Dry run for Prince of Darkness, both movies kicking off with a priest finding a hidden book. It’s said that when the fog returns, ghost sailors will rise up in revenge for some lighthouse-related incident that sunk them. This is of particular concern for Adrienne Barbeau, a radio DJ who broadcasts from the old lighthouse, and for drunk priest Hal Holbrook whose grandfather stole the dead sailors’ gold.

DJ Barbeau:

It’s all nice looking, but feels almost British in gathering a gaggle of actors for a pretty okay ghost story, or like a “John Carpenter for Kids” TV movie since its framing device is ol’ ship captain John Houseman telling stories around a campfire. Who else we got: Jamie Lee Curtis, typecast as a hitchhiker, picked up by good guy Tom Atkins. Janet Leigh is celebrating the town’s anniversary with Halloween regular Nancy Kyes organizing. The weatherman is named Dan O’Bannon, heh.

Curtis and Atkins:

Leigh and Holbrook:

So soon after watching Stacy Keach play ugly in Fat City, I get this extremely appealing starring role. As a solo trucker with a dog/dingo he drives across Australia keeping himself amused, until he finds a couple new interests: hitchhiker Jamie Lee Curtis and a possible mass murderer. Not even horror despite Criterion’s classification, but a loose bag of semi-genre delights. Echoing Kenji Fujishima: “After seeing this, I’m actually a bit more curious to see Franklin’s follow-up to this, Psycho II.”

Happy to have watched a pre-backlash advance screening. The classic conundrum of wanting to see this again to catch more details, but not wanting to see this again since it won’t get better than the first time. I try not to be an 80s Nostalgia Kid, but reading Vulture’s interview with Ke Huy Quan made the movie hit much harder. The few Son Lux tracks I’ve heard from Joyful Noise have been skippable, so why is this soundtrack so good?

So many details to talk about in this movie, but the main thing I’ll remember is, after the whole twisty, backstabby mess, when Chris Evans has been taken away for murder (one provable, two attempted), that final shot of Ana de Armas (the hologram-girlfriend in Blade Runner 2049) with the “my house/my rules” mug. The nazi child was Jaeden Martell of Midnight Special – so the second time he’s played Michael Shannon’s son. The silly-ass state trooper is Noah Segan, a Rian Johnson regular since Brick. Murdered Fran is a Groundling, Shannon’s wife is from Garfunkel and Oates – lot of comedians in the cast, but most everyone plays it straight against eccentric detective Daniel Craig.