i been lazy this last week but now i'm come back. So everybody now is turn for the next movie in this Carpenter project and we meet this time with:
This is yet another really strange Carpenter and being honest it was one of the movies i wanted to rewatch (until i got lazy). didn't remember much of this but i can said i was really impresed the first time or i got that impresion
For starters there is this typical and for now enough talked Hawks element. But here the characters are not surrounded until the very end and impressively the movie is not so "cinematic" driven like is literary. So i was really impressed when i note this time that just like "In The Mouth of Madness" (hopefully i will get there someday xD) is pure Lovecraft, this movie is pure Poe, in fact we star with one quote from him
And we enter in this tale that the marine says to the kids, the quote is apropiate because funct like a way to emphsize this meta-cinematographic recurse, we are in a tale inside another tale. But later on one of the kids will be one of the main characters and will tell part of this to his mother, so the question is. We are into a tale? or what we see is the reality?. This seems another hot topic in Carpenter filmography, to note: in what can we trust? wich is more subtle if you think about it and is heavy related with his constant political critic.
Then we get a build for the attack from The Fog, very similar to the one in Halloween, with a very little difference. This time there is not a real protagonist, there are simultaneous stories happen at the same time like a way to introduce and explain motivations. Wich is great, because again, we are in this subtle world were the story and the motivations are what matters so is useless to focus on someone and lose the important idea here. And like in every great movie, you get things by omission, the relation between characters his resolutions or what is in their minds, for example in the constant shots of the sea (in wich is another Subtle and constant Poe reference) trying to see the Fog. This is specially important in the horror department because follow the "Less is more" rule and is successful to get the public constantly invested in what is happening, this goes so far that, like almost always in Carpenter, even the Murders are shot out of frame or with enough darkness to not see completly what is happening (Just like in the Halloween murders)
And behind all of this you get again the ironic political reference. The cynism about a town born with blood on his hands, celebrating his anniversary and success based in his original sin, and the revenge that this sin is going to end with. Amazing reference to.... well i suposse everybody get it xD.
For the other side, all this structure is damaged in some aspect by the portray of the fantastic elements, wich is sad. All this subtle elements and omission that build suspense will be a lot better with the Fog being just as subtle and mysterious, instead you get this ghost-creatures that came from The Fog and killed the people, wich destroys all this fantastic tone created across the build, transforming something mysterious in obvious and logical, breaking all the structure.
By all accounts and reading some stuff i understand that Carpenter had to shot 40 minutes more of film to replace some thing because he wasn't really happy with the movie, and i can understand that he probably has to introduce this kind of elements because comercial obligations but still hurts the final product.
Finally i always has been celebrating the way in wich Carpenter ends his movies, but this time is something a little conservative. This extraordinary political metaphor is destroyed because this ghosts came to peace with the town after payback when there is no possible payback, you can't restitute the lives lost, and even when the fog came back, why forgive the other people?
Next Movie: 1997: Escape From New York
1- Assault on precinct 13
3- Elvis (TV film)
4- The Fog
5- Dark Star