"A tight and nasty ghost story with familiar faces and some nice gore."
Yeah, I'm a big sucker for John Carpenter. I love almost all of his movies. This is yet another in the 'I fell in love with this movie as a kid and I still do today' series I have. It's a simple and quite effective little horror movie that still stands up quite well today.Antonio Bay is celebrating their centenial birthday. Unfortuntely for the citizens, their quaint little town was built with gold stolen from a leper colony. If that wasn't bad enough, the town ancestors also killed the whole crew of lepers after robbing them blind. Well, they're back, and now they're like these leper-ghost things that were also underwater, so they're squishy too.
Lots of horror movies faces on hand for this one: Jamie Lee Curtis, her mommy Janet Leigh, Adrienne Barbeau, Hal Holbrook. Hell, even Annie from Halloween (Nancy Loomis) shows up. Then there's John Houseman in the opening scene, telling the ghost story I mentioned above, only scary.
The pack of ghosts travel in this really great glowing fogbank that simply swallows the town whole. It lends a great touch of claustrophobia to the movie, plus the fog just looks really cool all lit up and sweeping through the streets.
Our various characters have run-ins with the ghostly mob and some lose various loved ones. (I personally had nightmares for weeks about the death of the old lady babysitter.) Our survivors end up at the town church, where they begin to unravel the mysteries about the nasty and terrible crimes their forefathers committed to a quiet bunch of wealthy lepers.
The Fog works for lots of reasons: The actors all play it straight, and nothing TOO ridiculous happens, so there's a firm grasp on reality. (Yes, a reality that includes wet ghostly lepers, but still.) John Carpenter directs the whole thing at a brisk clip, never dwelling on a particular character or incident. And Carpenter's music, wow. I seriously doubt that I'd remember this movie so fondly without the musical soundtrack being what it is. In his best movies, his music adds the backbone that supports the whole show.Perhaps more creepy than actually scary, but the overall package works for me. When the ghosts get the fishermen inside their boat, or when that corpse gets up in the morgue, I just smile. Even if John Carpenter never matches the quality of movies like Halloween, The Fog or The Thing again, he still stands as the best horror director around.