Next up in our Halloween series here we’re going to the man himself: John Carpenter. His 1980 film The Fog is certainly a spooky delight, as are most of his films. This may not be the last of his on this list, just because he’s downright prolific. And for good reason. But that’s enough of me putzing around talking about Carpenter, let’s get to the film.
The Fog takes place in Antonio Bay, CA at the time of its 100th anniversary. At midnight on the anniversary paranormal things start take place. It turns out the town was built on gold stolen from a leper ship they sank to keep them out. A heavy fog rolls into the town, as does the ghost of the leper ship, the Elizabeth Dane. The ships ghostly crew is out for revenge on the ancestors of those that sunk them 100 years ago, and things are about to get bloody.
Quite honestly The Fog works so well as both a classic ghost story and as a violent bit of fun for its time. The simplicity of the concept and the heavy fog effect really give it a memorable nature that sticks with you. Coming after Carpenter was already known for films like Assault on Precinct 13 and Halloween this one really helped cement him as a great director. The film also features scream queens Jamie Lee Curtis and (for my money the original) Janet Leigh who give great performances. The film was remade in 2005, with some mixed results really. But for my money you’ll want to see the classic, and add it to your Halloween viewing list!