aka John Carpenter’s The Fog
90 min., 1980
Written by John Carpenter/Debra Hill
Directed by John Carpenter
My rating: ★★★★
A really darn good movie that still holds up
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An old man is telling a ghost story to a bunch of kids about a boat that was caught in a fog and saw a fire on shore, thinking it was a spot for landing they crashed and died and it’s said that they will return to get their revenge. It’s now one hundred years later and the town is going on as normal until some strange things start happening. Cars are starting on their own, phones are ringing for no reason and a strange fog is rolling in. While this is going on, Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau), a radio DJ, is helping to keep people who are up late entertained while at the same time giving out weather reports to the sailors out on the sea. We then meet Nick Castle (Tom Atkins) while he is driving his truck, and then he picks up a hitchhiker named Elizabeth Solley (Jamie Lee Curtis) and they get to talking. After a bit of back and forth and for no reason the windows of the truck blowout and they start to think that something might be going on, especially after they get back and find out that one of his friends’ fishing boat is empty.
Adrienne Barbeau does a great job as a worried mother and overall “protector” of the town. Trying to give information to everyone in town while at the same time trying to get someone to help her son is a bit strange, but she pulls it off without a problem. Tom Atkins is really good as the “hero” of the movie. His character comes off as caring and strong in the same scene with no trouble. Jamie Lee Curtis is pretty good in the movie but there are scenes where she is just trying way too hard and it looks more comedic that serious or it looks like she’s acting instead of just being the character. The main scene where this happens is when they are in the truck and she is trying to drive away, just terrible. It could have been a really great scene but her acting is just rotten in it.
The fog effects are actually really good (for the most part), especially when it’s bellowing into the town and it starts to cover everything. When it’s used in the far away shots, it looks really bad and pretty darn fake, but when it’s in really close or right outside a door it looks really good. Now the pirates are another thing that is a really great part about the movie. For the most part you barely see them, even at the end none of them are really in any clear view. You can make them look however you want and that helps to make it a bit more immersive.
This is a good movie as a whole with a few sore spots here and there, but nothing that makes you want to turn off the movie or really even make too much fun of it. The back story of the town is a really nice touch showing that they aren’t just mindless pirates and that there is a reason why all this is happening, giving more than just a bland “they’re coming to get us for no reason” plot, which tends to happen way too much in movies nowadays. Good acting and good effects make a good movie (duh!).Have You Read...?