THE FOG (1980)
Article 5394 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by John Carpenter
Featuring Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
What it is: Vengeance from beyond the grave
100 years ago, a ship of lepers on their way to a new colony crash on the rocks due to a conspiracy of six men, and this ends up providing the basis for the founding of a seaside town called Antonio Bay. At the town’s centennial, a fog creeps into the town… and in the fog the ghosts of the dead arrive to seek six victims for vengeance.
This was John Carpenter’s theatrical feature film follow up to his phenomenally successful HALLOWEEN, and if my memory doesn’t deceive me, it wasn’t as well-received as the earlier movie. This is the first time I’ve seen it, and I do have to admit that of the Carpenter movies I’ve seen to this point, this was the most disappointing. At least part of it is that the characters aren’t as engaging this time round; I didn’t find myself really caring about anyone enough to have a strong emotional investment in their fate. I will admit that it has the best performance from Adrienne Barbeau I’ve seen to date, but I was particularly disappointed in Hal Holbrook’s performance; his character never really develops the dimension it needs to be compelling. It makes some good use of sound and silence, and there are some creative moments, but it never got my pulse racing, and there are moments I found myself waiting for the movie to just get on with going where I knew it was going. And as far as horror movie cliches go, there’s really not a whole lot of difference between not being able to turn over an engine and being stuck in the mud.