Fog Warning


IMDB summary

by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I happened to watch this obscure 2008 micro-budget horror film only because a friend of mine and his son were involved in the project. (The friend was "executive producer," the son acted in a minor role.) Some of the reviews and comments on the internet caused me some trepidation before I fired it up, but many of those comments turned out to be unfair. Fog Warning was a pleasant surprise. The idea of the film is original and the acting is at least competent in all cases, and in at least one case, excellent.

A small town is being terrorized by a series of gruesome murders in which the victims appear to be drained of blood. An obese loner who manages a comic book shop thinks he has solved the crimes. He is convinced that an artsy local woman is an immortal vampire. After all, how else could she know so much about the past? (He has apparently never heard of any non-comic books.) He concocts a scheme to get rich from the situation. He will kidnap the woman, get her confession on camera, then sell the tape to the hungry news media.

He does manage to kidnap her, and then imprisons her in an antique circus cage which is stored in the attic of an historic old house he is supposed to be house-sitting until the owner can get it declared a national treasure. Unfortunately for him, he is unable to coerce her into a confession, so he enlists the aid of two thugs. They are equally inept as  interrogators, but one of the brain-dead conspirators has a younger sister who is naive, vulnerable and chatty, and the three kidnappers conceive a plan to get the putative vampire to talk to little sis.

Meanwhile, the lives of the characters have not existed in a vacuum. The wheels of the real world are grinding around them. Police are searching for the missing woman, and other people are visiting the historic house.  In fact, the best thing about the story is that it does exist in the real world. In fact, it's not really a horror film at all, once the film gets into the nitty-gritty of the story, at least not in the sense that there is any supernatural evil involved. There are no real vampires, and the kidnappers gradually become aware of that, so they gradually become aware that they have trapped themselves in a situation which will cost them a lifetime prison sentence, since they have been imprisoning and torturing a random woman. This realization leads them into ever more desperate actions, including murder, to cover up their activities. At the same time, the caged woman is driven ever deeper into madness from her imprisonment and from the realization that the boys are killers who cannot possibly set her free if they are to avoid prison. She becomes as desperate as her jailers, and that makes her even more dangerous than the vampire she was thought to be. These forces must eventually collide, with violent consequences for ...

Well, you'll have to figure that one out on your own.

The film can be rough around the edges. It has some continuity problems, and a few flat line readings, but I never felt that the flick was a waste of time, and I was rarely taken out of the story by the flaws. The script has a few interesting ideas, and is consistently faithful to its premise. The completed film can claim a surprisingly excellent lead performance from Elise Rovinsky as the kidnapped woman. I don't know how these novice filmmakers persuaded an actress of her caliber to participate in this local New Haven project (she also stars in director Christopher Ward's only other film, so there may be some kind of personal connection), but her steady competence makes several scenes work very well. That alone would have lifted the project to a higher level than anticipated, but she wasn't alone. Some of the other performers, like Cuyle Carvin (as a brutal but handsome thug), Michael Barra (the comic book guy) and Jackie Shea (the little sister) have also gone on to steady employment in the industry. Barra even had a small role in The Amazing Spider Man!