In The IMDB.O. List, ScreenCrush editor-in-chief Matt Singer watches every single movie on the Internet Movie Database’s Lowest Rated Movies list to determine whether they truly are the worst movies ever made. Previous chapters can be found here.

Movie #7 (In Honor of Halloween [and Halloween]): The Fog (2005)

Director: Rupert Wainwright
Writer: Cooper Layne
Release Date: October 14, 2005
U.S. box office: $29.5 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 4 percent
Metacritic score: 27
Letterboxd average grade: 1.6
CinemaScore: C-
IMDb Bottom 100 Ranking: 62

Is This Movie Bad?

The Fog

I’m afraid so.

How Bad Is It?

The Fog

Dude, this movie’s not even that foggy! The clouds in two-thirds of this movie are so sparse they wouldn’t even warrant a push notification from your phone’s weather app.

It’s been decades since I watched John Carpenter’s The Fog, but in my memory, it’s an atmospheric ghost story. This update retells the same basic concept with about 40 percent less panache and fog, which barely even shows up until a full hour of this 90 minute movie has passed. That’s like paying $15 to see a movie called Dracula where the vampire doesn’t appear until the third act and doesn’t bite someone’s neck until the post-credits scene.

Perhaps the lack of suspense, tension, anxiety, or memorable visuals of any kind would feel less important if there was even one remotely interesting human being to watch. The stars are Tom Welling at the height of his Smallville stardom, and Maggie Grace from Lost. They play Nick and Elizabeth, former lovers who are reunited when she returns to their hometown after a few years away. They live on an island off the coast of Oregon that is preparing to honor the anniversary of their community’s founding. As a law, the founders of every old movie town were evil. The Fog is no exception.

Nick’s a boat captain; one day, his vessel’s anchor dredges up something from the depths. Soon — actually not that soon, it takes friggin’ forever — supernatural happenings begin disturbing the island’s residents. On the night of the dedication of the town’s new statue of its founders — Most public monuments are dedicated in the middle of the, right? That’s how that works? — a full-blown evil flog blows in.

The fog is dumb. It has no rules and is portrayed with zero consistency. Some of the beings inside it are transparent ghosts and others are more solid and look like zombies. Sometimes the fog seems to be held back by walls or windows — one survivor of an early attack notes that it couldn’t get him inside his boat’s freezer — and other times, it’s not. (In one sequence, the fog gets into a house via kitchen sink drain, including an entire zombie arm that reaches out of the sink, grabs a woman on the arm, and then turning her into a decayed corpse. How’d a whole fog arm get in there?!?) There are scenes where people run away from an overcast sky, which is really just one or two steps removed from The Happening (which, to my surprise, is not on the IMDb Bottom 100). Other times, people get enveloped by the fog and then ... nothing happens. Basically, the fog does whatever the f— it wants.

Selma Blair plays the third lead, a local radio DJ who races to save her son after the fog rolls in. She is saddled with one of the worst continuity errors I can ever recall in a non-Ed Wood movie. She nearly drowns after the fog knocks her car off a road and into the ocean. A few scenes later, she’s reunited with her son and ... she’s bone dry! Her hair’s not even damp. I have no idea how a mistake this colossal happens. Maybe the fog absorbed the moisture out of her clothes? Since the fog does whatever the f— it wants, that’s as good an explanation as any.

Otherwise, The Fog is relatively competent, but it’s beyond dull. Basically nothing happens for an entire hour. Maggie Grace wanders around outside alone at night in her underwear (as women are wont to do), Tom Welling looks mildly concerned while wearing a series of turtleneck sweaters, and Selma Blair flirts over the radio with a local weather guy. Director Rupert Wainwright is so hard up for any shred of excitement he actually interrupts a flashback explaining the fog’s origin with a jump scare in the present day — a level of desperation I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a horror movie stoop to before.

In a world where Carpenter’s The Fog still exists — and is even returning to a few theaters in a 4K restoration this month — I cannot think of a single valid reason to watch this, except in the event that you’re a very dumb person who’s trying to watch every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100.

Does It Belong On a List of the Worst Movies Ever Made?

The Fog

It does. If you’re ever hard up for supernatural fog, and instead want to use boredom to decimate a small island town as part of a plan to get revenge for your dead leper ancestors, this would be a fine instrument of destruction.

The Fog is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime. Next week on another Halloween month edition of The IMDB.O. List: An infamous exorcist.

My Personal Ranking of the IMDB.O. List So Far From Worst to Least Crappy

  1. The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure
  2. The Master of Disguise
  3. The Fog (2005)
  4. The Avengers
  5. Jaws 3-D
  6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
  7. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

Gallery - The Worst Movie Posters Ever Made:

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