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The Fog
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The Fog

1980
Suspense/Thriller
Horror
1h 29m
A Northern California fishing town, built 100 years ago over an old leper colony, is the target for revenge by a killer fog containing zombie-like ghosts seeking revenge for their deaths. (imdb)
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The Fog

1980
Suspense/Thriller
Horror
1h 29m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 47.25% from 1857 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1857)
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Rated 20 Jul 2015
55
32nd
How do ghosts in movies like this keep track of when the day has arrived for their thematically relevant revenge? "Has it been a hundred years yet, boss?" "It's still 49 more days to go Jerry now shut your goddamn ghost mouth!". After an atmospheric start with some nasty looking kills the movie totally deflates. So bland, I can't even recall if I fell asleep before it was over. ...Or maybe my memory has finally degraded to the point of no return. ..Where am I? Who are you people???
Rated 21 Jun 2017
70
53rd
Tom Atkins is just about naked without his moustache. oh and there's fog pirates or whatever
Rated 17 Jan 2022
80
65th
Carpenter's brand was to reinvent old film ideas for 70's & 80's teens. Here, he borrows from The Birds--with an adorable lady entering a town haunted by a supernatural terror. Cinematically, he presents the landscape well; via cool cross-cutting and a creepy sound design. Still, I wish the exposition would've been presented smarter (even for a horror movie). And the little kid was annoying. But in the end it's scary fun that also shows how communities are built on exploitation. Recommended.
Rated 07 Apr 2012
78
85th
Ghost pirates. If you need more than that, go back to Robert Altman.
Rated 12 Apr 2010
76
57th
A decent supernatural horror movie, but justifiably forgotten, it's largely dated, but still manages to entertain. Could have been much better had the fog not obscured all the good stuff and Carpenter not been afraid of showing gore. There are a couple slow parts, but I wasn't exactly drooling out of boredom.
Rated 03 Oct 2018
62
14th
Presumably there's an audience for old-fashioned ghost stories (even ones where the ghosts are slashers), but the pacing of this is glacial. Worse: it seems to have been done on purpose w/ much of the music doing its damndest to put you to sleep. (Does being sleepy make the scares more startling? No) The setting is picturesque & the cinematography is beautiful, which might be strong points in anything that's not supposed to be a horror film. The slim material would make a great 30 minute short.
Rated 14 Jun 2018
74
73rd
John Carpenter's creepy, atmospheric, quaint little ghost pirate story plays out like a bloated, but watchable episode of "Tales from the Crypt".
Rated 24 May 2010
59
33rd
Atmospheric, if not entirely successful, horror. Worth watching if you are in the mood.
Rated 04 Oct 2015
69
23rd
It's not bad, but it takes quite a while to get going, and even after it does it's not particularly interesting nor menacing.
Rated 28 Sep 2012
80
33rd
I liked it. People afraid of fog will likely be spooked as well. The makeup and imagery are all very fascinating and Carpenter’s atmosphere is very much in tact. Not one of his best, but it’s short and well worth watching around the Halloween season.
Rated 08 Nov 2013
58
27th
Probably the least-interesting John Carpenter movie I've seen so far. Usually his poorer-received movies like Escape from L.A. and They Live will still be intriguing or over-the-top enough to make up for it, but this one is pretty quiet and unassuming the whole way through, with a neat little ghost-sailor revenge plot.
Rated 04 Aug 2016
5
42nd
Great atmosphere, dumb story.
Rated 07 Oct 2010
49
46th
First classic Carpenter film that I've thought was weak. Nothing particularly memorable about a huge smoke machine and some guys with meathooks.
Rated 21 Oct 2008
63
42nd
A pretty decent horror movie but I feel the main detractor from it are how the kills of people in the fog are portrayed. It just reeks of standard 80's slasherness. Aside from that it's a decent scare and I think that's saying something coming from me because I'm not really horror movie or John Carpenter fan.
Rated 26 Nov 2013
68
45th
There was a point in this movie that it was set up very well for a lovecraftian just open ended insanity of cosmic horror. I then said to myself 'it's Stephen King, it'll be an indian curse.' I was sadly close to right.
