The movie that woke my interest in cinema when I was a kid. The wide, precisely framed daylight scenery plus the Tourneurian atmosphere (the fog, the constant sense of menace) struck a nerve then and fortunately still arouses the same juvenile excitement now. The music, the glowing blue and white reflected in the coastal houses at night, the editing, it all works like a wonder. So American too.
Surprisingly great horror flick, very moody and will slowly suck you in! It's not one of John Carpenter's more well known movies but it's just as great as anything else he's done. MUCH much better than the remake they put out a few years ago. This is classic horror at it's finest, not big on blood or guts but big on creepiness and slowly clawing into your head.
SPOILER WARNING: I don't even usually review these kinds of films because I think they are dumb, but John Carpenter is cool anyway. The story goes like this: Some dead guys come back to life after 100 years because they want revenge. They are ghouls and they kill people with cargo hooks and swords. The priest gives them their gold cross and they go away but not without causing a bit more trouble first. The End.
Classic Carpenter. Lean & economical, there isn't a wasted shot in the film. The cinematography is absurdly great and it is an amazingly atmospheric film. Well acted and, as others have said, Hawksian, & feminist; a model Hollywood horror film.
Unlike The Carp's less Hitchcockian-suspense flicks, the atmosphere here and in Halloween is much more uneven. As the film's nighttime scenes often make unease creep up the spine... but akin to seeing Myers in daylight, it dissipates in the sunlight. Even the scare pieces aren't as smart, being either silly and/or of the false/jump scare variety. Carp's best paranoid and/or campy, both of which, came a bit later.
Rewatch on a whim...the fog itself is sinister enough as a story element of cosmic horror, so it's a little disappointing to see the ghosts (or wraiths, or zombies, or whatever they are) personified, and the intro tacked-on in order to turn it into more of a 'campfire story.' Love the empty beach town setting, and the score -one long dirge- is probably the best Carpenter ever wrote.