The Fog movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Fog filmed?

1980

About The Fog

Twenty-five years after John Carpenter released his original atmospheric ghost story about a small Oregon community beset by a supernatural fog, director Rupert Wainwright put his spin on the classic tale.

The small community of Antonio Bay, Oregon, is getting ready to celebrate their founding fathers by unveiling a statue of them, but the island’s previous residents take issue with the town’s sterilized version of history. Nick Castle (Tom Welling) and his friend Spooner (DeRay Davis) are out boating when they unknowingly disturb relics from an old shipwreck on the seabed.

While visiting with his former girlfriend Elizabeth (Maggie Grace), an old sailor shows them an antique pocket watch that he found washed up on the beach with a strange hallmark – a set of scales. The old man mumbles a cryptic warning, but as soon as Elizabeth touches the watch, supernatural events start occurring all over the island.

Local radio host Stevie Wayne (Selma Blair) keeps in contact with Dan the Weatherman (Jonathon Young) as the fog approaches Antonio Bay. She’s among the first to warn the townspeople of the danger as Dan is killed.

As a mysterious fog bank approaches the island, Elizabeth and Nick discover the provenance of the watch – the scales hallmark was from a wealthy trading colony north of Antonio Bay, but it was abandoned centuries earlier due to an outbreak of leprosy, then one of the world’s most stigmatized diseases. After narrowly escaping death and rescuing her son, Elizabeth and Nick make their way to town hall to expose the crimes of Antonio Bay’s founders – and how they built their upscale community on murder and a stolen fortune.

In 1871, a wealthy member of the trading colony, William Blake, arranged to purchase a portion of the island to establish a new home for those afflicted with leprosy. While Antonio Bay’s founders – Patrick Malone, Norman Castle, Richard Wayne and David Williams – originally agree to the purchase, they decide to double cross the colony. Under a heavy fog, the men built a signal fire on the cliffs, luring the Elizabeth Dane onto the rocks and sinking it. All aboard were killed. The next day, the men returned and looted the gold the ship was carrying. With the stolen fortune, Antonio Bay grows and prospers – until descendants disturb the spirits of the wronged leper colony.

As the fog rolls ashore, the ghosts seek vengeance on those whose forefathers wronged them. Hank Castle, Kathy Williams and Tom Malone are killed, but Blake specifically searches for Elizabeth. In a not-so-surprising twist, Elizabeth is actually the reincarnation of Blake’s wife – hence her dreams about the Elizabeth Dane – and he’s not looking to kill her. After finding her, Blake kisses Elizabeth, and she becomes the spirit of his wife, gently fading with the rest of the vengeful spirits as Nick watches.

Although the film makes copious use of special effects, especially when anthropomorphizing the fog itself in the film shoots, the atmosphere is lacking the suspense of the original film. Arguably, however, The Fog remake goes a better job of bringing the plight of the Elizabeth Dane to the forefront, the real fear being not of the supernatural, but of contracting what was a highly contagious and once incurable disease.

City Locations

Cowichan Bay, Bowen Island, Tofino, Vancouver, Point Reyes

Location Types

Beach/Oceanview, Colonial, Miscellaneous, Ship Docks

Location Styles

Beach House, Beachfront, Boat Style, Shipping Yard/Docks, Lighthouse

The Fog Locations

Although The Fog takes place in the fictional community of Antonio Bay, Oregon, nearly all of The Fog’s filming locations are in Canada. Bowen Island, northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the stand-in for fictional Antonio Bay, with many of the downtown scenes filmed in the charming community of Fort Langley in Langley Township, a few miles southeast of Vancouver.

While many of the water scenes were filmed in nearby Cowichan Bay, the beach scenes were filmed in Tofino, a small peninsula due west of Vancouver with a striking public beach. The iconic lighthouse, which played a big role in both films, is the Point Reyes Lighthouse, located in one of the foggiest areas along the Pacific coast.

Some scenes, such as the underwater scenes and computer-assisted scenes of the ghosts and clipper ship, were filmed at Lions Gate Studios in North Vancouver. Because many of these locations are open and accessible to the public, fans of the movie – whether the 1980 version or the 2005 remake – will have a great time north of the border visiting some of British Columbia’s beautiful historic beaches while turning out some Insta-worthy photos.

Here’s where you can find most of the filming locations of The Fog.

Fun Fact:

Selma Blair did the majority of her own stunts, and spent two twelve-hour days in a water tank with few breaks for the underwater scenes.

Elizabeth learns the truth scene in The Fog

Fort Langley

When a host of supernatural events are set off by Elizabeth touching an antique pocket watch that washed up on the beach, of course she sets out to find why – she’s never had a similar effect on other old objects. While researching the hallmark, a set of scales, she noticed on the watch, she learns about the tragic history of the Elizabeth Dane, a clipper ship that was destroyed just off the coast.

When she approaches Father Malone, a descendant of one of the murderous founding fathers, he’s the only one who doesn’t seem taken aback by her discovery.

“So now you know,” he says, as if he’s glad he doesn’t have to keep the poisonous secret any longer.

“That our forefathers murdered every man, woman and child on the Elizabeth Dane?” replies Elizabeth.

