- Kate Wolford
Kate's Picks: The Fog
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This week's pick: The Fog
I’m not a fan of gory movies. They seem so unnecessary to me. Ugh! Why do we have to see all the blood and viscera? Is it because the writers and directors lack the imagination to ratchet up the fear with a taut story line and psychological creepiness? I have no idea, but I do have a horror film recommendation from way back that you might have missed.
It’s “The Fog,” from 1980. (The less said about the film from 2005, the better.) A solid hit when it was released, the movie only got so-so reviews. Yet, In the 40-plus years since its release, “The Fog’s” reputation as an enjoyable ghost story has risen in the estimation of both fans and critics.
The film is set in … oh what the heck, I’ll let Wikipedia do my job:
The Fog is a 1980 American supernatural horror film directed by John Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay and created the music for the film. It stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, Janet Leigh and Hal Holbrook. It tells the story of a strange, glowing fog that sweeps over a small coastal town in California, bringing with it the vengeful ghosts of mariners who were killed in a shipwreck there 100 years before.
There is some blood and gross stuff in the movie, but it disappointed fans of “Halloween,” which was released only two years earlier, because they came looking for a lot more blood. Instead, you get great performances and a sense of real doom and peril. Adrienne Barbeau is especially good as Stevie, the DJ whose little boy is in danger. Beloved Jamie Lee who is a baroness in real life—did you know?—plays a hitchhiker named Elizabeth who helps save … better not tell you more.
(Note: I should admit that while I genuinely dislike gross out horror and slasher movies, I absolutely adore the first “Halloween.” It tells a great story, and compared to later slasher films, it’s not even very gory. And Jamie Lee Curtis is excellent in it.)
Having both Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee, mother-daughter scream queens extraordinaire, in the same movie was a bit of genius stunt casting, and the movie has a cheesy brightness to it that signaled what ‘80s horror movies would look like in the coming years. It’s a fun little film.
So in this season of scares, give “The Fog” a try. It probably won’t terrify you, but it will entertain you. And who doesn’t like a good, spine tingling ghost story?
Until next week, stay enchanted!