Rated 02 Jan 2015
35
17th
A vengeful ghost story that barely kept me awake. It's neither interesting, nor one bit scary. I remember watching it as a kid and turning it off because even then I found it just boring.
Rated 07 Sep 2015
55
21st
The Fog is overall better than Halloween because you're not watching a shitty teen movie for a majority of the time, but it also lacks any strong iconic moments. Carpenter's score consists of one good theme and a bunch of two note ambient drones, and though it attempts to be character-driven with multiple subplots the acting is too poor and personalities too undeveloped to make us feel their fear. A cheap blue glow makes the fog look more like a billowing smoke cloud than an enroaching curse.
Rated 22 Feb 2007
50
35th
Decent horror.
Rated 23 Apr 2017
70
56th
Really tight-knit atmospheric movie about the common guilt of a group. The hundred years old murder and ostracization leads to a "return of the repressed" in the manner of Macbeth or Hamlet where nature and spirits establish a romantic justice. Its power stems from Carpenter's thrifthy and formalist stroytelling hitting the right keys at the right time. Although its story is somewhat insignificant and uninteresting, Carpenter teaches a lesson of storytelling.
Rated 02 May 2017
78
89th
(Viewed on 09/13): Tremendously well mounted ghost story with an atmospheric richness that references the likes of Poe and the entire American Gothic tradition. The prologue with Houseman is an appropriate mood setter: it captures the essence of its spooky campfire mythicism, a tawdry tale relayed in hushed tones passed down through the generations. It's easy to pull apart--neither the acting or the script are especially great--yet it works, mostly due to Carpenter/Cundey's formal mastery.
Rated 11 Jul 2014
82
70th
Grande atmosfera.
Rated 11 Oct 2011
40
15th
Feels like this one should have been the precursor to Halloween, not the followup. Seems Carpenter forget everything that made that film so exciting, suspenseful, and frightening
Rated 19 Sep 2021
62
16th
Pretty stupid. Lazy conceptualization and dumb characters. But great technical work
Rated 30 Oct 2016
72
36th
Probably the weakest of Carpenter's peak period what with the goofy pirate ghosts and Tom Atkins' chunky clay face. Janet Leigh is great though and the fog effect is cool and creepy.
Rated 22 May 2011
78
61st
Funny how 80s slasher movies are actually tamer than today's network tv. Hmmm.
Rated 01 Apr 2021
74
45th
Sensational atmosphere; there's a shot early on in the small vessel that simply has to be one of the best compositions Carpenter has ever done. Genuinely unsettling at times. A gripe: it wasn't so much fog as it was billowing steam. Beggars can't be choosers, I reckon! The final act's conclusion is the result of some hilariously convenient coincidences AKA stupid, but, whatever.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
50
44th
A town is haunted by spectres of the concealed violence lying at the origin of its community. Nice-looking film evoking the feeling of a particular locality (coincidentally, I re-watched this in 2023 directly after watching I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING!, another film about a coastal locality “cursed” by meteorological effects), and with another good musical score by the director, but choppily put together and lacking suspense. In the end, for this viewer its greatest pleasures derive from Barbeau.
Rated 26 Feb 2013
80
85th
Again dealing with a faceless, silent, unemotional and unreasonable menace, Carpenter crafts an arresting low-key horror film, one that doesn't rely on scares. This should be called only a supernatural movie -- or drama --, mostly by its concern, from those illogical paranormal activity involving objects to the historical/legendary background of crime, curse and punishment, to create a fear that just can't be explained. It's something that must, and will be, experienced.
Rated 20 Oct 2011
60
62nd
The Fog suffers from too many problems for it to be considered all that great, but for what it is, it has some good scare moments and a very promising premise. Unfortunately, the characters, logical issues and needless exposition end up taking it from "great" territory and ultimately rendering it simply as "good." Still worth a watch, especially if you, for some reason, are scared of fog, but not a movie you must rush out and watch.
Rated 13 Dec 2011
75
49th
This is movie is certainly not without flaws but overall it is an enjoyable experience. The plot is about a mix of characters in a town on the water. The budget is low but "the fog" works and the film is an enjoyable ghost story.
