The Fog - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fog Reviews

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June 23, 2017
The Fog is an excellent film. It is about the legend that says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers, which no one believes. Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh give amazing performances. The script is well written. John Carpenter did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the thrills. The Fog is a must see.
June 4, 2017
its john carpenter what more do you need
May 31, 2017
I just watched "The Fog" for the first time ever and I have to say it was an okay movie. I found that it was a little slow at times and some things where predictable but at the same time it kept me interested throughout the movie. The actors all did a great job and the ending of the film was good.
May 31, 2017
I just watched "The Fog" for the first time ever and I have to say it was an okay movie. I found that it was a little slow at times and some things where predictable but at the same time it kept me interested throughout the movie. The actors all did a great job and the ending of the film was good.
May 14, 2017
To bad most horror movies today are not like this.
½ May 8, 2017
John Carpenters ode to ghost stories. Reminiscent of old black and white horror flicks of the drive in era. It's a creepy good time, highly recommended.
April 10, 2017
Exceptional film. Cheesy at times, however keeps the twists and turns in what is a very good film
April 6, 2017
Saw this on a foggy night when I was 14, I didn't sleep well that night!
March 17, 2017
It's as ludicrous as you'd expect - the menacing fog is rolling in! Of course, I was hoping for something a bit more kitschy from John Carpenter in 1980. Even his typical propulsive score is mostly absent, exchanged for some jazz played by Adrienne Barbeau's dj character or some more brooding ominous sounds. The fog is rolling in! More specifically, inside the fog are some gruesome zombie-like 100-year dead ghosts with nasty hooks who are looking for the descendants of those who killed them back in the day at the very founding of this California town. But everything is too slow and the stars (including Jamie Lee Curtis, her mum Janet Leigh, Hal Holbrook, Barbeau and some relative unknowns) have to strain to look frightened. Barbeau seems to know in advance what's going on for no real reason (she is up in her radio station lighthouse broadcasting warnings) - so, a few plot holes too. It looks good on blu-ray but I wouldn't say it has much else going for it. Carpenter has better films from which to choose.
November 16, 2016
If there's one thing John Carpenter always gets right, it's the way he consistently creates an unnerving atmosphere. In The Fog, Carpenter does this once again, turning a sleepy coastal town into an almost dreamlike setting as the mysterious titular fog slowly engulfs the town in grey. Not unlike Jaws a few years prior, Carpenter keeps the horror shrouded and hidden from view: what lurks behind the fog is largely left to the imagination, which always works for the horror genre. Carpenter masterfully frames each shot, with everything in frame being there for a reason: in fact, Dean Cundey's cinematography is expansive and vast, even for such a contained film. Even better, it's not just unnerving without any substance: an eerie opening scene of John Houseman's character delivering the backstory of the fog sets up everything that's yet to come, and gives the film an appropriate sort of campfire story flair to it. Where The Fog stumbles is in the character department. The characters encountering the fog are never developed very fully, making them kind of hard to find any relatability or sympathy in aside from the fact that we know we're supposed to. Carpenter has never been a very character-driven director, but it's a bit disappointing that the same amount of thought that went into the worldbuilding of the film didn't seem to go into the characters and their personalities. Fortunately, this isn't quite enough to bring down The Fog as an overall product: the master of horror is simply too masterful to allow for that.
November 2, 2016
Atmospheric ghost story that might not make you jump out of your seat every 5 minutes, but it has mood and creepiness to spare. The cast is fantastic, featuring Carpenter alums like Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Nancy Loomis, and Tom Atkins, as well as Hollywood legends like Hal Holbrook, Janet Leigh, and John Housman. Beautiful photography by Dean Cundey and a spine tingling music score by John Carpenter help make this one of the best "modern" ghost stories I've seen. Highly recommended.
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2016
A highly underrated horror gem by the great John Carpenter. So many great scenes and the score is one of Carpenter's best.

