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302 066 697 2

Artwork copyright (c) 2005 Revolution Studios Distribution Company, Ltd.; review copyright (c) 2005 James Southall



Effective synth effort, though it's hard to like


Despite their "cult status" and devoted fan followings, few of John Carpenter's films actually made very much money except for Halloween, so it's somewhat surprising to see the current trend of Hollywood remaking them (with massively larger budgets but no noticeably better results).  After Assault on Precinct 13 comes The Fog, a remake of his 1980 film about a killer fog containing deadly zombies.  (It's not clear whether or not it's a true story.)  The original had Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis; this one has Tom Welling and Maggie Grace (no, me neither, before you ask).  It did surprisingly well at the box office, though one would be hard pressed to find anyone who actually liked it.  (No doubt it won't be long before there's another remake of a Carpenter "classic"; I look forward to the 2006 version of Ghosts of Mars.)

Bizarrely, after scoring the Assault on Precinct 13 remake a few months earlier, Graeme Revell was again engaged to score The Fog.  Like that score, it's been released on CD by Varese Sarabande, but unlike it, it's entirely synthesised.  The score provides a mix of atmospheric suspense music and action sequences (with the balance favouring the former).  The expensive synths are sometimes used, disappointingly, as a fake orchestra, though the quality of samples for the strings and brass are surprisingly good; action cues like "It Wants Us" and "Boathouse" are certainly effective.  The suspenseful material is no less effective, though it doesn't work so well on an album; the twinkling piano is a nice (if familiar) device and provides just the right mood.

There's a piece of romance (sort of) in the pop-infused "Shower Love"; and some other lighter passages later on.  The first real hint of warmth appears in "The Fog Recedes", the standout piece on the album.  Revell makes the most of his synths (though the predictable drum loops are becoming a truly tired device in scores like this) but one can't help but feel the music would sound a lot better if an orchestra had been involved.  That said, for all its flaws it is more impressive than Carpenter's own cheap, amateurish score for the original film.  Fans of modern horror scores will certainly enjoy it, as will fans of the composer; more casual listeners may find it harder to take. 

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  1. Prologue (2:31)
  2. God's Country (:44)
  3. Anchor Lockup (1:51)
  4. It Wants Us (2:20)
  5. The Hallmark (1:27)
  6. Shower Love (1:12)
  7. Elizabeth... (2:52)
  8. Boathouse (1:36)
  9. Statues (2:00)
  10. Lights Out (1:31)
  11. Island History (1:43)
  12. The Search (3:18)
  13. Burned Image (:46)
  14. It's Here (3:39)
  15. Crime Aboard (2:42)
  16. Tragedy on the Elizabeth Dane (3:18)
  17. The Reckoning (1:50)
  18. The Fog Recedes (1:41)
  19. Epilogue (1:17)