The Fog: Definitive Review - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 04-09-2010, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
FendersRule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northwest
Posts: 1,695
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I feel the need to post my review on John Carpenter's The Fog, since there's many mixed up opinions and weak sources about the quality online.

Movie:



John Carpenter's The Fog is a good ghost story movie, but nothing more. I would actually go to say that the actual movie experience leaves some disappointment, and I think the rest of the viewers would agree with me. Carpenter builds up the characters exhaustively without too much substance to back it up, and we don't really get any pay off during the ending. Besides that, the pacing is actually quite slow, and is slower than most other Carpenter movies. However, the atmosphere, soundtrack, and gorgeous cinematography are clearly the highlights of the film, and probably the only highlights of the film. This movie probably falls right in the middle of John Carpenter's arsenal. It's no where near being at the top portion, but it's still better than most of the stuff he's done in the past 15 years. The kills are really good, but we just don't see much of them, and they don't seem to happen to the important people. The movie itself could have been much better killing off some of the lead characters or at least involving a good twist in the plot, but we really get none of that during viewing.

** 1/2 out of 5.

Video:

John Carpenter's The Fog arrives on Blu-ray with a 2.35:1 framed transfer in full 1080p, only being available in the U.K. Most of the film looks quite clean, but nothing overly striking. Colors are consistently vibrant, and the film itself looks quite clean from any scratches or visible compression blocking. However, the Fog is not without it's faults. The Fog suffers from a pretty good amount of edge enhancement, which is easily visible because most of the film itself is dark. Of-coarse, with EE in a dark setting, you get crushed blacks which destroy any shadow detail. I wouldn't say the EE is as bad as Studio Canal's Escape from New York, but it's up there. While we are on the same topic of Escape from New York, the Fog receives a better treatment from Studio Canal. Escape from New York received NO gain in resolution or colors compared to the DVD, and only received the ugliest edge enhancement that the Blu-ray format has ever seen, which makes EFNY WORSE than the DVD. You can relax though, because even though The Fog received a good level of Edge Enhancement (nothing near the Escape from New York level, but close), it also receives a huge upgrade in it's color palette and resolution detail.

When compared to the DVD, the Blu-ray still trumps it in comparison, but not be a "huge" victory. The colors on the Blu-ray display the largest difference, being almost twice as vibrant and pleasureful to look at. The resolution on the blu-ray is also obviously higher, displaying more detail where detail could not be seen on the DVD due to the lower resolution. Even with the slightly ugly edge enhancement, the Blu-ray still trumps the DVD, and is still easily the best way to view The Fog. If it wasn't for the vibrant colors that the Blu-ray contains, I probably would recommend the DVD over the Blu-ray. Sure, the resolution may be a step up, but the edge enhancement isn't detracting on the DVD at all.

*** out of 5

Audio:

The audio on The Fog arrives with a DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack. The audio seems clear, with some good use of the surrounds. However, one must remember the soundboard design is still from 1980, so what we get is lower quality sound effects, and weaker directional audio that just doesn't sound as crisp and clear as a newer movie. John Carpenter's The Fog relies on shocking horror to scare the audience. Using this horror method, sound must be placed at the right moment and at the correct audible level. Sometimes, I felt the sound could have been louder for certain frights. As it stands, all of us jumped out of our seat a few times, which does show some effectiveness in the sound design. However, all that has been discussed isn't an issue with the DTS-HD transfer, but more-so with the dated sound design. Basically, the DTS-HD won't impress, but it gets the job done in lossless quality, especially with Carpenter's score.....for an early 80s movie.

*** out of 5.

Overall *** out of 5.

Conclusion:

John Carpenter's The Fog does indeed contain a dated soundtrack, but the DTS-HD gets the job done. The video quality is very vibrant and also receives an incremental upgrade in clarity due to the enhanced resolution compared to the DVD which is a pleasure to look at, but edge enhancement rears it's ugly head into the picture, which lessens the overall visual quality. The movie itself is very bland, but it's certainly not a bad John Carpenter movie. It's just no where near the front-forward of his arsenal, and makes for a very good "Stephen-King like" ghost story that does contain some pretty nice atmosphere. John Carpenter's The Fog is still best viewed on Blu-ray, but it could have been a lot better with Edge Enhancement removed and a ground-up sound design restoration.

Is it recommended? I wouldn't pay over $10 for it, and I would probably expect a better transfer in the distant future when it arrives to the US. Still, if you want to view John Carpenter's The Fog in the best way possible, this is the one to get. Just don't expect to be overly impressed.

If ya'll have any screenshots, please post them here.
Phantom Stranger likes this.
FendersRule is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 Old 04-09-2010, 08:41 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
alfbinet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Old Brooklyn (Cleveland), Ohio
Posts: 3,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I have this on HD DVD imported from Studio Canal and I have been quite pleased with it for many years. I always enjoyed the movie more so than the remake of a few years ago. I will have to give it a go this weekend as I haven't seen it in awhile and it will give me a chance to rev up the old
Tosh AX2.

