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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No positive role messages.
Positive Role Models
No positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
While not as violent as other John Carpenter movies and most horror movies overall, there's still frequent horror movie violence and peril. Indiscriminate killing by swords and gaffing hooks, and victims include an elderly babysitter. One dead body seems to have had its eyes poked out. Out of nowhere, a rock smashes the windshield of a truck after the man driving it has picked up a hitchhiker.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Hitchhiker Elizabeth and motorist Nick are shown in bed together the morning after they meet. Other men make suggestive remarks about their attractions to Stevie. Disc jockey lead character makes deliberate innuendo, talk of being "high" up in the broadcast tower, and hoping the audience is "turned on."
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"F--k" uttered once. Infrequent profanity: "s--t," "a--hole," "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Three characters on a boat are shown binge-drinking beer and acting drunk -- stumbling, slurred speech. A priest is shown drunk on wine. Man shown drinking beer while driving his truck. Beer and whiskey drinking in a bar. Cigarette smoking. Pipe smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Fog is a 1980 horror movie directed by John Carpenter in which a mysterious fog wreaks havoc on a beach town. While the violence is nothing like the violence in other horror movies or other John Carpenter movies, it does have moments of horror movie violence and peril. Ghostly sea zombies slash into living folks with swords and grappling hooks. The murders generally avoid gore and blood, but the quick "shock" edits are careful to leave the worst of it to your imagination. Still, the director's favorite trick seems to be a nice, shiny blade suddenly popping out of a victim who's been run clean through. Characters are shown binge-drinking and acting drunk with slurring speech, stumbling. Cigarette and pipe smoking are seen. A man and a woman are shown in bed together the morning after the man picked up the woman while she was hitchhiking. There's infrequent profanity, with "f--k" used once. The disc jockey lead character makes deliberate innuendo, with talk of being "high" up in the broadcast tower and hoping that the audience is "turned on." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Fog of a different sort seems to have muddled the shapeless script, co-written by director John Carpenter. Though The Fog has a few bona fide jump-out-of-your-seat moments, it also has ridiculous and logic-defying details that viewers of any age should see right through. Sometimes the living dead materialize wherever the fog seeps in, sometimes a locked door or window stops them, and there are more silly things that most kids will pick up on.
In-joke character names are derived from horror movies/literature and John Carpenter's moviemaking associates (Arthur Machen, Dr. Phibes, Dan O'Bannon), but the talented cast, in thinly sketched roles, plays things entirely straight-faced, unlike later horror movies where dark humor was abundantly added to the terror. The movie ends on a rather grim note of inevitable fate that's like the slam of a coffin lid. If it had a little less mature content, The Fog could pass for a Goosebumps-style chiller strictly for youngsters, like the campfire ghost story that opens the narrative.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate