Night #31: The Fog (1980)


Directed By: John Carpenter

Look for the fog.

Well I was going to do a big buildup and maybe suggest that I watched Halloween and then you were going to be shocked that I watched this instead and we were all going to laugh about about it but there’s no avoiding that, taking a little break from tradition, I watched The Fog

I understand that John Carpenter made the quintessential Halloween movie and all that, but don’t sleep on this one. I know I’ve covered it before (And his other classic numerous times) but I think my list this year was lacking in a ghost story so why not take a look at one of the best ones (I had previously tried to cover The Haunting in this but it was surprisingly hard to find a copy of it).

It’s funny, for some reason I always remember the opening scene as something that just sets the tone and independent of everything else that comes later. In it, an old man tells a group of kids a campfire story of an old legend that happened exactly one hundred years ago and I always think of the rest of the movie as being the story he tells, despite the fact that one of the kids he’s talking to is a son of one of the main characters. Put it down to my fading memory I guess.

One thing I’ve never forgotten is how strange it is that Jamie Lee Curtis and patron saint of my life, Tom Atkins, end up sleeping together right after meeting. Curtis isn’t playing a teenager here as she did in Halloween but there’s still a real clear age difference between the two. For some reason, she decides to stick around town in the midst of some strange goings on, though after the movie ends I can’t imagine she decided to stick around.

On the other side of town is Adrienne Barbeau, getting a rare starring role as the local DJ. In what is basically my dream job she whispers into a microphone and plays some smooth easy listening. She spends about 90% of the movie relegated to the lighthouse she broadcasts out of and never actually gets to meet the other characters, which is a rarity for any movie actually.

The reason I love this so much is that it seems so suited for the season. It’s a little hokey at times but then it’s a hokey time of year and the chilly atmosphere adds to the chilly atmosphere outside. I love Halloween as much as the next person, but it’s sometimes obvious in that movie that it’s shot in the middle of summer. This makes you want to grab a blanket, light some candles, dig out your pumpkin spiced drink of choice and turn off all the lights. And for those of you out there who want to bring their kids up on some horror, it’s totally kid-friendly (Or maybe suitable for adults who get scared a little easy).

And with that, it’s over. Another year ended. 31 movies covered. Some were great, some were just good and thankfully very few were awful. There’s some that I’m going to add to regular rotation and some that probably need a bit of a rest. I’ve seen more slashers than I care to (Yes that’s my fault and I accept that, slashering is just the mood that took me this time around) and as always I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by the choice out there. Yes, there’s been some repeat viewings over previous years but I figure if I can find something to say about them then it’s alright.

Writing these things isn’t always easy, sometimes at the end of a long day the thoughts just aren’t coming and honestly for about half of these I’ve thought of something interesting to come up with the next day but by then it’s all too late and what has been said has been said. I’m certainly not going to go back and George Lucas my reviews, as tempting as it is.

I had intended to have some other things planned to go along with this but life got in the way as it so often does. But that’s ok because the great thing about all this is that it comes around again. So October is in the books and I hope it’s been a frightful one for you. Be safe dear reader and I’ll hope to see you again next year for another 31 nights.



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