The Fog

1980, Mystery & thriller/Horror, 1h 29m

67 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

A well-crafted return to horror for genre giant John Carpenter, The Fog rolls in and wraps viewers in suitably slow-building chills. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Strange things begin to occurs as a tiny California coastal town prepares to commemorate its centenary. Inanimate objects spring eerily to life; Rev. Malone (Hal Holbrook) stumbles upon a dark secret about the town's founding; radio announcer Stevie (Adrienne Barbeau) witnesses a mystical fire; and hitchhiker Elizabeth (Jamie Lee Curtis) discovers the mutilated corpse of a fisherman. Then a mysterious iridescent fog descends upon the village, and more people start to die.

Cast & Crew

Hal Holbrook
Father Malone
Janet Leigh
Kathy Williams
Jamie Lee Curtis
Elizabeth Solley
Tom Atkins
Nick Castle
Nancy Kyes
Sandy Fadel
Charles Cyphers
Dan O'Bannon
Ty Mitchell
Andy Wayne
John Vick
Sheriff David Simms
James Canning
Dick Baxter
Regina Waldon
Mrs. Kobritz
Charles B. Bloch
Executive Producer
John Carpenter
Original Music
Dean Cundey
Cinematographer
Charles Bornstein
Film Editor
Tommy Lee Wallace
Production Design
Craig Stearns
Art Direction
Stephen Loomis
Costume Designer
Bill Whitten
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for The Fog

Critic Reviews for The Fog

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (17)

  • Unlike Halloween, which was a model of straight-forward terror and carefully controlled suspense, The Fog is constructed of random diversions.

    January 30, 2020 | Full Review…
  • It's a failure, but it's a failure in the right direction.

    January 29, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Ghoulish, tense and utterly fantastical, John Carpenter's tale of shipwrecked spectres squelching their way through a fluorescent fog to wreak vengeance on a seaside town is a classic campfire yarn.

    January 29, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The Fog is an...atmospheric chiller, in which a luminous fog rolls into a Californian seaside town, bringing the ghosts of vengeful sailors, killed in a shipwreck a century before.

    November 2, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's one of the director's most atmospheric, the shots of a wave-lashed cove and fog-choked headland making the town's impending reckoning almost poetic.

    October 25, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Ultimately, it's a John Carpenter movie: concerned with group dynamics, unhelpful authority figures, strong women, the sins of the past, and that moment when helpless isolation shades into outright terror.

    October 24, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Fog

  • Oct 22, 2019
    The story is simple-mined and the 3rd act doesn't deliver any frights, but John Carpenter's second feature is atmospheric and a fun family pic for Halloween season
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 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.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2015
    The Fog is John Carpenter's first offering immediately following the tremendous, well-deserved success of Halloween. Call it the sophomore jinx or the pressure of generating the same kind of success that he did on Halloween, The Fog was reportedly fraught with production problems, didn't make sense when first edited and viewed by Carpenter, so much so that he re-shot or added a full 30 minutes of new footage, including the opening campfire story scene, to help tell the story and eliminate confusion. He also added some violence, feeling The Fog lacked scares. In the end, Carpenter has said this is his least favorite film he made, due to the production problems and disappointment following Halloween. But let's face it, Halloween is a masterpiece which defined and created the benchmark for a genre, and you simply cannot do that twice, let alone back-to-back and with only 3 theatrically released films to his credit at age 32. And Assault on Precinct 13 is pretty primitive and simplistic. By comparison, Halloween was a quantum leap in terms of story and direction. The Fog is actually a good movie with a decent, if a bit odd, mystery backstory to explain the curse on the folks at Antonio Bay. Carpenter again, wisely, avoids graphic violence or gore, and sticks to slow, atmoshperic build up with some decent spooky set pieces including the Elizabeth Dane ghost ship and the coastal town and lighthouse. This is a respectable, simple ghost story which was made on yet another tiny budget - 1 million, and earned more than 20 million, setting up Carpenter for his first big-budget horror movie 2 years later, The Thing. The Fog is a good entry-level horror movie for those who are easily frightened, and probably should have been rated PG. Surely it would have fit the PG-13 mold a few years later. Overall, a worthy ghost story and one of Carpenter's best. (Sorry, John!).
    Mark H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 20, 2013
    A very simplistic story executed in an engaging way. The great music elevates the film.
    Anoop K Super Reviewer

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