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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 24: The Fog

The Fog
Can I use your phone...OW!

John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors. His list of fantastic movies include Halloween, The Thing, and Escape from NY. He has a knack for storytelling, great atmosphere and creative shots. I have seen many of his other films multiple times, but I figured I would give one I had never seen before a try. Unfortunately, it did not live up to his other films.

The Fog stars Adrienne Barbeau (Creepshow, Escape from NY) as radio DJ Stevie Wayne, Jamie Lee Curtis (Trading Places, Halloween) as the hitchhiker Elizabeth, Hal Holbrook (Creepshow) as Father Malone, and Tom Atkins (Creepshow, Escape from New York) as Nick Castle. Set in the small fishing town of Antonio Bay, California, townspeople are plagued by a mysterious fog that rolls in from the ocean. Father Malone discovers a diary from his grandfather, revealing the six founding members of the town deceived a wealthy leper named Blake, looting and sinking his ship. The characters must survive the fog, the deadly secrets it hides within, and find out how to stop it before Antonio Bay is destroyed.

The Smashing Pumpkins keep getting weirder

The Fog is your classic supernatural revenge story. Someone has been wronged and now, through otherwordly and not wholly explained means, they have come back to gain revenge and claim what belongs to them. Carpenter does a good job of making something as silly as fog seems scary. He smarty conceals the fog creatures to keep an air of mystery to them. It's no secret that the movie was made on a very small budget, but it still manages to work. There are some good scenes of violence and gore, keeping up with the early 80's gorefest of horror movies that were coming out.

The problem is that the story feels fairly rushed. Beyond a quick explanation, there really is much more else to go on. The viewer is bounced between a few too many characters, not giving us enough time to really connect and care for any one of them. Most horror movies stick with a core group of characters that you follow from beginning to end, giving you time to learn who they are, what they are about, and why you should care. The Fog bounces us around between Stevie, Father Malone, Elizabeth and Nick, and secondary characters not even worth mentioning. The acting is fine all around, but you can only do so much screaming and yelling before it comes off as silly.

 This next song goes out to all you Fog lovers out there

Overall, The Fog has its moments, but just doesn't reach the same level as other John Carpenter movies. Some good gore and violence keep the viewer entertained and the story has its merits, but it felt very rushed and showed it's limited budget. Carpenter even re-shot 1/3 of the movie because it didn't live up to his standards and later said that The Fog was “a minor horror classic.” Its still worth your time to see because it is a cult classic, but don't expect to get your socks knocked off.


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