The Fog/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Fog

For John Carpenter, following up the success of Halloween had to be a stressful affair. In creating "The Fog," Carpenter did many things right. He brought back the screechingly charming Jamie Lee Curtis and added her mother to the cast, to boot. Then he enticed the bodacious Adrienne Barbeau to the project and the talent roster was complete.

But the real major player in "The Fog" is the fog itself. Always menacing, creeping like a shadow, and hiding whatever horrors have come upon this small hamlet.

Carpenter is a genius with using things like darkness, shadows and fog to sustain the horror. He chooses to keep the terrors from view and instead, lets them lurk along the corners of your eyes. "The Fog," like Halloween before it, largely lets your imagination do all the heavy lifting and the result is a crawling sense of uneasiness that will leave you tense even after the credits have rolled.


"The Fog" is basic horror. It slipped in before the slasher films really took off, relying on atmosphere and a compelling story to deliver the chills rather than million dollar effects and gallons of Hollywood blood.

A hundred years ago, the founding fathers of this coastal community tricked a group of lepers into crashing their ship and spilling their gold into the sea. Since that fateful treachery was undertaken, the fog returns to the hamlet to seek out descendants of those betrayers. Within the fog is horror that you cannot always see. Which, of course, is the beauty and danger of fog.

Each time I watch this movie, I am struck at how effectively Carpenter casts his spell. Five minutes in, you'll smell the salty scent of fog and feel its chill upon your skin. After that, it's 90 minutes of Carpenter magic, accompanied by the nails-on-a-blackboard scream of Jamie Lee, and the encroaching unpleasantness of the fog.

Reviewed by Biohazard

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