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.
Release Year: 1980
Rating: 6.8/10 (23,902 voted)
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
The Centenary of the small sea town, Antonio Bay, is approaching. While the townsfolk prepare to celebrate, the victims of the crime that founded the town rise from the sea to claim retribution. Under cover of the fog, they carry out their vicious attacks, searching for what is rightly theirs.
Writers: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Jamie Lee Curtis
(as Nancy Loomis)
John F. Goff
(as John Goff)
George 'Buck' Flower
What you can't see won't hurt you… it'll kill you!
Release Date: 8 February 1980
Filming Locations: Altadena, California, USA
Box Office Details
Did You Know?
Characters Nick Castle, Dan O'Bannon, Tommy Wallace are all named after Carpenter's real-life collaborators from his previous films. Mrs Kobritz was named after Richard Kobritz, Carpenter's producer on
Someone's Watching Me!.
When we hear Stevie say, "It's 1:00," we are looking at Nick's clock radio. His clock says 1:40.
Well, my gauges must be wrong. I've got a wind blowing due east. Now what kind of a fog blows against the wind?
You got me.
I'm not so sure I want you.
Old-fashioned horror movie works like a charm
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)
Sound format: Mono
While celebrating its centenary birthday, a small Californian coastal
town is visited by a ghostly fog containing an army of murderous
spirits who take revenge for a terrible injustice.
Released on a wave of expectation following the worldwide success of
John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN (1978), THE FOG surprised everyone by
generating only moderate returns at the US box-office, though it's
arguably the better of the two films. Beautifully photographed by
Carpenter stalwart Dean Cundey (BACK TO THE FUTURE, JURASSIC PARK,
etc.), this unassuming 'ghost story' opens on a lonely clifftop at
midnight, where crusty old sea dog John Houseman tells an audience of
wide-eyed children how their home town was built on the foundations of
tragedy. As with HALLOWEEN, the pace is slow but steady, punctuated by
a series of well-judged scares, and there's a relentless accumulation
of details which belies the script's modest ambitions.
Jamie Lee Curtis headlines the movie opposite her real life mother
Janet Leigh, though Hal Holbrook takes the acting honors as a
frightened priest who realizes the town was founded on deception and
murder. As the fog rolls in, the narrative reaches an apocalyptic
crescendo, as the film's principal cast are besieged by zombie-like
phantoms inside an antiquated church, in scenes reminiscent of NIGHT OF
THE LIVING DEAD (1968). Scary stuff, to be sure, though Carpenter was
forced to add new material during post-production in an effort to 'beef
up' the movie's horror quotient, including a memorable late-night
encounter between a fishing boat and the occupants of a ghostly
schooner which looms out of the swirling fog (similar scenes would be
added to HALLOWEEN II in 1981 for the same reasons, though under less
agreeable circumstances). Production values are solid, and Carpenter
cranks up the tension throughout, resulting in a small masterpiece of
American Gothic. Highly recommended.