"What happens when you cross breed a slasher film with a classic ghost story"
John Carpenter may have slipped in his later years, but movies like the fog remain timeless horror classics. This film scared the unholy shit out of me when I saw it at 14. I slept with the lights on for at least a week. Obviously, it doesn't have the same effect on me now, but it remains a highly entertaining horror/suspense story.The entire story is foreshadowed in the opening five minutes, as a grizzled-looking old sea captain (John Houseman) tells a group of kids a scary late-night story on the beach, around a campfire. The story is about the Elizabeth Dane, a ship bearing a leper colony to the Antonio Bay area to settle down circa 1880. The ship was lost in a thick fog, but was lured towards the shore by a false fire, set by conspirators who apparently didn't want a leper colony in their backyard. The ship broke apart on the rocks and all were lost. It is said that when the fog returns, the crew of the Elizabeth Dane will return with it, seeking vengeance.
And, of course, they do, but not before all kinds of wierd poltergiest-like activity happens around town. When the fog does roll in, it brings a crew of shadowy figures bearing swords and meat hooks, who are made all the more terrifying by the fact that they never speak and you never see any real details of their features. They are faceless killing shadows, and creepy as hell.
Most of the cast, including Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, her mom Janet Leigh, and Tom Atkins, do a competent job. No golden globe winners, but no laughably bad acting either. They play it straight and, unlike the victims in most teeny-slasher films, we actually give a shit if they make it through or not."The Fog" works because of its classic ghost story elements and horrific atmosphere. Those lepers are a creepy bunch, and their captain, who is only ocasionally distinguished by his saber and glowing red eyes, was enough to keep a teenage boy awake at night, and can still give a grown man the creeps.