Skip to content

The Fog (1980) Review

The Fog is a 1980 American supernatural horror film directed by John Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Debra Hill. The film stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, and Janet Leigh. The Fog was Carpenter’s first theatrical feature film since the success of Halloween (1978).

The film tells the story of a small town in California which is enveloped in a dense fog, brought about by the vengeful ghosts of mariners who died in a shipwreck offshore. The ghosts, seeking to avenge their deaths, stalk and kill the townspeople one by one.

The Fog was released in the United States on February 1, 1980, and grossed $21 million at the box office. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but has since been considered a cult classic.

No, not the accursed remake that proves once again the adage that the better an original film is, the greater the piece of shit any remake will turn out to be, but rather the original masterpiece from John Carpenter, rich in atmosphere and delivered with a finesse that is almost perfection.

Vengeance from beyond the grave haunts a coastal town as the fog rolls in from the sea, a fog that hides the spectral, animated corpses of wronged sailors from centuries ago. As the fog rolls ever onwards, bringing death and terror to all it enshrouds, a desperate race begins to unravel the secrets of the dead, and to defeat them before a rusted blade wielded by undead, sea withered hand claims yet more lives.

Oozing atmosphere, like salt water dripping from the barnacle crusted hand of the drowned dead, this grips in a dead mans vice. It’ll tear you out of your comfortable seat on the couch and into the rolling bank of fog, where the dead are given shape and vengeance is taken.

Carpenters rare genius and deft touch pervades it all, delivering a skillful pace and a tempo that builds from whispered horror to a crescendo of terror. The cast is top notch, giving flesh to an already strong story, a story that for once is the heart of the film and not just a tired and cliched afterthought intended to bind a few scenes together and deliver some vague purpose.

Look out of the window my friend, can you see the fog rolling in? Look, but be sure to lock all your doors and stay out of the fog. Death awaits there, hidden inside its billowing robes, cold dead hands that will grab you and make you their own. Enjoy.

The Fog is an effective and atmospheric horror film that utilizes its setting and atmosphere to create a sense of unease and dread. The film’s slow pace and methodical build-up allows the tension to steadily mount, culminating in a series of effective and suspenseful set-pieces. Carpenter’s direction is confident and assured, and the cast all deliver strong performances. The Fog is a well-crafted and atmospheric horror film that is well worth seeking out.


The movie The Fog is set in the town of Antonio Bay, California. The town is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and as part of the celebration, a ship called The Elizabeth Dane is being brought into the harbor. However, the ship is carrying a deadly secret – a cargo of lepers who were being taken to a leper colony. When the ship arrives in the harbor, the lepers begin to come ashore, and they start to kill the townspeople. The townspeople try to fight back, but they’re no match for the lepers. The lepers start to set fire to the town, and the townspeople flee in panic. The movie ends with the town being overrun by the lepers.

Movie Details

Director: John Carpenter
Writer: John Carpenter
Actors: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins
Release Year: 1980