Sunday, October 13, 2013

Film Review: The Fog (1980)

The Fog (Review)
United States/1980
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!*

"It's a classic, eerie campfire ghost story."

As the town begins to celebrate its 100th birthday, a mysterious, glowing fog sweeps over the town of Antonio Bay. Along with the fog arrives a group of vengeful ghosts of mariners who were killed 100 years prior.

The Fog follows Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau), a radio DJ tracking and experiencing the fog herself, as well as Elizabeth (Jamie Lee Curtis), a hitchhiker who gets caught in the town's situation. It begins with a creepy campfire ghost story, followed by a montage of supernatural events around the town -- furniture moving alone, car alarms set off synchronously, pay phones going off, etc. The fog creeps around its targets choking them in a claustrophobic and blinding fog until it finally decides to strike, seeking vengeance for their unjust deaths 100 years prior. Stevie, Elizabeth and company must avoid the supernatural fog, while attempting to stop it. The ending was heading south, but luckily it pushes forward for a pretty badass ending.

The Fog is an atmospheric and suspenseful horror film. It's a classic, eerie campfire ghost story. This is a well-rounded horror film blending everything one could every want. A film that oozes style with an immersive atmosphere. Suspenseful buildup before every kill, the fog itself working as a menacing tool for the ghosts. On that note, the ghosts are usually creepy silhouettes in the fog, and get even creepier as the film progresses. It's almost like a very effective supernatural slasher -- in fact, I'd say it is a fantastic supernatural slasher! And, it's very consistent from beginning to end.

The acting is all-around great. Adrienne Barbeau delivers a wonderful performance, really embodying a late-night DJ. Jamie Lee Curtis is also fantastic, but has limited screen time. However, there is a little lack of character, so there isn't much to work with when it comes to acting. The cinematography is also fantastic; although some scenes can be too dark, the lighting blends well with the heavy use of fog to create some elegantly eerie scenes. The soundtrack is also excellent in creating a spooky atmosphere -- one of my favorite horror soundtracks in general. John Carpenter gets credit for his great directing, slick writing, and superb soundtrack.

Overall, The Fog is a very creepy and effective horror film; it's spooky, scary, and very entertaining, and offers a fantastic cast and soundtrack, as well. There isn't much character, but that can be forgiven as it doesn't hurt the film much. I highly recommend this often overlooked chiller.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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