Rated 21 Jan 2007
58
23rd
Not too bad. John Carpenter has done much better though.
Rated 01 Feb 2011
73
52nd
Carpenter's take on atmospheric horror is interesting . It occasionally conjures up the sort of supernatural dread found in Lovecraft's best work, but it seems a little unfocused and a bit too restrained - I don't usually judge a horror film by its body count (my favorite, The Shining, has very few onscreen deaths), but it seems odd that the fog takes such a relatively small toll on the town.
Rated 04 Mar 2021
70
74th
As with 'Halloween', Carpenter gets the pacing and music just right in this simple but very effective nautical horror film. As a viewer you are immersed in a very eery atmosphere of fog as sound and image. This is highly disciplined and restrained film making. Hal Holbrook as Father Malone is one of the most likeable religious figures in any film that I've seen.
Rated 22 Apr 2007
50
35th
Non-existing budget shows.
Rated 23 Oct 2012
81
81st
I can see how some might find this movie slow, but I really like it. The atmosphere is fantastic and the ghouls are creepy
Rated 07 Jun 2011
78
69th
The first 20 minutes might be my favorite thing Carpenter's done, but it can't hold that tone all the way through.
Rated 09 Feb 2021
70
25th
Fun horror nonsense.
Rated 27 Mar 2008
60
48th
An early detour into nigh mediocrity, but not irredeemable. A Halloween flick, nothing you'd flip to if you didn't have a reason.
Rated 15 Jun 2008
52
54th
okay movie
Rated 24 Feb 2010
73
36th
I like to say that Carpenter either hits it out of the park (The Thing) or misses horribly (Ghosts of Mars) but this was actually just "okay". Some good scares, some excellent shots, but ends just when you think it's getting going.
Rated 02 May 2017
60
43rd
I can't say I was a big fan of this. It had great direction and atmosphere and a couple of scary moments, but in terms of the story, I just didn't care for it. The ancient ghosts seeking revenge thing just doesn't do it for me. It's pretty slow moving, with a lot of build-up, and not much payoff. I thought Barbeau was good, and it's always cool to see Curtis and her mother Leigh in a film together. Carpenter's music was a highlight, too. Overall, though, I didn't think much of it.
Rated 15 Oct 2022
65
42nd
The Foggy Bottom Boys. Listen, I am running on fumes over here. You try writing a review for every film you watch. Yes, I know no one is asking for me to do this. It's an illness. I am sick.
Rated 17 Nov 2017
4
60th
The Fog is a very pretty movie with a great atmosphere. Not a whole lot going on with either the plot or the horror, but the creepy calm was more than enough to carry it for me. My new dream job is running a radio station from a lighthouse in the middle of nowhere
Rated 14 Mar 2022
5
73rd
probably the carpenter to age most gracefully relative to first impressions.
Rated 16 Nov 2018
5
81st
This and First Reformed actually made a great double bill. Will God Forgive Us? And more importantly, do we even deserve it? Also, the score fuckin slapped
Rated 10 Jan 2019
42
5th
Despite featuring zombie pirate leper ghosts (5 points up just for allowing me to write that phrase), the only time the film managed to conjure up any dread was when I realized halfway through how much longer I would have to watch this snoozefest.
Rated 09 Jun 2022
85
90th
A simple ghost story with a simple score, basic characters and a modest budget. If Carpenter had been working with the level of resources he had during The Thing, then I’m sure this would have been a very different film. Tight budgets can really bring out the best sometimes, and this is a good example. It’s classic less-is-more and it works wonderfully. The first half could be better paced, but the last half hour/45 minutes are just pure tension, slowly cranked and subtly handled.
Rated 16 May 2019
50
10th
Mr. Machen: "11:55, almost midnight. Enough time for one more story. One more story before 12:00, just to keep us warm. In five minutes, it will be the 21st of April. One hundred years ago on the 21st of April, out in the waters around Spivey Point, a small clipper ship drew toward land."
Rated 16 Nov 2012
85
76th
I love Adrienne Barbeau. Some effects were not so great, but it was creepy as hell and makes ya think "oh my word, wait til grandma sees this!"
Rated 13 Dec 2009
43
30th
This is one of those "almost" movies. The lack of any real chills or surprises makes this one a nice try but no cigar.
