A Quick Clearing of “The Fog” (1980)

The below is not a review of “The Fog.”  It is, rather, a set of thoughts about the movie that have been loosely arranged for reading.  Enjoy (or not.  whatever.)

Opening this week in select theaters is a 4K restoration of John Carpenter’s “The Fog.” Having watched an online screener of the film, which was not in 4K, I cannot comment on the look of the film that screens this week, but I can say that nearly 40 years after the film’s original release (it came out in 1980), it remains a solid horror movie.

Starring Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, and Jamie Lee Curtis, “The Fog” works so well because it is a simple tale told well.  It is a story involving the past and the lies we tell ourselves and the damage those lies can do.

Very little really happens in “The Fog.”  It is so much more about building an atmosphere.  It is about slowly and surely setting the audience up for any scares and/or reveals down the line.  When the reasons behind what is going on are revealed, it is tremendous. It is a single moment that flips our understanding of everything and yet still manages to make it all the more horrifying.

Not everything John Carpenter directed turned out to be a brilliant movie.  But many (most) of them cause you to stop and think after the credits have finished rolling.  The questions range from “how did he do that” to “where did that idea come from” and “wow, so you mean that really it was…”

That is what movies should do.  I don’t know that the specific questions asked coming out of a film matter as much as the act of wondering itself.  The best movies aren’t the ones that just blow you away in the theater, they’re the ones that continue to amaze after you leave.  “The Fog” does just that.  It is a minimalist ghost story  with a powerful message.

Hopefully you’ll get the chance to check out the 4K screenings and that the restoration is a good one..  It is a dark, thoughtful, smart movie and deserves a wonderful treatment.

photo credit:  Rialto Pictures


Categories: Random Thoughts

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