JOHN CARPENTER’S THE FOG- A FORGOTTEN CLASSIC

LAST NIGHT I CAUGHT THE FOG ON ITV4 AND IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FAVOURITE OF MINE BUT MY DVD IS IN A BOX IN THE ATTIC SOMEWHERE. NOT GENERALLY KNOWN AS ONE OF CARPENTER’S BEST FILMS, I WONDER WHO EXACTLY WAS WATCHING IT BECAUSE FOR ME, IT IS GENUINELY ONE OF THE BEST HORROR MOVIES EVER.

EVERYTHING IS PERFECT IN THIS FILM WHICH SEES GHOST PIRATES SEEK REVENGE FOR BEING MURDERED 100 YEARS PREVIOUSLY BY KILLING THE EXACT NUMBER OF COUNCIL CONSPIRATORS THAT CONDEMNED THEM.

JAMIE LEE CURTIS IS CAST AS THE HITCH HIKER CAUGHT UP IN THE TERROR. INDEED ONE OF THE MOST FRIGHTENING SEQUENCES SEES HER ALONE IN A ROOM WITH A WALKING CORPSE, SCALPEL IN HAND AND HE’S COMING UP BEHIND HER. YOU ARE SCREAMING AT THE SCREEN FOR HER TO RUN.

CARPENTER SETS THE ATMOSPHERE FROM THE FIRST SHOT AS THE OLD MAN TELLS A GHOST STORY ON THE BEACH, THE STORY OF THE MURDERED PIRATES WHICH GIVES THE MOVIE AN ALMOST FAIRYTALE/POE FEEL TO IT. THEN THE SIMPLE CREEP AS CHAIRS MOVE BY THEMSELVES AND CAR HORNS TRIGGER IS SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE. SOMETHING IS COMING.

THE WIDE LANDSCAPE SHOTS ARE POWERFUL, DRAPED IN FOG AND DULL WEATHER EVOKING A LONELINESS AND FEAR YOU, THE VIEWER WILL BE LEFT ALONE IN THIS VASTNESS WHEN THE PIRATES COME. IT SENDS A CHILL AND STEEPS YOU IN THE ATMOSPHERE, ESPECIALLY AS THE FOG HORN SOUNDS LIKE A TORTURED SOUL.

I COULD GO ON BUT I’LL JUST LIST WHY THIS IS SO GOOD, NOT ONLY IN STORY BUT A CINEMATIC TRIUMPH.

1 THE STORY IS ROCK SOLID.

2 THE DOUBLE BLUFF AS A DEAD BODY FALLS FROM A LOCKER.

3 THE PIRATE SHIP AS IT DOCKS ALONGSIDE THE HELPLESS TRAWLER.

4 THE DESOLATE LANDSCAPE WITH THE FIG HORN SOUNDTRACK.

5 THE ADRIENNE BARBEAU’S STORY THREAD IN THE LIGHTHOUSE AS THE FOG ATTACKS THE TOWN. SHE IS MAGNIFICNET AS A SOLE VOICE IN THE NIGHT AND THE ISLAND’S ONLY HOPE OF LETTING THEM KNOW WHAT IS COMING.

6 HER BATTLE WITH THE PIRATES CULMINATING ON THE ROOFTOP.

7 THE PIRATE KNOCKING ON THE DOOR IN SILHOUETTE WITH A SCYTHE AND DISAPPEARING AS THE CLOCK SHATTERS AND THE DOOR IS OPENED.

8 THE ATTACK ON THE HOUSE AS NICK SAVES  THE KID AS A PIRATE SLOWLY TEARS HIS DOOR APART, ONLY FOR HIS TRUCK TO BE STUCK IN THE MUD AS PIRATES SURROUND THEM AND ROTTING HANDS REACH FOR THEM.

9 FATHER MALLONE AS HE FINDS THE JOURNAL OF HIS ANCESTOR AND LEARNS THE TOWN’S DARK SECRET.

10 THE FINAL CHURCH BATTLE AS THE FOG LITERALLY COMES ALIVE, SWALLOWING THE STREETS AND SMASHING THEIR WAY INTO THE CHURCH VIA LIGHTS AND HANDS SMASHING THROUGH WINDOWS. SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE.

11 THE SHOTS OF TH FOG AS IT LITERALLY CONSUMES THE TOWN AND ADRIENNE BARBEAU’S TERRIFIED LOOK AS THE FOG SWOOPS OVER A HILL TOWARDS THE LIGHTHOUSE.

12 THE MUSIC SCORE, AGAIN, SETTING A DESOLATE, MOURNFUL ATMOSPHERE.

13 THE FACT THAT NON OF THE CHARACTERS ARE DUMB AND GO TO THEIR DEATHS LIKE IDIOTS, THEY ARE GENUINELY TRAGIC AND YOU CARE FOR THEM, FOR FUTURES LOST AND POSSIBILITIES UNSPOKEN.

ALL IN ALL THE PERFECT HORROR MOVIE TO WATCH WITH YOUR LOVED ONE. TH REMAKE WAS CRAP AND MISSED THE POINT OF THE ORIGINAL, IT’S NOT A LOVE STORY, IT’S A STORY OF JUSTIFIED VENGEANCE AND THE SINS OF THE FATHER. IN THE END, THE GHOSTS WERE RIGHT AND THERE AREN’T TOO MANY MOVIES YOU CAN SAY THAT ABOUT. SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE, WORKS EVERYTIME

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