when do you realize you are really getting older?
Answer: when some of your favourite movies as a teenager start to
Yes, as a big fan of both George A. Romero and John Carpenter, now I can say
that I'm an old guy. The 2004's remake of the classic Romero's Dawn of
The Dead was a positive surprise, the 2005's new version of Carpenter's Assault
on Precinct 13 was "ok", but unnecessary... and now comes
this new The Fog, based on Carpenter's little classic released in
When the news about this remake produced by John Carpenter himself and based on his own original
screenplay started to pop out at the net, horror fans got enormously
excited. The film is directed by Robert Wainwright and starred by Tom Welling (Smallville), Maggie Grace (Lost)
e Selma Blair (Hellboy), the main plot
remained the same: one hundred years ago, in a thick, eerie fog off the rocky coast of Northern
California, a horrible shipwreck occurred under mysterious circumstances.
Now, shrouded in darkness, the ghosts of the long-dead sailors have returned
from their watery graves to exact their bloody, merciless revenge. The
excitment around the project was easily understandable: with state of the art
cinematography and visual effects technology, the film surely would rock,
right? Unfortunately, it seems that's not the case.
The film sank at the box-office and was universally turned to ashes by the
critics. "Unnecessary" was the lightiest word used to describe it.
To be fair I must say I still didn't watch the movie, but I know that some
of the typical effectiveness of Carpenter's films come from his moody
craftmanship and music. The original Fog had an electronic and
haunting score by Carpenter, something I wish it had remained somehow
attached to the new project. It didn't happened though, and now we have a
brand new score, labeled as "mystical and terrifying", by Graeme
Revell. Revell is an ascending star among film music composers. His credits include
The Crow, Collateral Damage, Daredevil and David
Twohy's Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick (for me this is
one of his finest scores to date). Most recently Revell completed double-scoring duties with Robert Rodriguez
for Sin City
and Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D. Other recent Revell-scored
projects include Harsh Times, Goal!, Aeon Flux and Activision's video game
Call of Duty 2.
The main problem for me it's the new score's lack of originality - a current
plague in the business. I
recognize that today is very hard for a composer to write a really original
work, after all we are talking about film music, that has it's well known established and consecrated rules.
Nevertheless Revell wrote only another standard horror score, and the horror
music cliché is to develop and sustain tension through not so unexpected
shocks and scares. This isn't the kind of soundtrack you'll put on for
repeated listening, but still it is worthwhile to appreciate the kind of
sinister ambiance that Revell has put together to create music that transmits
apprehension and panic to the listener.
By all means, Revell's The Fog is far to be a bad effort. His
challenge was to give to the real star of the film - the malevolent force
represented by the fog itself - a menacing voice, a dark personality. At
least on disc it seems he had succeeded to achieve this task, since the score
demonstrates an ever-present menace. Differently from Carpenter's music,
Revell samples wider orchestra colors. It's still primarily electronic music
but the scale is increased. Music alternates scary and loud passages with
moments of mystery. From time to time some electronic tonalities and piano interventions
evoke to the listener the original movie's score. The piano and bells
during "Statues" gives to the piece a genuine haunting feeling -
it's a score highlight. I just wish that the score could include more
moments like this.