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“People still say to me that was the scariest movie I’ve ever seen,” said Adrienne Barbeau, one of the stars of The Fog.
While the film didn’t make the splash that director John Carpenter perhaps would have wanted, the movie is a cult classic and was even remade years later.
“There’s something more frightening to me in some ways when you can’t personify evil,” Carpenter said, speaking about the mysterious fog that set the stage for this scary 1980 flick.
1. It reunited the Halloween team.
Halloween was a definitive movie in the horror genre and a “labor of love” according to Debra Hill, who co-wrote it with director John Carpenter. The project cost approximately 320 thousand dollars and grossed $55 million. Halloween starred Jamie Lee Curtis, who made her film debut in 1978. Two years later, her second picture was The Fog, also co-written by Hill and directed by Carpenter.
2. It’s inspired by a true story.
The inspiration for the film came thanks to a foggy day in England. Carpenter asked Hill what she thought was “in there” and the idea began. The story also drew from a true story from the 1800s where townspeople deliberated wrecked some incoming ships in order to plunder the gold. Carpenter was also influenced by Tales from the Crypt, a comic book series which often had corpses rising from the dead.
3. Jamie Lee Curtis got to work with her mom.
Janet Leigh, of course, starred in one of cinema’s scariest hits, Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. So it seems fitting that her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, found a big hit with Halloween. “I became a John Carpenter fan when I saw a screening of Halloween,” said Janet Leigh, and she even told Carpenter that she’d be interested in working with him. Curtis and Leigh also acted together on screen years later in Halloween H20. “I think the fascination with ghost stories is that we love to be scared,” Janet Leigh.
4. Reshoots helped up the scary.
After they finished filming, they screened the movie for the executives, who didn’t feel that it was scary enough. “We tore it apart and put it back together again,” Carpenter said. With the deadline fast approaching, they did several reshoots to raise the stakes and capture the scares and the mood. Some scenes that were added included the ghost attack on the boat, adding a jump-scare with Curtis’s character, the morgue spook, and Adrienne Barbeau’s top of the lighthouse scene.