Rated 06 Nov 2023
65
46th
Probably the coziest horror film around.
Rated 08 Sep 2009
78
55th
Carpenter scores another win. A fun ghost story, with a great cast of horror vets. Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, Adrienne Barbeau- can't go wrong with that. Also watch for Halloween cast members Nancy Loomis and Charles Cyphers. Carpenter's score is one of his best and, while the plot drags at certain points, the film exudes enough atmosphere that it doesn't get boring.
Rated 13 Sep 2011
49
20th
Maybe needs a rewatch? Maybe?
Rated 17 Mar 2008
50
15th
More John Carpenter hokum. Frequently dumb lines--and lacklustre performances (especially from Janet Leigh's assistant).
Rated 23 Oct 2016
75
59th
Tonally, this is a dream come true for a Carpenter fan. A wonderfully eerie build up, surrounded by a fantastic score, leads to mostly satisfying conclusion. Something about the small story and simple characters allows for Carpenter's craft to really shine.
Rated 11 Jul 2007
2
33rd
Decent vintage Carpenter.
Rated 07 Jun 2021
55
31st
Bu ne şimdi Carpenter reis? Bulaşmayın.
Rated 02 Sep 2010
70
32nd
Way to give away the entire plot, IMDB summary.
Rated 23 May 2012
75
33rd
So stylistically similar to Halloween in many ways, and in fact, except for the very few shots that barely look better than the "special effects" in The Blob, this is actually a much better looking movie. Most of the visuals are fantastic, but the story really isn't so hot. If you liked Halloween though, it's a fun one to check out just because it has so many of the same elements (and some of the same actors/actresses)
Rated 03 Jul 2013
92
90th
This has to be one of my favorite horror movies. Its so atmospheric with great acting, storyline and direction from John Carpenter. I like how death isnt shown mindlessly in this film like a slasher movie. The killings are shown as horrible and the characters have to defeat the evil. Great and worth seeing multiple times.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
40th
They're not freaking pirates!
Rated 27 May 2015
6
32nd
"The Fog" isn't as effective as "Halloween"--despite the strong atmosphere, there's an absence of weight to the film's events--but Carpenter's competence as a filmmaker goes unwavered.
Rated 13 Aug 2019
53
6th
If you can detatch yourself from the progress made in special effects over the last 40 years and look past the goofy storyline, then you may, just may be able to comprehend that this was once quite scary. Having said that, The original 'The Thing' is still scary and shits all over this.
Rated 24 Nov 2010
4
56th
Really absurd, and even a bit tacky, but the build-up is impressive enough to buy into it to a certain degree.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
91st
underrated carpenter film
Rated 31 May 2011
65
46th
Some fine, suspenseful moments. Who would have thought that to be possible using only a smoke machine?
Rated 03 Nov 2011
80
61st
Genuinely creepy and scary. The movie drags at some points but is pulled up by its cast and the atmosphere.
Rated 19 Oct 2013
95
53rd
a great horror film; it's the classic 'ghost story' come to life. while some of the elements in the film have certain similarity to one of Carpenter's earlier films(Halloween),the film excels at building up tension. The Fog is a great film to watch on Halloween and is much better than it's 2005 remake which is just awful. definitely recommend it .
Rated 09 Aug 2012
80
57th
A wonderfully atmospheric opening soon unfolds into rote horror territory, but a great cast keeps the movie afloat.
Rated 02 Nov 2018
75
67th
Feels more like an exercise in building an atmosphere than actual storytelling, which is fine because it's stylistically stunning at times. Feels as self-contained and endearing as Carpenter's other films, but lacks any real tension and the story is pretty dumb.
Rated 05 Oct 2023
65
29th
As with all Carpenter, even his misses are interesting. I'm not sure I would classify this as a total miss--it's okay--but while the premise itself--an encroaching deadly fog that can't be avoided--sounds horrifying, it's never quite as scary as several of his other horror films. Relatively fun stuff, but pales in comparison to his better work. It often felt like I should be enjoying it more.
Rated 30 Dec 2011
72
25th
Ugh Hal Holbrook
Rated 17 May 2012
92
65th
Another above average John Carpenter film. The fog itself is the scariest character and some great creepy theme music.
