Picks and Pans Review: The Fog

updated 02/25/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/25/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

All the ingredients of a classic horror movie are here—ghosts, corpses that return to life and, best of all, an eerie, supernatural fog that envelops a seaside hamlet in California. Even as the credits unreel, clocks stop, car windows shatter, TV sets turn themselves on and off. That opening may be a little too reminiscent of Close Encounters, but this is still a doozy of a chiller—an intricate tale of intrigue and terror stirred by a century-old shipwreck. Director John Carpenter doesn't miss a grisly trick in his infinitely more polished follow-up to his 1978 fear-jerker, Halloween. His real-life wife, Adrienne Barbeau, heads a strong cast as a sultry-voiced disc jockey of a radio station situated on a Big Sur-like cliff. Janet Leigh co-stars, while John Houseman and Hal Holbrook pop up briefly but effectively. The denouement is overwrought with not-so-special effects, but for a project that, in contrast to some recent sci-fi flops, creeps in on little cat feet, The Fog is sure to leave some mighty big paw prints on the genre. (R)

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