Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Fog

Only took 26 years, but better late than never.

Yes one of the few directorial John Carpenter movies I haven't gotten to and after hearing a lot of good word of mouth and praise for this movie, I must admit I wasn't disappointed. Even though I knew the basic premise, it's basically a ghost story come true for a sea side town when a mysterious glowing fog envelops the town with vengeance seeking mariners as people try to survive, it still worked incredibly well. Obviously with a title like The Fog there is going to be a lot of emphasis on atmosphere rather than gallons of blood, and the seaside California scenery is incredibly beautiful and now comes the part where I bow down to Dean Cundy who was the cinematographer for this film and also The Thing. Sweet God is this man a master of his craft, there is so much I want to commend him for in this film alone but don't have time for. The lighting, camera placement, and exposure is excellent, able to make a frame completely engulfed in fog not look flat or boring or dull. The pacing couldn't be better, this film flies by at about 90 minutes and some people could complain there isn't too much character dynamic or not enough meat on the bones of the story but I didn't take issue with it. Adrienne Barbeau is our star as a disc jockey in a lighthouse reporting on the fog, as we meet other character who are slowly piecing together this mystery of what the hell is happening. I practically had a grand time just picking out the references here. John Carpenter himself makes a cameo in the beginning of the film, Tom Atkins before Halloween 3 makes an appearance whose character is literally named Nick Castle (ha ha ha), Jamie Lee and her mom Janet both have parts, Nancy Loomis is in the movie, Rob Bottin who made the effects on The Thing come to disgusting reality worked on the effects here and had a small part, Waitely and Arkham which are both Lovecraft locations are names of the surrounding ares, there's a credit to a Dr. Phibes in the credits, and even a nice nod to classic poem turned Iron Maiden epic Rime Of The Ancient Mariner is briefly brought up. It's just this strange microcosm of John Carpenter's work in one film, and I really did love it. It's not at all bloody or grotesque but still got an R rating, much like Halloween did 2 years earlier but it's a visually rich film and lord knows how they got all that fog to work as well as they did outdoors and even on set, try manipulating something that requires nature to make it work. The score is also one of the best horror film soundtracks I have heard since It Follows, like it is that damn good and I do want every track. I give it 3.5 stars, 8/10, very basic in story but has a different kind of power over the horror masses. Next time, a more obscure Carpenter film.

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