The Fog (1980)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Fog</strong> (1980)

(On DVD, September 2018) Appropriately enough, The Fog is very atmospheric—the portrayal of a small coastal town being besieged by a supernatural fog carrying ghostly avengers is very well made, and count for much when the script struggles to make sense. After Halloween’s success, director John Carpenter was still trying out the breathing room allowed by slightly bigger budgets and the added scale of The Fog does count for much. It’s always a pleasure to see prime-era Adrienne Barbeau on-screen, and she does have a fascinating role here as a local radio DJ able to keep watch on the town but being unable to do much about what she sees—there’s some genuine suspense fuelled by her inability to be there to protect her son as she sees the fog engulf the town late in the film. Otherwise, the script does fall a bit apart when you look at it closely—and there’s an inevitable let-down when the mysterious fog gives way to more ordinary murderous undead pirates. (Wow, it sounds so unfair when I say it like that…) Still, The Fog is a better-than-average film for its era, exploring something slightly different and indulging in the possibilities offered by its blend of premise and location. It’s memorable for the right reasons.

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