The Fog Trailer (2005)

In Revolution Studios’ horror/thriller The Fog there really is something out there in the dark.

In the small town of Antonio Bay, a terrifying and malevolent force hidden within a thick and deadly fog terrorizes the local residents. Shrouded by the mist is a ghastly mystery of merciless revenge, one that the town’s inhabitants would do well to unravel -- before it’s too late.

In 1871, as an eerie mist was rising over the sea, four men committed an unspeakable crime. The crew and all the passengers of a clipper ship sank to a watery grave. Their lives lost, their names forgotten, their stories remained unfinished and untold as an impenetrable fog concealed the murderers’ grisly secret for several generations.

Now the restless spirits of the dead surface, determined to reveal the past and bring this perfidious crime to light.

When Nick Castle (Tom Welling, in the role originated by Tom Atkins) captain of the charter boat captain Sea Grass and his first mate Brett Spooner (DeRay Davis) unknowingly hook their anchor on an old sea bag wedged between rocks on the ocean floor and spill its contents, they trigger a series of terrifying events that will have deadly consequences on their small island, Antonio Bay.

Artifacts from the past begin washing ashore -- an old gold hairbrush, an antique pocket watch, a gold music box -- and the vengeful spirits of their previous owners are unleashed on Antonio Bay.

Yet even before these ghostly personal effects surface, the past and present are already in conflict within the small population of Antonio Bay. The generations are divided about using the town’s limited financial resources on a statue honoring four of its heroic founding fathers -- Patrick Malone, David Williams, Norman Castle and Richard Wayne. Nick Castle, a direct descendent of one of the town’s founders would rather see the money invested in repairing the town’s dock and sea wall -- much to the displeasure of Antonio Bay’s elderly mayor, Tom Malone (Kenneth Welsh) and Kathy Williams (Sara Botsford), the town’s historian.

Elizabeth Williams (Maggie Grace) returns to Antonio Bay to visit her mother Kathy, from whom she has become estranged since Elizabeth abruptly moved away. Her ex-boyfriend Nick still cares for her -- even though she left town without telling him -- and he and Elizabeth tentatively reconnect.

In the original film version of The Fog, directed by John Carpenter, Elizabeth (Jamie Lee Curtis), is an outsider who hitches a ride into town and is caught in a nightmare not of her own making. In the updated version, Elizabeth also hitchhikes into town, but she was born and raised there, which strengthens the film’s past-meets-present theme.

Nick and Elizabeth's relationship is further complicated by Nick's dalliance with Stevie Wayne (Selma Blair, in the role created by Adrienne Barbeau), keeper of the lighthouse, which is dedicated to her great-great grandfather. Stevie is the disc jockey of the local radio station, which she also owns and broadcasts from the lighthouse. She is a single mom, who has provided Nick with more than good conversation while Elizabeth was away.

Spooner warns Nick about his infidelity, but it falls on deaf ears -- though Spooner can hardly be considered a credible advisor on the subject. No sooner does Nick head off to a secret rendezvous with Stevie than Spooner organizes a “booze cruise” on the Sea Grass. The party passengers include several beautiful women, Sean, Nick’s cousin -- and a camcorder for Spooner to tape the festivities. However, the fun and games quickly turn into gruesome horror the moment the ominous fog rolls in. Spooner is the only survivor of the havoc raised by the deadly fog.

The spirits’ revenge has begun.

At the same time as the Sea Grass partygoers are suffering their frightening demise, Elizabeth is experiencing a recurring nightmare in which she’s one of many people trapped in the burning hold of a ship. She is terrified, confused and unaware of the dream’s significance. Later, when the town’s eccentric beachcomber hands Elizabeth an antique pocket watch he found buried in seaweed on the shore, it suddenly starts ticking again -- the first sign of Elizabeth’s connection with the town’s ghostly past.

While Elizabeth struggles with her past and her future, Stevie is very much rooted in the present. Slightly older and wiser, Stevie’s response to Elizabeth’s sudden return from New York -- somewhere between disinterest and bemusement -- illustrates how at ease Stevie is with herself and her place in the world.

