Retro Review: THE FOG (1980)

Been awhile since I’ve written a review, hopefully I’m forgiven with this John Carpenter Classic? – Bleeding Dead

THE FOG stars the town of Antonio Bay rather than a specific person or persons, as the small ocean based town has a dark uprising. An iridescent fog is haunting the town’s centennial anniversary, but what’s in the fog is more horrifying than the blinding mask they’ve hidden in. Witching hour radio host Stevie Waynes is the first to warn the town of the approaching weather condition but is unbeknownst to what lies in the fog. When local fisherman Nick Castle finds his friend and entire crew missing from their boat he begins to question what really happened. Its not until Father Malone though discovers a dire secret about the town’s birth and the people responsible that The Fog’s true nature becomes real.

THE FOG is chilling ghost story that captured my interest, usually I doze off when trying to watch an Instant Watch on Netflix (Not sure why?) but I was awake for this and it felt almost cozy in the fishing town of Antonio Bay. The ghosts are fairly spine-chilling despite their red glow in the dark eyes, Carpenter has appropriate direction in pacing how much of them we are allotted before the end. Suspense is a relevant and beautifully laid out facet in the film, the score hitting at the appropriate moments. However; this is a film with the obscenely large Stargate plot holes. Deaths and appearances of ghost don’t make sense in relation to the story, faulty of Carpenter second guessing himself. But for the most part I didn’t notice until after the film ended and it doesn’t stain the appearance too much in my opinion.

The film is led by a talented cast. Aidrienne Barbeau is the late night radio host who turns her voice in a soft sensual thrill for the fisherman out at see. Where Jamie Lee Curtis is the drifter who makes a temporary home with Tom Atkin’s Nick. Legendary shower victim and Curtis’s mom, Janet Leigh, is head of the town’s centennial celebration. The people of the town felt oddly common and realistic, that’s not to attest that the cast is unattractive by any means. They just didn’t bleed that young Hollywood fakey perfection, as opposed to baby Superman’s 2005’s version. Carpenters regular DP Dean Cundey captures the small fishing town as well as creates a haunt to THE FOG. Cundey has one of the most impressive resumes in film photography I’ve seen, ranging from three of the Halloween films to Jurassic Park. Simple shots where the fog slowly coats the screen are effective, attribute to both Carpenter and Cundey. And of course I love the use of colors in the fog.

The ending was not my favorite part of the film to say the least, I didn’t care for how they got every character of focus and shoved them into the church with the, lets be honest, cliche alcoholic priest. But up until then I loved every aspect of the film, is it wrong that I want Nick and Liz to be together?  Characters trump plot in importance to me and because of the down to earth and homey feel to these characters I can forgive some of the odd plot contrives. THE FOG has become one of my favorite Carpenters, it’s not a perfect classic but a classic no less.

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