"The Fog (1980/Collector's Edition Blu-ray/Scream Factory)" Review

Review: John Carpenter is one of my all time favorite directors and that is due to him being able to take a classic theme and making something special. One case of him doing that is the film I have here to review The Fog. Carpenter takes the classic ghost story and makes it into a fantastic horror film that is filled with plenty of suspense as well as phenomenal atmosphere. Now I can't say this is one of his lesser talked about films, but I can say I think some people I have talked with about it tend to underrate it and not quite give it the respect it truly does deserve. That's not to say that everyone has to love this film of course.

The Fog follows the sleepy seaside village of Antonio Bay that is about to learn the true meaning of the word "vengeance." For this seemingly perfect town masks a guilty secret...a past steeped in greed and murder. Exactly 100 years ago, a ship was horribly wrecked under mysterious circumstances in a thick, eerie fog. Now, shrouded in darkness, the long dead mariners have returned from their watery grave to exact a bloody revenge. To me that is a truly great plot for a throwback film to the golden era of gothic horror. I am glad that they did go with the anniversary happening in a modern setting instead of it taking place say in the 1800's.

The cast of this film is top notch like you'd come to expect from a John Carpenter film. There are many iconic actors/actresses in this film, some of them are Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Tom Atkins (Halloween 3: Season of the Witch), Hal Holbrook (Creepshow), and John Houseman (The Paper Chase) to name just a few. With those cast members plus the many other great one you cannot go wrong. There really was no bad performances by anyone, each actor/actress was cast into the perfect role for their abilities. I of course love seeing Tom Atkins on screen no matter what film it is in even if it is a not so great remake. He is just one of those great actors that can steal the scene they are in. I also loved the performance from Adrienne Barbeau, she is a damn good actress and horror seems to be the perfect genre for her.
Like I had mentioned before the atmosphere is phenomenal and really helps bring the feeling of impending doom. It may sound obvious but I think the way the fog rolls in really helps to add to the atmosphere as well as the properly placed music. Another thing I will say is that it was great that they made the living dead dark and mysterious and did not show their faces. That added amount of mystery made it that much more creepy if you ask me. The camera work is excellent as well and does seem to have that style that you see in alot of John Carpenters other films, he really knows how to use the whole from properly.
Now when it comes to the overall look of this release Shout/Scream factory have done an amazing job once again. The picture quality is very high and is exactly what I have came to expect from their releases. The film grain is still intact and the picture looks quite sharp with the occasional very tiny bit of damage, but nothing that really is distracting. The darks are deep and the colors are bold. The audio is great as well and you have a choice between either a 5.1 HD Audio or a Stereo 2.0 HD audio. Like you would also expect there is a good amount of special features that help to round this release off. Overall this is a damn good release that fans of the film will be please to own.

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: John Carpenter
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year: 1980
Time Length: 90 mins.
Company: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)