Jim

Chad Billheimer rocks as a ISF Calibrator for Ohio.
Roller Coaster season is upon us. Proud member of American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) Woodies Rule!
alfbinet is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 04-09-2010, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
FendersRule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northwest
Posts: 1,695
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by alfbinet View Post

I have this on HD DVD imported from Studio Canal and I have been quite pleased with it for many years. I always enjoyed the movie more so than the remake of a few years ago. I will have to give it a go this weekend as I haven't seen it in awhile and it will give me a chance to rev up the old
Tosh AX2.

Jim

I wonder if the HD-DVD version differs from the Blu-ray? What's the audio codec?

If the video is the same, watch out for the EE. It does get annoying at times, but it's oversee-able IMO.
FendersRule is offline  
post #4 of 19 Old 04-09-2010, 10:10 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DM2006RI's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
There's a completely different HD master of THE FOG that Sony distributes in the U.S. and airs on HDNet (it opens with the Columbia Pictures logo and ends with a Sony TV logo) -- and it looks markedly better than the Studio Canal BD/HD-DVD version. Noticeably sharper, more detailed (not nearly as much EE) and with what look to be more accurate colors. Anyone interested in the movie should check that out if they have the opportunity.

That said, good review. I've said before there is NO comparison between the horrible transfer of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and THE FOG. The latter's not perfect, but it's definitely not the "upconvert" ESCAPE looks like. If you don't have access to the U.S. HDTV version it's well worth importing.
DM2006RI is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 04-09-2010, 10:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DM2006RI's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FendersRule View Post

I wonder if the HD-DVD version differs from the Blu-ray? What's the audio codec?

I've owned both, the BD is exactly the same in terms of picture and sound -- right down to identical menus.
DM2006RI is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 04-09-2010, 10:12 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
alfbinet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Old Brooklyn (Cleveland), Ohio
Posts: 3,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FendersRule View Post

I wonder if the HD-DVD version differs from the Blu-ray? What's the audio codec?

If the video is the same, watch out for the EE. It does get annoying at times, but it's oversee-able IMO.

I will check for you. Just finished watching FOTR on blu-ray. It looked good to me on my 60" plasma Pio. I will check the Fog on my Tosh and let you know about the audio codec.

This was an inport from France. Video codec is VC-1. English Audio codec is DTS Surround 5.1, French DTS HD Master.

Chad Billheimer rocks as a ISF Calibrator for Ohio.
Roller Coaster season is upon us. Proud member of American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) Woodies Rule!
alfbinet is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 04-09-2010, 10:18 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
alfbinet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Old Brooklyn (Cleveland), Ohio
Posts: 3,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FendersRule View Post

I wonder if the HD-DVD version differs from the Blu-ray? What's the audio codec?

If the video is the same, watch out for the EE. It does get annoying at times, but it's oversee-able IMO.

I will check for you. Just finished watching FOTR on blu-ray. It looked good to me on my 60" plasma Pio. I will check the Fog on my Tosh and let you know about the audio codec.

This was an inport from France. Video codec is VC-1. English Audio codec is DTS Surround 5.1, French DTS HD Master.

Chad Billheimer rocks as a ISF Calibrator for Ohio.
Roller Coaster season is upon us. Proud member of American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) Woodies Rule!
alfbinet is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 04-10-2010, 09:32 AM
Senior Member
 
BaronVH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I have to disagree with the OP on one thing: the quality of the film itself. I think it is in the top three of Carpenter's movies. The problem that I think it has is that it is compared to his other movies. It is not necessarily very scary, it may be his least gory, and it is fairly simple. On the other hand, it is atmospheric as hell. It is a classic, basic ghost story. The fact that it starts out with the telling of a ghost stroy at a bonfire tells you exactly what it is aiming for. If you like well told ghost stories without extensive gore, then this is a good one (along with Robert Wise's Haunting, Rebecca, and The Others). I love The Fog.
BaronVH is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 04-10-2010, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
FendersRule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northwest
Posts: 1,695
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronVH View Post

I have to disagree with the OP on one thing: the quality of the film itself. I think it is in the top three of Carpenter's movies. The problem that I think it has is that it is compared to his other movies. It is not necessarily very scary, it may be his least gory, and it is fairly simple. On the other hand, it is atmospheric as hell. It is a classic, basic ghost story. The fact that it starts out with the telling of a ghost stroy at a bonfire tells you exactly what it is aiming for. If you like well told ghost stories without extensive gore, then this is a good one (along with Robert Wise's Haunting, Rebecca, and The Others). I love The Fog.