Stevie’s otherwise calm demeanor is seriously challenged when things at the lighthouse go horribly awry. First the KAB airwaves are taken over by the sound of a music box, which plays over the screams of the dying passengers we saw aboard the clipper ship. Then the antique hairbrush her son Andy found on the beach bursts into flames and leaves behind a hallmark identical to the one Elizabeth found on the back of the gold pocket watch.

The situation on the island worsens when Elizabeth finds the 1871 journal of one of the town’s founding fathers, Patrick Malone -- or, rather, it finds her. After a near drowning experience, the terrified Elizabeth turns to Father Malone, brother of Antonio Bay’s mayor Tom Malone. Tormented by the knowledge of his forebears’ misdeeds, yet unable to violate the sanctity of the confessional, Father Malone finds solace in drink.

When Elizabeth turns to Father Malone for help and he’s unable to shed any light on the mystery, she and Nick search for clues in the cryptic entries they find in Patrick Malone’s 1871 journal: “May God forgive my soul. I say these words, but in my heart I wonder, can God forgive any man for a sin as great as the one I am about to commit?”

As Elizabeth and Nick pore over the journal at a local pub, Elizabeth becomes aware of old photos that line the tavern’s walls: The fledging town of just a few ramshackle huts and tents, seemed to have grown overnight into a thriving community. The date of this sudden transformation: 1871.

If there is a connection, Elizabeth and Nick better discover it quickly as the fog has just claimed two more innocent lives.

Over at City Hall, a small soiree is in progress celebrating the unveiling of the controversial statue of the founding fathers. But the citizens of Antonio Bay, shaken by the recent deaths on the charter boat, are preoccupied with the tragedy’s effect on the local tourist trade. In response to the celebration of the four heroic founding fathers, who it becomes clear, were responsible for an unspeakable act, the fog knocks out the town’s generator, shrouding the island in darkness.

At the lighthouse, Stevie, who just witnessed the horrifying death of the local weatherman, Dan (Jonathan Young), is desperately trying to reach her son. She sends an S.O.S. over the radio but, unsure that anyone has intercepted her plea for help, sets off for her beach house to find Andy. The fog, thick and wet, obscures the road and Stevie’s car is broadsided by a truck and careens down an embankment into the cold, dark sea.

As Stevie struggles to save herself, she comes face to face with the bloated, ghostly bodies that rise from the deep. After a narrow escape, she resumes the search for her son Andy, unaware that the fog has claimed another victim, the boy’s grandmother Connie. The terrified young boy has holed up in his room, taping the cracks around the doorframe to keep the killer fog from invading his room. But even that is no protection against the encroaching menace. Fortunately, Nick arrives at that moment to save the boy from certain doom.

Desperate to save her mother, Elizabeth and Nick head to the Town Hall. But the fog envelops Nick’s vehicle, blinding him and causing a crash. In the chaos that ensues, Stevie emerges from the darkness, shaken but safe.

But something else also appears through the fog at the town pier: A spectral clipper ship and its revenge-starved passengers.

Spooner, who has escaped from the hospital after his injuries aboard the Sea Grass, stands at the dock with the drunken Father Malone, watching in horror as the Elizabeth Dane sails into the harbor. Spooner recognizes the ship he saw the night Nick’s charter boat was attacked but only Father Malone understands why it has come to Antonio Bay, and seems to accept his fate.

Elizabeth, Nick, Stevie and Andy finally arrive at the Town Hall. The statue’s significance dawns on Elizabeth and the secret of the doomed clipper ship and its fiery destruction by the town leaders of Antonio Bay in 1871, is finally revealed.

The Town Hall is a museum celebrating Antonio Bay’s success and its dark, secret past, and is therefore the perfect spot for this revelation. After Elizabeth solves the mystery, Father Malone is no longer bound by the confessional. While everyone else is prepared to accept the truth and its possible consequences, Mayor Tom Malone is still convinced his great grandfather’s deathbed confession was nothing more than the ramblings of a madman. “We are not guilty,” he insists.

After exacting revenge, the souls of the Elizabeth Dane can finally rest in peace. The dark secret exposed, the fog drifts back out to sea.

2 min 12 sec


Posted On
November 27, 2007
Rupert Wainwright

Cooper Layne

Columbia Pictures

October 14, 2005
Tom Welling
Maggie Grace
Selma Blair
Rade Serbedzija
DeRay Davis
Trailer Tracks
No Music Available
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