31 Days of Terror - 'The Fog' (1980)
31 Days of Terror will cover a wide array of horror films leading up to Halloween. We'll be posting our thoughts and feelings on some of our favorites every day for the next 31 days. If your favorite doesn't make it, it doesn't mean we don't like it, so speak up in the comments below!
#31. The Fog (1980)
John Carpenter's The Fog is an often over-looked and in my personal opinion, underrated classic. The film released back in 1980 to mixed critical reception, but it's definitely one that deserves another look.
For those not familiar with the story; The Fog is about a small coastal town that has to deal with the threat of an incoming supernatural fog filled with murderous seamen who died in a shipwreck exactly one hundred years ago.
Carpenter has a way of setting the scene with immersive establishing wide-shots and engrossing atmospheric music. The seaside town of Antonio Bay is a character all its own due to Carpenter's adept camera work The secluded nature of the town makes the incoming fog all the more ominous and threatening. You'll also recognize a few familiar faces that you probably didn't remember were in this film. This was Jamie Lee Curtis's second film with John Carpenter, you'll also recognize Tom Atkins whose been in quite a fair share of older horror flicks. Then, of course, we have the instantly recognizable Adrien Barbeau and Hal Holbrook.
Of course, the film's not perfect; certain characters here make decisions that rank among the most incomprehensible and dumb decisions I've yet seen in a horror film. Why does everyone feel the need to open the door when there is clearly someone sinister on the other side? Who knocks on doors like that? And in the middle of the night? Whatever. The film is still effectively creepy during the night-time sequences, and the practical effects hold up. I love the final designs of the corpse-like ghosts with their gleaming red-eyes and fish hook weapons and swords. I also appreciate the fact that they don't try to make logical sense of why these creatures exist, it's just accepted.
The Fog is no where near the top of my horror list, but its got great atmosphere, good actors and some interesting creatures that can be effectively creepy due to the firm direction of Carpenter. Give it a look!