The Fog is John Carpenter’s first theatrical release of the 80s and a follow-up to his hugely popular slasher Halloween (1978) that pretty much started the endless stream of slashers in the early 80s, still pretty much outperforming all of them. I probably don’t need to annotate his later filmography of the decade to make my point that whenever he’s at it, solid gold is to be expected.
With this background considered, The Fog is somewhat a miss and certainly doesn’t come near his later horror classics. While the outdated look of Halloween suited it well, The Fog and its effects haven’t aged as well, and it certainly falls far behind the FX genius seen for example in The Thing.
That being said there’s still quite a lot to like about the movie. The story is written in the vein of a good old camp side spooky story and while the movie is never that scary, Carpenter makes the best out of the undead seamen by keeping them veiled in fog and shown as silhouettes, which very much works adds to the dramatic effect and definitely works for the benefit of the film.
Unlike the rest of Carpenter’s film catalogue The Fog is a hard one to recommend, but in comparison to its early 80s competition it still holds its own.