For sure. One of the most atmospheric carpenter movies. However, you have to admit, there's no payoff, and besides the cool atmospheric shots, it's very slow and tends to bore somewhat (the other viewers are in full agreement here). My dad tends to like it more than me though, and I think it's just because of Adrienne. I do plan on re-watching it, but I actually just recently watched Prince of Darkness yesterday, and it's similar in a way to the Fog in that it's extremely slow, but at least, it scares (not just startles) and involves a payoff ending. My Carpenter list:

Halloween
The Thing
Escape from New York
Assault on Precinct 13
They Live
Starman
Prince of Darkness
The Fog
Christine (awesome, but not much rewatchability)
Big Trouble in Little China
Escape from L.A.
FendersRule is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 04-10-2010, 12:18 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Dave Mack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 11,966
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
They get their gold and take care of family business, "thwack!!!" so it totally wraps up well for me.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Dave Mack is offline  
post #11 of 19 Old 04-10-2010, 02:32 PM
Senior Member
 
hlwl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 319
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FendersRule View Post

(nothing near the Escape from New York level, but close)

That makes absolutely no sense lmao
hlwl is offline  
post #12 of 19 Old 01-15-2011, 10:02 AM
AVS Special Member
 
dougotte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Sorry to revive this thread. I see DVDTimes lists the UK BD as Region AB. Can anyone confirm that?

I watched the US DVD again the other day. I didn't really "get" this movie until now. Cundey's cinematography is gorgeous, the soundtrack is very effective, and the story is understated yet effective.

I'll now put this in my upper echelon of Carpenter films.

Doug
dougotte is offline  
post #13 of 19 Old 01-15-2011, 01:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Thebarnman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Scottsdale AZ
Posts: 3,175
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougotte View Post

Sorry to revive this thread.

You should never feel sorry about reviving an old thread, the way I look at it, there's always something new to learn about older topics. In fact, I have revived several older threads before.

I remember Job Bob Briggs talking about "The Fog" wondering why Jamie Lee Curtis was even in the movie...except for the fact she just came off from one of the best horror films of all time "Halloween."

All she does is run around with this guy throughout the entire film...at least that's the way he put it...and it's the way I remember it!

I don't remember it being scary, though then again, I've only seen it on TV, so I guess that could take a bit away from it!

Movies must be OAR, sports and movies must also have 5.1 audio, No EE or NO SALE!
Thebarnman is offline  
post #14 of 19 Old 01-16-2011, 07:03 AM
AVS Special Member
 
DM2006RI's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougotte View Post

Sorry to revive this thread. I see DVDTimes lists the UK BD as Region AB. Can anyone confirm that?

I watched the US DVD again the other day. I didn't really "get" this movie until now. Cundey's cinematography is gorgeous, the soundtrack is very effective, and the story is understated yet effective.

I'll now put this in my upper echelon of Carpenter films.

Doug

All Blu-Ray versions of THE FOG are region free, you should be fine importing from anywhere.
DM2006RI is offline  
post #15 of 19 Old 01-16-2011, 07:33 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Cinema Squid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 2,864
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DM2006RI View Post

All Blu-Ray versions of THE FOG are region free, you should be fine importing from anywhere.

Actually the UK release is indeed Region AB, so won't work on Region C players. However, it loads and plays just fine on my U.S. Region A PS3.

BDInfo report here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=261


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Cinema Squid is offline  
post #16 of 19 Old 01-16-2011, 03:12 PM
AVS Special Member
 
dougotte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Thanks for the info. It's only 6.79 GBP at amazon.co.uk, so I'm going for it.

Doug

Edit: Make that 5.66 after subtracting the VAT, plus 3.08 to ship to me here in Maryland.
dougotte is offline  
post #17 of 19 Old 06-03-2011, 06:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
dougotte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougotte View Post

Thanks for the info. It's only 6.79 GBP at amazon.co.uk, so I'm going for it.

Doug

Edit: Make that 5.66 after subtracting the VAT, plus 3.08 to ship to me here in Maryland.

I finally got around to watching the BD a week or two ago. While it was better than the DVD, it seemed to have unnaturally boosted contrast and garish colors. I'd love to see a restoration/remaster/etc. done on this film.

The sound was quite nice.

Doug
dougotte is offline  
post #18 of 19 Old 07-04-2013, 05:31 PM
AVS Special Member
 
wuther's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougotte View Post


I finally got around to watching the BD a week or two ago. While it was better than the DVD, it seemed to have unnaturally boosted contrast and garish colors. I'd love to see a restoration/remaster/etc. done on this film.

Oh you would love a remaster? Here you go, Shout vs Optimum:

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film4/blu-ray_reviews_59/the_fog_blu-ray.htm

The Shout version comes off a lot better in these images, the Optimum caps look like video while the Shout ones look a lot more like film. I find the Shout color grading much more pleasing plus there is more detail and EE is hard to spot unlike Optimum. The Optimum shots in the day time are quite nasty like there is a high beam light on them.

As for the film itself like a few other Carpenter films it starts out good but falls apart towards the end.
wuther is offline  
post #19 of 19 Old 07-13-2013, 07:42 PM
ADU
AVS Special Member
 
ADU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 6,369
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Liked: 154

Thanks for the update wuther.

 

The original Fog is probably my favorite Carpenter flick. So I'm lookin forward to seein the Shout release. Based on the dvdbeaver caps, the contrast definitely looks too dialed up on some scenes in the imported version. It's been awhile since I saw the DVD, but I believe it was like that as well. So it'll be interesting to see how this new version looks.


ADU
ADU is offline  
Reply Blu-ray Software

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off