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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 Brian McKay

"What happens when you cross breed a slasher film with a classic ghost story"
5 stars

John Carpenter may have slipped in his later years, but movies like the fog remain timeless horror classics. This film scared the unholy shit out of me when I saw it at 14. I slept with the lights on for at least a week. Obviously, it doesn't have the same effect on me now, but it remains a highly entertaining horror/suspense story.

The entire story is foreshadowed in the opening five minutes, as a grizzled-looking old sea captain (John Houseman) tells a group of kids a scary late-night story on the beach, around a campfire. The story is about the Elizabeth Dane, a ship bearing a leper colony to the Antonio Bay area to settle down circa 1880. The ship was lost in a thick fog, but was lured towards the shore by a false fire, set by conspirators who apparently didn't want a leper colony in their backyard. The ship broke apart on the rocks and all were lost. It is said that when the fog returns, the crew of the Elizabeth Dane will return with it, seeking vengeance.

And, of course, they do, but not before all kinds of wierd poltergiest-like activity happens around town. When the fog does roll in, it brings a crew of shadowy figures bearing swords and meat hooks, who are made all the more terrifying by the fact that they never speak and you never see any real details of their features. They are faceless killing shadows, and creepy as hell.

Most of the cast, including Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, her mom Janet Leigh, and Tom Atkins, do a competent job. No golden globe winners, but no laughably bad acting either. They play it straight and, unlike the victims in most teeny-slasher films, we actually give a shit if they make it through or not.

"The Fog" works because of its classic ghost story elements and horrific atmosphere. Those lepers are a creepy bunch, and their captain, who is only ocasionally distinguished by his saber and glowing red eyes, was enough to keep a teenage boy awake at night, and can still give a grown man the creeps.

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originally posted: 07/25/01 17:07:47
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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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