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Feature: The Fog

John Carpenter

Fog fear…

The director and writer of the 1980 Horror classic, and co-writer of the new film, gives his thoughts on this reworking…

“I don't want to remake this,” insists writer-director John Carpenter from the set of The Fog, a reworking of his 1980 cult classic by director Rupert Wainwright (Stigmata). “I mean, I did it once. This was not my favorite experience of my own career; it was difficult. We had to go back and fix it once we shot it. I've done this once. Let some younger person do it.”

In the original Fog, a New England town succumbs to a hundred-year old curse when a mysterious mist blows in from the coast and begins taking revenge on the townspeople (trust us, it’s a lot creepier than it sounds). Carpenter, who produces this new version, which stars Tom Welling (Smallville) and Maggie Grace (Lost), says it isn’t significantly different – “it's fog and ghosts,” he explains succinctly – but offers a newer, more aggressive approach for modern audiences. “Well, the styles are different; the actors are different; the director's different. It's essentially the same story with some basic changes in it.”

While the remake was admittedly completed at a price significantly higher than that of the original film, Carpenter says the budget leap afforded the film-makers the opportunity to employ state-of-the-arts effects work to render the central apparition. “The ‘fog’ is going to be dealt with in a couple of different ways, practical and with computer graphics.”

About the film’s new director, Rupert Wainwright, Carpenter says he brings much-needed vitality to the film’s formulae, “His style is vastly different from mine. He uses – I don't know how to put this – he uses inserts and close-ups to add texture and energy to it, to his movies, which is totally different from the way I work. That would be an interesting try on this film.” Carpenter is reluctant, however, to discuss any of the specific changes made for the new film. “I have been sworn to secrecy in that matter,” he says. In fact, he says his participation overall has been minimal. “I am a producer, but I come in and say hello to everybody. Go home.”

“Look, my own philosophy is it's a director's film,” he says impatiently. “It's not my film anymore. I made my film back then when I was young and happy. This is a new director and he's bringing his point of view and his sensibility to this film.”

“I have a real hard time telling anybody else what to do or interfering with their vision,” Carpenter observes decisively. “It's his movie now.”

by Todd Gilchrist

Peer through the mists of miasmas of Horror and fear in the upcoming
Starburst Special #72

Photo © Sony Pictures Entertainment
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

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