One hundred years after their deaths, ghosts in a Californian coastal town have returned in a mysterious fog for revenge.
Simple. Simple, elegant, tight. A great straight forward ghost story from one of the true masters of the horror genre. John Carpenter's The Fog (1980) gets less attention and respect than Halloween or The Thing, but it's a real treasure for those who have seen it. The set pieces are tense and well crafted, the ghosts are truly scary and the cast (Andrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Liegh, and Tom Atkins) is strong and entertaining.
I first saw The Fog on late night TV and on a tiny set. I sat on the edge of my bed glued to the set with a notebook in my lap treating the movie like a master class (rightly so), trying to figure out how to tell frightening stories. I was in love with the movie and it scared me so bad there was no way I was sleeping until the sun came up.
While Halloween remained my favorite of Carpenter's films (and favorite slasher) The Fog's minimalism and classic ghost story feel, not to mention another great score by Carpenter himself, was a cut above the standard horror fare and stood out at the dawn of a decade that was dominated by the cookie cutter slasher genre. Carpenter would go on to greater acclaim in '81 with Escape From New York and in '82 with The Thing, but The Fog is that overlooked middle child that really deserves every bit of attention as it's older and younger siblings.
Keep watching the sky, nerds!