying the DVD when it came out. That was up until the ending. To me it did not make sense, and I couldn’t wait to get home and get on the Internet to find out exactly what it was supposed to mean. Other than the confusion at the end, I thought it was a good story line for a drama/thriller. As far as the Christian side of things, there is a lot of brutal murder that may be very graphic for young teens/children.
My Ratings: Average / 4
Amanda Vassallo, age 19
Neutral—There’s an old saying about not fixing something that isn’t broken. When you are able to watch a remake and then see the original immediately afterwards and walk away feeling that the original was better, the old saying applies. Such is the case with “The Fog”. Having seen the original many times, I found a few things to like about this remake but much to dislike. On the one hand, the movie does give you a much better understanding of why the creatures in the fog are so vengeful. On the other hand, the remake isn’t nearly as frightening as the original. I don’t know whether it’s good or bad that a movie made around twenty years ago is still able to deliver the chills better than a remake made today, but, if I had to guess, I’d say that it’s probably good. This is not a Christian film, but then very few, if any, horror movies are. But if you are into the horror genre as I am, I rate this movie as fair. It’s definitely worth seeing once, but afterwards I’d recommend seeing the original, especially at night with the lights off. My guess is that you will find it to be more terrifying than the remake was.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
Edward Drake, age 34
Negative—I saw this movie opening day. Being a big fan of the original, I had high hopes (much like the reviewer). I was severely let down. The story was ridiculous, and there was never anything close to a scare (not to mention tension). This movie should win a prize for most extremely unneccessary love scene in a movie. And the morals, as mentioned above, were terrible. No redeeming value what-so-ever. I should have followed my heart and walked out after the first 20 to get my money back. Unfortunately, I stayed. Terrible movie. Rent the original.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1½
Q Dawg, age 34
Negative—I like Tom Wellings interpertation of Clark Kent, and I was hoping he would be involved in a better movie than “The Fog”. Most of the time, his values on “Smallville” are very good. He has a lot of integrity on “Smallville”.
My Ratings: Offensive / 1½
Gary Riedstra, age 46
Negative—This movie is total blasphemy!… This movie is based in Satanic doctrine!…
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
Sheridan Bucket, age 39
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was OK for children, but maybe tense. I enjoyed it, and I think Tom Welling did a good job in it.
My Ratings: Average / 3
Dereck, age 16
Positive—…I really enjoyed it. I love scary movies, and this one was certainly a jumper. I went with three of my other friends and we were all screaming. This movie left us all on the edge of our seats squeezing the armrests as tight as we could… and at times, we were even squeezing each other in fright. I would definitly see this one again. As a Christian, the only slightly offensive scene in the entire movie was a shower scene (which showed the same amount of skin you would see at a public pool) and it lasted all of ten seconds… Altogether, a good thriller!
My Ratings: Average / 3½
Lanae, age 14