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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.75%
Average: 12.5%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 12.5%

3 reviews, 62 user ratings

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Fog, The (1980)
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by Scott Weinberg

"A tight and nasty ghost story with familiar faces and some nice gore."
5 stars

Yeah, I'm a big sucker for John Carpenter. I love almost all of his movies. This is yet another in the 'I fell in love with this movie as a kid and I still do today' series I have. It's a simple and quite effective little horror movie that still stands up quite well today.

Antonio Bay is celebrating their centenial birthday. Unfortuntely for the citizens, their quaint little town was built with gold stolen from a leper colony. If that wasn't bad enough, the town ancestors also killed the whole crew of lepers after robbing them blind. Well, they're back, and now they're like these leper-ghost things that were also underwater, so they're squishy too.

Lots of horror movies faces on hand for this one: Jamie Lee Curtis, her mommy Janet Leigh, Adrienne Barbeau, Hal Holbrook. Hell, even Annie from Halloween (Nancy Loomis) shows up. Then there's John Houseman in the opening scene, telling the ghost story I mentioned above, only scary.

The pack of ghosts travel in this really great glowing fogbank that simply swallows the town whole. It lends a great touch of claustrophobia to the movie, plus the fog just looks really cool all lit up and sweeping through the streets.

Our various characters have run-ins with the ghostly mob and some lose various loved ones. (I personally had nightmares for weeks about the death of the old lady babysitter.) Our survivors end up at the town church, where they begin to unravel the mysteries about the nasty and terrible crimes their forefathers committed to a quiet bunch of wealthy lepers.

The Fog works for lots of reasons: The actors all play it straight, and nothing TOO ridiculous happens, so there's a firm grasp on reality. (Yes, a reality that includes wet ghostly lepers, but still.) John Carpenter directs the whole thing at a brisk clip, never dwelling on a particular character or incident. And Carpenter's music, wow. I seriously doubt that I'd remember this movie so fondly without the musical soundtrack being what it is. In his best movies, his music adds the backbone that supports the whole show.

Perhaps more creepy than actually scary, but the overall package works for me. When the ghosts get the fishermen inside their boat, or when that corpse gets up in the morgue, I just smile. Even if John Carpenter never matches the quality of movies like Halloween, The Fog or The Thing again, he still stands as the best horror director around.

