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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Fog: My Favorite Horror Movie That's NOT About Zombies (per se)

What is it about John Carpenter's THE FOG that has me enslaved so? Year after year I drag this movie out and watch. Recently (within the last couple of years), we upgraded to the widescreen DVD after our tired VHS tape started to ripple. It was like a whole new world. I hate pan and scan but when we bought the video, full screen was the only option.

So what is the allure?

First, I imagine it's a combination of the ghost story element--I'm a sucker for the John Houseman retelling of the ship that goes down in the rocks off Spivey Point--and the historical small town with secrets piece. DEAD AND BURIED had this feeling, THE STEPFORD WIVES, too, to an extent. Further back we've got Shirley Jackson's THE LOTTERY and, of course, King's SALEM'S LOT.

You've got this cast with great chemistry--they play it a bit over the top, but this is horror and you expect it, crave it--Adrienne Barbeau has never done better work, before or since. Jamie Lee Curtis is there simply for the scream, otherwise, it's all Barbeau!

Of course, there is something innately creepy about fog. Who hasn't had the experience of seeing something in a particularly dense bank? I remember driving home from a friend's--this was during high school--and the fog was so thick I thought someone had run across the road in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and swerved. Rolled down the window. No one was there. Creepy.

Plus, you've got this multiple narrative going on that pulls together at the end, tight as piano wire. And the scenes. Jesus! The lighthouse is classic horror no matter how you slice it.

Turn off the lights, let's watch the trailer.



Oh shit, did I mentiont the pirate ghosts? It's got the PIRATE GHOSTS!

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