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The Fog (1980)

  Tags: 80's, Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Cyphers, ghosts, Hal Holbrook, James Canning, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, John Carpenter, John Houseman, Nancy Kyes, Pirates, small town, The Fog, Tom Atkins, Ty Mitchell

Your rating: None Average: 7.1 (12 votes)
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John Carpenter
89 minutes
Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, John Houseman, Tom Atkins, James Canning, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Kyes, Ty Mitchell, Hal Holbrook

With the success of the classic Halloween, the duo of John Carpenter and Debra Hill knew they wanted to do another film, but didn't want to go the same slasher route as Halloween did. Instead, they came up with the idea of a mysterious fog somehow terrorizing a town. When the rough cut of the film was done it apparently wasn't scary enough for viewers, so Carpenter went back in and added additional scenes; more scares involving the pirate-ghosts within the fog, a prologue, and more to the climax. In the end it made the movie more powerful and better overall. I admit the fog does have its eerie moments, but I wouldn't go as far as to say the film was scary.

The plot is basically about a Northern California fishing town that one day gets plagued by a mysterious fog that sweeps in and causes all sorts of strange-doings. Apparently within the fog lies the restless spirits of pirates that once stayed ashore. A golden item of theirs was supposedly stolen and hidden within the town, leaving the ghosts to return in search of it; killing everyone and destroying everything in their path. It's up to a handful of townspeople to discover the source of the problem and put a stop to it before it's too late.

Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis returns as one of the lead females, playing a young hitchhiker who gets a ride from Tom Atkin's character; and not-long-after sleeping with him. This being her second feature-film role she was seemingly becoming the next scream queen, before ending abruptly in '83 with the Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd comedy Trading Places. Jamie's mother Janet Leigh also stars in the film adding to the cast of familiar faces (or so we learned over the years as John likes to reuse the same actors in his movies). The mother-daughter team also returns to horror in 1998's Halloween: H20, which was sadly one of Leigh's last films before her death.

Writer/director John Carpenter has done a number of original and interesting films over the years, and from all those I have seen, this ranks at one of the lowest. Although I did find this movie interesting, it does tend to drag on a bit and just didn't do anything for me in terms of scares. There are a couple scenes that were somewhat creepy thanks to the use of fog and lighting, but that's about it. I still enjoyed the film's originality. Recently it was announced that Hollywood will continue its remake frenzy by adding The Fog to the list. Creators Debra Hill and John Carpenter will most likely just be taking a producing roll in it. I'm just hoping that with this remake there will be more cool fog action involved.

A decent flick, but a little slow. Worth a check if you're looking for something different or if you're fan of Carpenter.

Posted on June 15, 2010 - 11:38am | FrighT MasteR