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.