The Fog (PG-13)

Horror 100 min. October 14, 2005
By Craig D. Lindsey
With the latest Halloween sequel/revamp/whatever currently in theaters, audiences might be inspired to dip into the filmography of the franchise’s founding filmmaker, John Carpenter. Rialto Pictures is betting on that, rereleasing Carpenter’s 1980 ghost story The Fog in a 4K restoration.

The movie doesn’t necessarily hold up in the gonna-scare-the-hell-outta-you department, and there’s a strong possibility Carpenter would agree. Working on The Fog, unsatisfied with a rough cut, he shot and reshot scenes to amp up the gore and terror. And even though he worked, defiantly, in the anamorphic 2.35:1 format, its budget makes even the most intense scenes appear cheaply shot on an obvious soundstage.

There are some perks in watching this B-movie that has aged like a bottle of Shasta. A big one is Adrienne Barbeau, Carpenter’s then-wife, as the vixen-voiced, radio station DJ/single mom who tries to warn the residents of a sleepy, beachside town of the danger of a glowing cloud. It’s filled with vengeful — and dead — leper mariners ready to kill some people. We also have Halloween hero Jamie Lee Curtis reuniting with Carpenter as a spunky hitchhiker who immediately hooks up with one of the residents (Tom Atkins) and aids him in getting to the bottom of this strangeness. Psycho’s Janet Leigh, Curtis’ mom, also shows up as a town organizer who helps at the 11th hour.

So, even amid all the campy, uneven creepiness The Fog unleashes, you have to give it up to Carpenter for continuing his knack of making women just as ready as men to get into heroic, survival mode whenever some strange shit goes down.
Rupert Wainwright Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, DeRay Davis, Rade Serbedzija, Kenneth Welsh, Adrian Hough, Cole Heppell, Jonathan Young, Sara Botsford John Carpenter, Debra Hill David Foster, John Carpenter, Debra Hill Sony Pictures

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