The Fog

release year: 1980
genre: horror
viewing setting: home DVD, 10/8/05

synopsis: The little coastal town of Antonio Bay is celebrating its 100th anniversary - but there are dark secrets buried in its past, and during a single terrible night, they come back to haunt the living.

impressions: This is one of my all-time favorite horror movies. No surprise, with John Carpenter directing. The idea of an unknown terror within fog/mist is nothing new, but this may be its most successful implementation on the big screen. What we've basically got here is homicidal, hook-wielding ghosts that go wherever the fog goes. On this one night, the fog invades the town. I like the constantly-hammered-home point that the fog equals death; there's just no doubt about it. You run, or you die. Several groups of characters end up in the same place, trying to figure out what's happening and why, while also surviving.

things to watch for: Any of the fog-moving-in moments where people are suddenly in great danger.

something this movie has that no other movie has: Fog that kills.

acting: Adrienne Barbeau is a DJ who figures out what's going on (if not why.) Tom Atkins and Jamie Lee Curtis are sort of the other main characters, who realize what's happening and why, and drive around either running from the fog or trying to save people. Hal Bolbrook is the priest who unearths a dark secret. Charles Cyphers is an obnoxious weatherman.

final word: Great atmospheric horror movie, one of Carpenter's best.

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