The 1980 original by John Carpenter
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Were the zombie/ghost pirates various victims other than Father Malone just random people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time or were they descendants of the people who had betrayed the lepers a hundred years ago? This actually ends up being a huge plot point in the remake, where it is said that the ghosts were specifically targeting the descendants of their betrayers.
- Fridge Brilliance: The timing of the stone falling out of the wall in Father Malone's study isn't just due to it being midnight: it happens immediately after Malone has brushed off his employee's request for pay. The wrecking of the lepers' ship happened because greedy men sought to profit from the unfortunate. The ghosts may have been watching Father Malone for any sign that the townsfolk had reformed, and his thoughtless act of wage-theft showed them that they hadn't.
The 2005 remake
- So Bad, It's Good: The film can be considered this, when not being considered completely awful.
The unrelated book by James Herbert:
- Crosses the Line Twice: The boarding school scene, in which a bunch of boys engage in an orgy of sexual sadism and murder. When some of the staff decide to join the fun, it gets worse.
- Harsher in Hindsight: As Stephen King points out in his nonfiction book Danse Macabre, the subsequent events at Jonestown, Guyana are eerily reminiscent of this scene:
There were hundreds – could it be thousands – of people climbing down the steps to the beach and walking toward her, toward the sea! Was she dreaming?....The people of the town were marching in a solid wall out to the sea, making no sound, staring toward the horizon as though something was beckoning to them. Their faces were white, trancelike, barely human. And there were children among them; some walked along on their own, seeming to belong to no one; those that couldn’t walk were being carried. Most of the people were in their nightclothes, some were naked, having risen from their beds as though answering a call that Mavis neither heard nor saw...
This was written before the Jonestown tragedy, remember. In the aftermath of that, I recall one commentator intoning with dark and solemn sonorousness, “It was an event that not even the most darkly fertile imagination could have envisioned.” I flashed on the Bournemouth scene from The Fog and thought, “You’re wrong. James Herbert envisioned it.”
- King's remarks in Danse Macabre: