A SO SO REMAKE OF A 1980 CLASSIC
Directed by Rupert Wainwright and starring Tom Welling (Nick Castle), Selma Blair (Stevie Wayne), and Maggie Grace (Elizabeth Williams). It is a remake of John Carpenter’s 1980 film of the same name and was produced by Carpenter and Debra Hill who co-wrote the original film.
SYNOPSIS: The inhabitants of Antonio Island, off the coast of Oregon, are about to unveil a statue honoring the four men (Castle, Wayne, Williams and Malone) who founded their town in 1871. Nick Castle is one of the descendants of the men, and owns a fishing charter company, using his vessel, the Seagrass, for tourism. When his girlfriend Elizabeth Williams returns to the island after spending six months in New York, a bizarre series of events begin to occur, including several gruesome deaths and the presence of a mysterious fog. When Elizabeth slips in Nick’s boathouse and falls into the sea, she finds an old journal from 1871, written by Patrick Malone, one of the town’s founders. It tells how a man named Blake bought half the island for use as a leper colony. While bringing his people to Antonio Island in their clipper ship, the Elizabeth Dane, Blake is betrayed by Castle, Wayne, Williams and Malone. The four men locked Blake and his people in the vessel, stole their money and possessions, and then set fire to the ship, killing everyone aboard. In the present day, the ghosts of Blake and his crew have risen from their watery grave to seeking revenge on the descendants of the four men.
Sadly, unlike the original starring Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Tom Atkins, the 2005 lacks all components necessary to even deem it a horror movie. Not even “Smallville’s” own Clark Kent (Tom Welling) could save this movie. It loosely followed the original storyline yet lacked any of the suspense or scariness. At times, it made me wish I could just disappear in a rolling fog as not to waste anymore of the two hours spent watching this movie.
The storyline was inconsistent and laughable at times although I do not think it was meant to be comedic. Both Welling and Grace walked through this movie like it was a dress rehearsal looking so lost to the point where I couldn’t distinguish who were the ghostly lepers zombies and who were the victims. The special effects were mediocre (could they afford more than one fog machine?) and, if I were John Carpenter, I would disassociate myself from having anything to do with this Hollywood chopshop remake.
[Film stills via Revolution Studios]