Delivers relentless unpretentious thrills from beginning to end.
½ October 20, 2016
The inhabitants of a sleepy California town are assailed by a supernatural fog that creeps in upon the date of the community's centennial. This fog conceals an invasion of undead lepers whose brutal assaults are connected to a dark secret buried in the town's early history. Producer/co-writer Debra Hill reunited with director/co-writer/soundtrack composer John Carpenter for this movie after the preceding Halloween amassed a considerable profit; like that film, The Fog builds suspense at a slow burn while it puts a lot of its scares into what's implied rather than what's seen. John Carpenter made better films before and after he shot The Fog, but it's still a minor gem in the annals of exploitation genre movies.
October 13, 2016
Not one of my favourite John Carpenter films but none the less a solid horror. Always the great mans original soundtrack is spot on and adds to the aesthetics of his films.
October 7, 2016
¿Cómo una película con esta premisa tan de cuento de medianoche puede ser una obra entretenida y a tener en cuenta dentro del género? La repuesta es John Carpenter.

Ojo, que La Niebla no es ni de lejos una película perfecta, y gran prueba de ello es su guión en el que podemos ver personajes sin sentido y que son totalmente innecesarios para la trama y cuyos arcos son erráticos y sin sentido; y algunos efectos a día de hoy se ven viejos.

Sin embargo cuando son efectos prácticos, realizados con hielo seco y un buen juego de luces, la película cobra una magia especial.

Otro gran clásico de Carpenter.
September 19, 2016
If it weren't for the cast and the director I might have thought The Fog was simply a made-for-TV horror film. It has a low-budget look and feel to everything: The sets are small, the effects are lackluster, and the script is bad. I will say, one of the things I think John Carpenter does well is make music that is creepy. While I found his synth score to be goofy and out-of-place in Escape from New York, here it works well to create an unsettling tone. The flaw, though, is that he doesn't seem to know when to use it. For instance, in a scene where a kid is merely walking into the house to talk to his mom there is music playing that sounds like a killer could pop up behind him at any moment. One aspect I can't complain about is the cast, that's for sure. From top to bottom, I thought there was good talent in The Fog, and it was fun to hear that iconic Jamie Lee Curtis scream. The script was what sunk this movie for me. I could have put up with all the production issues if the story was better. There were so many things that made me shake my head in frustration. Oh, he couldn't bring himself to read any further? That's convenient since a couple pages on the solution to everything was sitting there waiting for you. But how did the author even deduce the things he wrote that led to the solution? So dumb! Then there's the crazy behavior of the radio broadcaster who somehow has figured everything out and starts using the radio to give specific instructions to one individual. Wouldn't this cause the whole town to go into a panic? Of course not, because nothing in this film is fast. There's a slow build to everything, and very rarely does the fog actually claim any victims. It's not a good film, that's all I can say. The explanation at the end was interesting, and there were other quality elements (like the cast,) but The Fog is not the kind of film that I'll go back and watch again, or recommend.
September 9, 2016
The Fog is one of the most unappreciated horror films from the 80's. The movie is very atmospheric and always builds up from it's previous scenes.

It perfectly hides it's villains behind shadows making the mystery even more creepy by simply not knowing. Something that's missing in today's horror.

And the opening sequence is one of most chilling and haunting openings to any horror movie. It's basically an old fishermen (played excellently by John Houseman) telling a ghost story, and just that scene alone gave me the chills. It's one of my all time favorite scenes from any horror movie and just a fantastic way to start a film. The piano use in that scenes was so dark and yet so sad.? Amazing.

John Carpenter is a master.
August 1, 2016
Being one of John Carpenter's earliest films with a talented collection of to the cast, The Fog sounded like a chilling experience.

