The Fog (1980)

One of John Carpenter’s lesser-known works, The Fog is nonetheless an excellent example of his visual and cinematic skill. Like with many of Carpenter’s works, The Fog struggles a bit with its script and pacing, but more than makes up for it with the visual motifs and special effects that, while they may not have aged particularly well, were excellent for their time and remain striking on screen. Like its opening scene, The Fog is a late night ghost story, a tale of betrayal and revenge and lingering debts that asks – though doesn’t quite answer – exactly how culpable are people for the misdeeds of their ancestors? Should six innocent people die in penance for the horrific crime their ancestors committed a hundred years ago? Especially if it was a crime motivated by greed and prejudice, from which they all ultimately profited? An interesting question, but one that neither The Fog nor its unfortunate remake (which shall not be spoken of) really answers.

Though not a radical game-changer like some of Carpenter’s other works, The Fog is a solid piece of filmmaking and should be celebrated. Go watch it. See where the genre learned its tricks.

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