Jesse Gall

Flashback Review: The Fog (1980)

In Reviews on June 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Seeing how inclement weather has played quite the villain tonight, I thought I would repost a little movie review I did a few months ago to kick off a series of flashback movie reviews. The Nine To Five article was the second in the series.

Recently it has come to mind that perhaps my generation isn’t quite as clever as we think we are. Maybe we don’t know it all and maybe everything from our era isn’t the best. Maybe gas prices used to be cheaper and maybe the world felt safer. Maybe movies were better and maybe horror films weren’t rampantly turning into ludicrous torture-porn like “Hostel” or “Saw.” Maybe.

The only truly accurate way to find out is to look back at a time less familiar. So I think that’s what I will do. In an effort to better understand the ways of the past, I have decided to begin a series of articles re-reviewing films that have, unfortunately, been forgotten by time and a large majority of my lolzspeak-generation. And what better way to begin this series than in the 80’s with the classic 1980 John Carpenter film: “The Fog

I had never seen “The Fog,” and if you’re like me, the only thing you really knew about it was that it was remade into another movie you never saw in 2005 with that guy from “Smallville” and Selma Blair. Weird.

Set on the coast of Northern California, a mysterious fog quietly rolls in on the town’s 100th birthday, carrying something evil inside. As the fog carries onward, people begin to die ultimately stirring local radio personality Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau) to shriek across the airwaves and into cinematic history “There’s something in the fog!”

Though not exactly “Halloween” or “The Thing,” “The Fog” gives a decent effort in being an outstanding horror film. The pace is slow and menacing, like horror used to be, adding suspense to each quietly disturbing moment and Carpenter doesn’t spoon-feed his audience, which really is quite nice. It’s interesting to watch movies from a director who doesn’t assume his audience is made up of Twizzler-eating idiots.

Carpenter tells the story well and his actors help to paint the picture, but the whole thing is left feeling a little underwhelming. I have no issue with the style, which varies drastically from modern horror films. I was just a little confused about the bad guy. (SPOILER) The local priest, played brilliantly by Hal Holbrook, reveals that 100 years before, six men decided to kill a very wealthy leper and all the members of his colony, and it was with that money that the church and town were able to be built. Now, the lepers are returning to kill exactly six people in vengeance.

Alright. First, I didn’t know that lepers were really all that wealthy. I’ve kind of always thought of them as poor and beggar-ish. Perhaps I’m wrong. Second, Carpenter tells us that lepers are the bad guys but what he actually shows us in the fog are zombie sailors with hooks and swords. There seems to be a discrepancy here. The leper sailors have no consistency whatsoever. Sometimes they slowly and menacingly knock at the front door and sometimes they just break through it. I didn’t think that ghosts even had to use the door. I mean, they’re ghosts.

With a little more simplicity this film might have been great, but it wasn’t. It was good though, which isn’t terrible. Definitely worth watching if you’re into getting a little more in touch with your retro-film side. I mean, at least now I can make obscure references to John Carepenter’s 1980’s leper/ghost/sailor/zombie horror film “The Fog.”

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  1. I loved that movie,its alot better than the second one.

  2. […] Seeing how inclement weather has played quite the villain tonight, I thought I would repost a little movie review I did a few months ago to kick off a series of flashback movie reviews. The Nine To Five article was the second in the series. Recently it has come to mind that perhaps my generation isn't quite as clever as we think we are. Maybe we don't know it all and maybe everything from our era isn't the best. Maybe gas prices used to be cheape … Read More […]

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