The Fog appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though not stellar, the transfer offered a more than satisfactory picture.
Only minor issues related to sharpness occurred. Some wider shots looked just a little soft. Otherwise definition seemed quite positive, as I felt the image was usually crisp and detailed. I saw no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and only mild edge enhancement appeared. Source flaws were absent from this clean transfer.
Befitting a moody horror flick, The Fog often went with a restrained sense of color. Some daytime shots showed nice autumnal tones, but much of the flick stayed with sickly blues and greens. The colors were perfectly solid given the visual design. Blacks came across as dark and firm, and I felt shadows appeared concise and easily visible. The light softness kept this image from ďAĒ level, but it seemed quite satisfying nonetheless.
Similar thoughts greeted the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of The Fog. While it wasnít quite strong enough to merit an ďA-ď, it worked quite well. The soundfield concentrated both on general creepiness and on specific scares. The latter presented the most dynamic noises, as the ghosts banged and stomped around the screen with good localization and impact. The other aspects engulfed us well to create a strong sense of atmosphere. No, the movie didnít scare me, but I couldnít blame this active and engaging soundtrack.
Audio quality was very good. Speech always sounded natural and concise, with no edginess or intelligibility issues. Music appeared lively and dynamic. The score was fairly aggressive and packed the appropriate punch. Effects were also positive. They blasted to life well and presented strong range and fidelity. Again, the mix was just a smidgen below ďAĒ level as it provided a satisfying piece of work.
The DVDís extras start with an audio commentary from director Rupert Wainwright. He offers a running, screen-specific track. Wainwright covers a mix of basics. Mostly he discusses shooting in Vancouver and location issues, sets, effects and other visual areas, and changes made to the unrated cut of the film. Wainwright doesnít display a lot of energy or insight into the production, as he often does little more than narrate the story. A fair amount of dead air also occurs. This ends up as a drab commentary that fails to give us much good information.
Seven Deleted Scenes fill a total of 12 minutes, 49 seconds of footage. The clips run between 46 seconds and six minutes, 45 seconds. All last less than two minutes except for that nearly seven-minute snippet. Most of these offer pretty minor character filler, though we do get a longer version of the tense re-encounter between Elizabeth and her mom. Thereís also an alternate version of Danís encounter with the fog, and the almost seven-minute clip shows more of the villainy that killed the folks who now haunt Antonio Island. Does any of this actually seem useful? Not really, at least not in the sense the clips would help the movie. Theyíre not bad to see, though.
We can watch these with or without commentary from Wainwright. Should you expect anything livelier than his feature track? Nope. Actually, thatís a little unfair, as he offers a few decent notes about the scenes, and at least he tells us why they got the boot. His information still lacks much depth, unfortunately.
Next we find three separate featurettes. Whiteout Conditions: The Remaking of a Horror Classic runs eight minutes, 21 seconds as it presents a mix of movie clips, behind the scenes elements, and interviews. We hear from Wainwright, producer David Foster, writer Cooper Layne, and producer John Carpenter. We get information about the adaptation of the original film and changes made along the way. They address the characters, the backstory, the depiction of the fog, and other issues. Despite the pieceís brevity, it acts as a pretty good look at story topics. It runs through them briskly and offers nice details.
The 10-minute and four-second Seeing Through the Fog includes comments from Wainwright, Carpenter, Foster, and actors Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, and DeRay Davis. We learn a little about the origins of the first flick, finding a director for the remake and Wainwrightís take on it, casting, location shooting, and the concept of horror remakes. After the pretty good ďWhiteoutĒ, ďSeeingĒ seems much more ordinary. It lacks insight and just rehashes some basics that donít do much to inform us.
Finally, Feeling the Effects of The Fog goes for 14 minutes, 27 seconds, and it presents notes from Wainwright, Foster, Carpenter, special effects coordinator Bob Comer, key prosthetic makeup effects Toby Lindala, visual effects supervisor Chris Watts, and visual effects designers Greg and Colin Strause. As indicated by the title, this show focuses on effects. We learn about creating the fog elements, ghost/leper makeup, CG enhancement of these pieces, and various other effects work.
The featurettes end on a positive note with this tight program. It covers many different effects topics in a solid manner. It runs through the highlights with reasonable depth and detail, and it also fills out things in an interesting manner. It never becomes too technical or geeky. Itís a nice piece.
The DVD opens with a few ads. We get promos for The Da Vinci Code, Underworld Evolution and The Legend of Zorro. These also appear in the Previews area along with trailers for Memoirs of a Geisha, The Pink Panther (2006), Monster House, Rent, Zathura, Underworld, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Cave.
A remake of The Fog could have improved upon the original. I liked John Carpenterís 1980 edition but certainly didnít find it to be without flaws. Unfortunately, the 2005 rendition is a complete dud that makes its predecessor look brilliant. Never scary, spooky or even remotely intriguing, the remake turns out to be a boring mess. The DVD offers very good picture and audio along with an erratic package of supplements. While we get a pretty good DVD for The Fog, I simply canít recommend a movie as terrible as this one.