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originally posted: 02/29/00 22:04:58
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell good atmospheric chiller forget the remake 4 stars
7/15/13 robsy99 Flawed in some aspects, but strong in others. a great movie for fans of simplistic horror. 3 stars
3/17/12 Silkworm Great atmospheric yarn 5 stars
11/10/11 Josie Cotton is a goddess A well-made chiller! 4 stars
8/24/10 Joseph The movie is spooky, suspenceful, and had very solid acting from all of the stars 5 stars
7/06/10 art ROB ZOMBIE SHOULD remake this NONSENSE! 1 stars
1/12/10 TravisN Not my favorite Carpenter flick... but still pretty damn eerie and entertaining. 4 stars
1/06/10 art IT"S SO PATHETIC!,JUST LIKE THAT halloween!,john carpenter can't direct period! 1 stars
11/01/09 art ANOTHER SILLY MOVIE FROM john carpenter! 1 stars
8/11/09 art A VERY SPOOKY MOVIE! 3 stars
3/10/08 Jayme Isaacs I Loved This Movie Really Scary 5 stars
10/30/07 Rick Short I love this movie. It is fun, a great story and the actors are much better than the remake. 5 stars
6/02/07 al smith incredible atmosphere and music carpenter is a god 5 stars
2/18/07 David Pollastrini scary 5 stars
1/31/07 William Goss Carpenter nails the atmosphere of his slow-starting ghost story. 4 stars
10/04/06 K.Sear This is how he decides to follow up "Halloween"? 1 stars
2/11/06 Josh Standlee Sorry people, John Carpenter is a horror master, but this is really shitty. 1 stars
12/05/05 cody a sweet supernatural revenge ghost story with good effects and with jamie lee 3 stars
11/05/05 PAG Very underrated horror film. Much better than the remake. 4 stars
10/28/05 Jolly Terrific and atmospheric. You CARE about the characters. 5 stars
10/21/05 ShadowFace5 It was sacry from 1980 to 1989. 3 stars
10/15/05 Andy Great scary Movie 5 stars
9/19/05 David Fowler Brilliant. Carpenter's best next to Halloween. ATMOSPHERE TO BURN! GREAT PERFORMANCES! 5 stars
8/17/05 Indrid Cold Well done for a horror movie of its era, but it's not scary or even entertaining. 3 stars
6/24/05 AJAX627 no one better than JC - oldschool mood scares 5 stars
2/22/05 Jeff Anderson A well made, stylish & creepy masterpiece from John Carpenter. His music's AWESOME TOO!!!!! 5 stars
10/15/04 Don Eckert Great Old Fashioned Ghost Story. 5 stars
10/09/04 merky once again its carpenters excellent music score that makes a good movie a great movie 5 stars
7/16/04 aman deep singh exasperating movie that ties you to your seats 5 stars
1/31/04 ANDY BRILL 5 stars
1/28/04 American Slasher Goddess Atmospheric and scary. Another good one from Carpenter. 4 stars
12/13/03 darkofnight Yikes! Carpenter's "masterpiece" is horribly executed, paced, and acted. A real bummer. 1 stars
11/27/03 John tense, moody, creepy but somehow also cosy...a pleasant chill 5 stars
9/18/03 Samuel Justus not very scary at all... 3 stars
7/30/03 Jake This movie stands out so much more than other lame ass horror films like, Poltergeist. lol 5 stars
5/22/03 mr. Pink Some beautiful imagery can't make up for a stupid story and lazy performances, save Barbeau 3 stars
1/04/03 Jack Sommersby Carpneter's worst. underwritten, slow and downright dull. 1 stars
12/07/02 BAM GREAT 5 stars
11/25/02 Kyle Watchable horror flick, nothing more. 3 stars
8/31/02 Arapaho48 Atmospheric and suspenseful, a stylistic triumph with a great mood-enhancing musical score. 5 stars
6/21/02 Jeff Barton Super little horror film. Well constructed stuff. 5 stars
6/19/02 Charles Tatum Scary, except for the laughable Holbrook 4 stars
5/19/02 DAN RUTHERFORD Very similar to the classic 'Halloween' in scare effects, and now a classic its self. 5 stars
4/30/02 Ed Baxter This is a Great Movie!! Extremely atmospheric and attractive film. Creepy too. 5 stars
4/02/02 Rockitman007 I wouldnt call it scary, but it sure is creepy as hell......Bring on a Silent Hill movie 5 stars
1/19/02 Magnum Craphole Zombies kind enough to knock on their victim's door? Carpenter went to comedy with this. 1 stars
12/28/01 Jake If The Fog is not a good horror movie, name one that is! It was made in '79! the music rox! 5 stars
12/06/01 Matthew Bartley As a horror director, Carpenter on top of his game is unmatchable 5 stars
12/03/01 Monster W. Kung Frankly, it's not that good. Atmospheric, but also bad acting and uninteresting plot. 3 stars
11/28/01 Cookie Cutter Lame and childish, not to mention unscary. 1 stars
9/09/01 Stevie A very underrated movie. Very creepy. 4 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK...Pure Carpenter, awesome movie. 5 stars
7/03/01 Bear Great spin on a classic ghost story 4 stars
6/09/01 Serial_Monk_the_Jawbreaker This movie scared the hell out of me when I first saw it. And I first saw it at age 18! 5 stars
4/03/01 Andrew Carden It tries and tries but never gets scary. 3 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L John Carpenter rules all horror even with bad actresses 5 stars
3/20/01 gothfreak too damn gay and phony 1 stars
3/19/01 Mandi Totally spooky and down right cool 5 stars
3/13/01 Jake Spooky and just plain cool. 5 stars
9/09/00 Jogi Morris My all-time-favourite Carpenter movie 5 stars
4/15/00 Mike this movie is so underrated! it is really creepy with the best ending shot ever!!! 5 stars
4/10/00 Matthew Bartley Scary as hell 5 stars
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  08-Feb-1980 (R)
  DVD: 04-Oct-2005



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