Rated 28 Oct 2014
60
54th
watched: 2014, 2018
Rated 19 Sep 2023
60
23rd
I think a film like this ... ghost/zombie sailors in a fog attacking a town ... really only works when it's done more like a Fulci film ... lay on so much atmosphere that the demand for logic is just obliterated.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
85
91st
Brilliant film! has a very Lovecraftian feel, one of his best films.
Rated 15 Oct 2013
7
54th
Stylish and spooky. Something about the shots of the glowing fog rolling in really gets to me. The ending is a tad abrupt and it doesn't always make sense, but it has more than enough style to make up for it.
Rated 30 Jun 2008
100
71st
What you can't see won't hurt you, it will kill you.
Rated 07 Sep 2023
70
57th
atmosphere mastery... plus, ghost pirate ghosts
Rated 30 Sep 2008
75
72nd
Early John Carpenter, when he could do no wrong
Rated 30 Mar 2007
80
68th
Nice little shocker
Rated 14 Jul 2012
69
58th
This was my least favourite Carpenter film for a long time (my initial review here was '90 minutes of forgettable, paper thin characters frantically running from a smoke machine') but I've warmed to it over the years. It still feels a bit like a Blind Dead rehash but the locations, atmosphere and soundtrack are really beautiful and moody.
Rated 05 Sep 2016
75
46th
Definitely not Carpenter's finest, but still worth your time. There are some really great shots in here, but overall it fails to do what a good horror movie should set out to do - which is scaring people (or, at the least, make them feel uncomfortable).
Rated 14 Jul 2023
70
26th
Possibly watchable if you're half-asleep and you can't tell what's movie and what's dream. Otherwise a slog of bad acting, nonsensical decisionmaking, bad writing, and some seriously cheesy fog machine action. The soundtrack is, as often the case with Carpenter movies, this flick's only redeeming quality.
Rated 03 Oct 2021
39
38th
The Fog felt like a wet blanket over my expectations. It eventually condenses into a decent horror film but the first two-thirds are as slow as a lazy river in a waterpark. It is leagues from John Carpenter's worst but an ocean away from his best.
Rated 16 Mar 2008
65
30th
Certainly not the best of Carpenter's early films, but far from the crap he would produce from the 90's onward.
Rated 27 Apr 2008
65
47th
In between all the carnage and horror he establish, Carpenter usually provide his films with more life and colour. Still entertaining and uniquely atmospheric.
Rated 16 Sep 2007
55
30th
well shot, but not scary
Rated 26 Oct 2015
80
37th
Viewed October 25, 2015.
Rated 25 Mar 2020
65
45th
While the script is clever, the acting is solid, & the atmosphere is on point, the overall story leaves quite a bit to be desired. The characters are all one-note and hard to get invested in, the lack of a real protagonist hurts the narrative, the kills aren't very fun, & the villains being so hidden for most of it honestly does more bad than good. It's a solid movie that likely would've been worse in someone else's hands, but it's really nothing special. Still, as a classic it's worth a watch.
Rated 23 Mar 2009
63
21st
While this doesn't find Carpenter at his creative peak, the pic still shapes up as a more-than-serviceable scarefest.
Rated 17 Oct 2007
52
2nd
Boring.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
29
17th
The Probable Score Indicator bet that I would hate it. It was right.
Rated 21 Mar 2010
68
40th
68.000
Rated 25 Aug 2011
50
8th
A big dissapointment for me. Love the music though.
Rated 19 Sep 2012
70
44th
Average Carpenter film with some decently creepy moments
Rated 22 Feb 2018
70
35th
Pretty good but it doesn't really stand out in any way, especially amongst Carpenter's other films.
Rated 17 Jul 2018
95
77th
Underrated Carpenter.
Rated 10 Mar 2020
69
52nd
68.8
Rated 10 Jun 2019
72
45th
Carpenter loaded The Fog with haunting atmosphere and a very unsettling tone. If nothing else it serves as another satisfying horror picture for the famed director. Even if the screenplay is missing a lot of the creativity, and overt weirdness of what he would become known for.

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