Coming straight after the immense success of Halloween (1978), The Fog has big shoes to fill. While Halloween proved what John Carpenter could do on a budget as low as $320,000, The Fog boasts $1 million. This is still a very low sum, but it presents no challenge to a director like John Carpenter who has consistently proven that he can find horror rooted in far more than the production budget.
In the same way that Halloween bridged an older style of horror into the modern day which helped to establish slasher tropes, The Fog displays the director making use of old-fashioned horror storytelling while integrating in contemporary elements. First of all, the feature is immediately given a sense of elusive mystery by the intro which sets up the narrative as a ghost story. And soon after, the narrative structure unfolds to be in the manner of an old-fashioned disaster film. There are many characters who all have their own independent background but become tied together by the presence of a disaster which in this case is the titular fog. Paranormal occurrences begin to occur on their own, and the search for the mystery begins. The disaster structure of the film makes the narrative rather loose at times and spreads the focus out onto many characters who may not be as interesting as others, and given that the film plods along at a rather slow pace this means that the atmosphere develops at a very gradual rate without always being as eerie as intense as audiences may prefer. Nevertheless, even during the scenes which aren't particularly horror-focused the cast remain actively engaged in the story.
I never would have thought that a film about fog would present much of a scary narrative, but John Carpenter manages to make it work with lovecraftian elements of horror. Fog is a force of nature which cannot be killed, and in the this story it creates ghost mariners as its antagonists who stalk the protagonists of the story and kill them in a manner reminiscent of slasher films. Given that John Carpenter is largely one of the creators of the genre thanks to Halloween, seeing him expand upon the concept and add lovecraftian elements to it in The Fog really shows him taking a big step forward as a filmmaker. The Fog doesn't necessarily reach the height of his brilliance, but it serves as an effective display of progression in his career.
And as well as exploring genre-bending, John Carpenter brings his distinctive stylish talents to The Fog. The on-location scenery provides a perfect backdrop to the story since it depicts a small town on the outskirts of society which seems very much isolated from the rest of the world. The oceanic view and lighthouse provides real beauty for the film, and by contrast when it is all viewed a state of darkness with added special effects and lighting techniques it becomes all the more creepy. There is no seeing into the distance, and when the fog creeps out of there it capitalizes on the unpredictability of the film's lovecraftian themes with an effective use of visuals. The cinematography is also strong since it captures the scenery with plenty of grace while getting closer during the more intense moments. But as is the case with essentially every John Carpenter film, the best aspect of style is the musical score. John Carpenter's personal touch of music is perfectly eerie and helps to keep the slow pace of the film effectively creepy in its development. It's simple, subtle and very distinctive of the director with perfect mood-setting creepiness and paranormal intensity at its heart.
And as well as bringing out fear in his audiences, John Carpenter manages to wring some effectively scared efforts out of his cast.
Adrienne Barbeau is a brilliant lead in The Fog. The majority of her scenes occur within the span of one room, but it's all she needs to really convey a feeling of terror. She portrays Stevie Wayne, a radio host who works in a lighthouse tower. In her position she is able to see over the ocean and the town, communicating with the characters as if she is a narrator. It's almost as if her character is based on Orson Wells' dramatic first-person reading of War of the Worlds (1898), and as the fog itself begins to consume the town more and more she displays more tenacious fear. Adrienne Barbeau progressively grows in emotional intensity and helps to keep the atmosphere of the film rich by conveying genuine human terror at the sight of the horrific occurrences. Adrienne Barbeau steals the screen in The Fog, and she plays the part with an effective balance between strong determination and humane fear that transcends any kind of female stereotype frequent in horror films.
Hal Holbrook also stands out. While the role of most of the actors is to run from the terror of the approaching fog, Hal Holbrook is the one responsible for delving into the mystery of it. His status as a Priest gives him a sense of wisdom, and this supports the fact that his role in the film is composed primarily of reading from the diary of his grandfather which provides a background to the mystery at the heart of the film. He does this with a narration-style tone of voice, and as he develops a discovery of the crimes of his own grandfather, we see a subtle struggle to confront the sins of his family. And when the film draws to a climax, Hal Holbrook engages directly with the horror in a very bold manner. Hal Holbrook delivers a gentle yet convincing performance in a relatively small amount of screen time for The Fog.
Jamie Lee Curtis is very welcome in The Fog since she works extremely well with John Carpenter once again, and the fact that she stars alongside her mother Janet Leigh whose role in Psycho (1960) plays an iconic role in the history of slasher cinema gives real meta value to the film. The two don't share much screen time, but they both deliver effectively scared performances which makes them an entertaining duo of scream queens. Tom Atkins is also a dedicated supporting presence.

The Fog is a rather slow film which doesn't always transcend its limited narrative, but its another atmospherically brilliant and visually stylish horror feature from John Carpenter which serves as an underrated example of his brilliance in creating thrills.
July 19, 2016
It's probably not good if I'm laughing through what's supposed to be scary.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2016
A simple but effective horror movie with an atmospheric score and some good scares even if the script is sometimes illogical and full of plot holes. Besides, it proves that showing dead people knocking on doors before entering can be really scary (apart from hilarious).
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