Retro Review: The Fog (1980)

Never have I ever watched John Carpenter’s the Fog.  I honestly tried to avoid watching the movie due to, well its title and the idea.  It really is not appealing.  Not to mention I did get the chance to see the 2005 remake starring Tom Welling.  That really left a bad taste in my mouth for the original.  But I came across a copy of the original thanks to our friend and contributor, Reverend Krueger.

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.

Something about that, just says, snooze fest to me.   But, I still popped the DVD in and gave it a spin…I was nervous.

Boy, I was wrong, I was way wrong on this one.  The Fog took me back to the Universal Horror films and honestly there is some Fulci and Argento mixed in.  I will explain.  The atmosphere and there is a very present feeling of dread through a good portion on the movie, that is how I am reminded of the Universal Horror films, just good creepy sets.  When you see the fog rolling over the ocean on to the beach.  Really an eerie feeling watching that scene.


How can it feel like a Fulci or an Argento film?  Well, ok so The Fog is not at all gory, not one bit.  The score is a big part of what helps the atmosphere and that is how it reminds me of Argento and Fulci.  At the same time, Carpenter’s score for the Fog is 100% his own.  The man knows atmosphere, visual and musical.  Carpenter knows what he is doing, he knows the score can make the movie better.  The Fog is no different, the score and the songs chose for the movie help set everything up in a great way.

I don’t know, I know the Fog has a decent fan base, but I think it deserves more credit, it may be one of Carpenter’s finest films.  Of course most known for Halloween and The Thing, possible his two top movies, but the Fog is in a different league.  I really wish I hadn’t waited so long.  The Fog has to be one of his Top 5 movies, it could fall after Halloween and the Thing.  It was a movie with building suspense, that suspense lasts for the entire movie and for some reason I wanted more.

John Carpenter is the man, we all know this, I would love to another film like the Fog, the atmosphere, mixed with a town that has a hidden past, I love those elements in horror.  The Fog had more than expected.  I 100% suggest the Fog to every horror fan, it is damn near perfect.

One thing that I really enjoyed about the Fog, seeing a few cast members from Halloween pop up in the cast in the movie.  Of course, Jamie Lee Curtis, but Charles Cyphers and Nancy Loomis!  I love that John Carpenter has loyalty to different actors.

So, there, the Fog, check it out, I loved it!  I am seeing so many movies I wish I’d seen before, like the Fog, perfect Halloween time movie to give any one the creeps and really a good late night chiller. has a rating of 6.8

I give the Fog a 8.6 rating

If you haven’t had the chance, check out the Scream Factory release of the Fog on Blu Ray.  It is a terrific release and has some great cover art, as usual.



About Ray Marek III 655 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)