When the identify John Carpenter comes up, folks normally consider his most well-known movies – Halloween and The Factor. That is for good purpose; each had been revolutionary for his or her time and took the style of horror in instructions it hadn’t seen earlier than, and influenced the plethora of horror creators that got here after. Nonetheless, Carpenter has a filmography that extends far past the few movies that he’s most recognized for, and he directed a lot of different actually attention-grabbing and provocative movies.
One among these is The Fog (1980), which was really the subsequent film he made post-Halloween. The Fog is a brilliantly atmospheric film that doesn’t need to rely on jumpscares for its spookiness, opting to as a substitute construct pressure slowly and have the viewer vaguely unsettled for the entire movie, till issues actually come to a head within the third act. Plus, this film’s plot includes a city cursed by a bunch of undead sailors who’ve come again to take revenge. What’s to not love?
Antonio Bay is a small coastal city in California that’s about to rejoice its one hundredth anniversary and is a reasonably peaceable and uneventful place. That’s till a thick fog begins rolling into city, bringing death with it. The story begins with Father Malone discovering his grandfather’s diary hidden within the partitions of the church. The diary reveals that in 1880, the six founders of Antonio Bay (considered one of whom was Father Malone’s grandfather) deliberately sank a clipper ship named the Elizabeth Dane to be able to be sure that its rich however leprosy-afflicted proprietor (Blake) wouldn’t begin a leper colony close to the city. They then plundered gold from the ship and used it to discovered the city.
Again within the current, a fishing boat out at sea is enveloped in a wierd, glowing fog. The fishermen are attacked and killed by the reanimated corpses of Blake and his crew, who’ve come to take revenge in town for what was accomplished to them. Whereas that is occurring, a person named Nick picks up a hitchhiker named Elizabeth, and the windows of his truck shatter on their approach to city. That is an prevalence that continues to occur throughout city in the course of the subsequent few nights; the fog typically brings with it the shattering of glass, signaling the arrival of the sailors.
The city radio DJ, Stevie, has a younger son named Andy, who’s out taking part in close to the water when he spots a chunk of gold on the rocks. When he will get nearer, the coin turns into a chunk of wooden with the phrase “DANE” written on it. Andy provides this to his mom, who doesn’t believe his story of the transformation, however takes it along with her to the city lighthouse the place the radio station is ready up. She units it on a tape participant, and the wooden mysteriously begins to seep water, inflicting the participant to quick circuit. The phrases “6 should die” seem on the wooden earlier than it bursts into flames. When Stevie places out the fireplace, the wooden as soon as once more reads “DANE”, and the tape participant begins to work as common as soon as once more.
All of those occasions arrange the tone of the movie, which is paced slowly at first to create thriller and pressure. The viewers is aware of that the incoming fog is a menace, and is ready to put collectively why the sailors are taking revenge, however the characters are at first unaware of the danger that the fog causes, which creates an eerie ambiance the place the characters might be caught unaware.
The spookiness of the movie additionally comes from the truth that the sailors themselves are barely seen till the ultimate climactic battle. Earlier than that time, all of the viewers sees is an arm with a hook raised within the air earlier than killing somebody, or a darkish form dragging somebody into the fog. This aura retains the undead sailors feeling unreachable and cryptic. In a single notably tense sequence that feels like a precursor to The Shining, Stevie’s son Andy is in his room, trapped because the fog envelops the home and the sailors enter. He’s frozen on his mattress with concern because the sailors start banging on his door attempting to get by way of, till Blake’s hook smashes by way of the door one piece at a time. The concentrate on that door because the hook emerges from it’s a chilling picture, and makes the viewer concern much more for Andy.
One other memorable factor of the movie is Stevie’s radio broadcast. Because the host of a radio present that’s housed within the lighthouse on the sting of city, she is ready to monitor the fog because it creeps in direction of Antonio Bay. She tries to warn the residents of the city and succeeds in getting the eye of Elizabeth and Nick, main them away from the hazard. When the fog surrounds her own residence within the aforementioned scene the place her son is trapped in the home, she screams frantically into the microphone for somebody to go to the home and save her son, desperately attempting to get anybody’s consideration. Once more, since Elizabeth and Nick are listening, they can get to the home simply in time, however there is something incredibly creepy in regards to the scenario Stevie is put in, the place she is ready to monitor the hazard headed for the city however is, in her personal manner, trapped and unable to do something about it apart from warn folks.
The ultimate sequence includes the principle characters holing up on the church because the undead sailors method. They’re nonetheless in search of revenge for his or her murders, and nonetheless crave extra demise from the city. The characters primarily must battle off a bloodthirsty zombie sailor horde, and among the sailors even encompass Stevie on the radio station, who’s pressured to climb onto the roof of the lighthouse to be able to escape them. It is a incredible, tense sequence that was really added in reshoots as a result of John Carpenter worried that the film wasn’t scary enough with out it. Simply because the characters suppose they could be secure, as they notice that solely 5 folks have died by the hands of the sailors who wished 6, the movie ends on a closing twist that actually brings the entire thing collectively.
What makes The Fog so good, and especially perfect for the upcoming Halloween season, is the ambiance that it creates. It is a few small city that’s primarily being haunted. It has previous curses, a thick, creepy fog, and murderous zombie pirates. It isn’t all the time fast-paced, however that works effectively to make the story extra tense. It isn’t overly terrifying or gory and is only a good watch on a cold fall evening when you’re within the temper to be mildly creeped out, and nonetheless get pleasure from a well-made movie that positively appears conscious of its personal occasional camp.
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