“And now they’ve come for revenge,” Malone says, motioning out to sea where the fog is creeping ever closer. It’s not clear what that entails yet, but Malone indicates that all the descendants of the original founders are in danger.

How to get there: This scene was filmed in the town of Antonio Bay, which is a fictional place. Fort Langley, located in Langley Township, British Columbia, is just southeast of Vancouver. The charming downtown area, with its colonial-era buildings, gives the scenes the Americana atmosphere of an old fishing town.

To get there, take the Trans Canada Highway east from Vancouver and exit at 216th Street. Follow 216th Street north to Telegraph Trail, turn right, and follow the road all the way to Fort Langley.

The mysterious fog scene in The Fog

Point Reyes

The movie is called The Fog for a reason, and that’s because the Elizabeth Dane was cloaked in a heavy fog the night the town’s founding fathers lured her onto the rocks of Antonio Bay, killing all aboard – it now envelopes the doomed crew as they return to the island that snuffed them out more than a century ago.

Stevie Wayne, who runs the local radio station broadcasting from the lighthouse, is one of the first to notice the ethereal fog rolling in – even though the wind is blowing offshore.

“Now what kind of fog moves against the wind?’ she asks her listeners, although it’s really more of a rhetorical question. She contacts her friend, Dan the Weatherman, to ask if he’s ever seen anything like it.

It turns out he hasn’t, although unfortunately for Dan, he’s the first to find out exactly what the otherworldly fog is bearing with it.

How to get there: As in the original film, Stevie’s fictional radio station is located in the Point Reyes Lighthouse, an iconic structure located in the Point Reyes National Seashore of the coast of San Francisco. It has the distinction of being one of the foggiest places in the continental US.

He’s alive scene in The Fog

Cowichan Bay

After learning that his best friend, Spooner, has taken their boat out to party with a couple of the local girls, and he hasn’t come back, worry sets in. In a classic example of horror movie characters going to see for themselves instead of, you know, calling the coast guard or the Navy, Nick and Elizabeth set out on the open ocean to find him.

When they come across the boat, Nick is puzzled to find it seemingly abandoned with half a tank of gas and an engine that still turns over. Further exploration, however, yields a nasty shock – Spooner’s friend Sean is dead below deck with his eyelids sewn shut.

“He’s dead! His eyes…” says Nick, trailing off.

At the same time, Elizabeth reels in the line to find Mandi and Jennifer drowned in a fishing net.

She then goes below deck and Nick’s command and finds, to her shock and amazement, that Spooner is locked in the freezer but still alive. He’s about to be framed for the gruesome murders of his friends, but for now, he safe.

How to get there: This scene was filmed in Cowichan Bay, located across the Strait of Georgia southwest of Vancouver. There are several marinas in the area that can take you out on the water for a look inland.

Malone gets what’s coming to him scene in The Fog

Lions Gate Studio in North Vancouver

Mayor Tom Malone is immensely proud of Antonio Bay – and the fact that his forefather, Patrick Malone, had a hand in building it. When confronted at the town’s cemetery with a spectral Captain William Blake, however, Malone is a bit more contrite.

Blake’s ghostly face is one area in which the special effects of a new century might be considered an upgrade to John Carpenter’s original film, although Blake does look vaguely like the Cryptkeeper. Still feigning innocence, Malone tries to appease the ghost, to which Blake hands him and old piece of parchment and simply says, “The contract.”

It’s the contract that Blake originally signed with the town’s founders to purchase half of the island to build a leper colony for his afflicted people.

As soon as Malone takes the paper, it – and he – bursts into flames. Although it seems the fire could have easily been put out by stopping, dropping and rolling, Malone succumbs to the ghostly fire, the final descendant who must pay for the crimes against Blake’s people.

How to get there: As spooky as it is, and perfect for an atmospheric horror film, it’s just a bit too perfect. It was filmed on a sound stage at Lions Gate Studio in North Vancouver.

The kissing scene in The Fog

Lions Gate Studio in North Vancouver

Shortly after Malone burns to death, and Nick and Elizabeth are rightly turning to run away from the cemetery, something causes Elizabeth to stop, turn, and walk right into the pack of vengeful spirits. She’s been dreaming of the Elizabeth Dane for years, and tonight, she’ll find out why.

Elizabeth walks directly toward Blake, seemingly without fear, and just when it looks like the skeletal captain is about to strangle the life out of her – she is a direct descendant of the founders, after all – he inexplicably kisses her. It’s about as romantic a kiss as a spectral skeleton can give, but as they continue to embrace, the devastating effects of the shipwreck melt away from Blake and his followers, revealing them as the sick, scared travelers they were a century before.

Elizabeth, it turns out, is the reincarnation of Blake’s wife, also named Elizabeth – the same Elizabeth that the ship, Elizabeth Dane, is named for. As Nick watches from the corner of the cemetery, Elizabeth Williams becomes Elizabeth Blake, and the ghostly entourage fades away, lifting the fog from Antonio Bay.

How to get there: This scene was filmed on a sound stage at Lions Gate Studios in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The cemetery set was built for the movie and was featured in a few other scenes as well.

Where it all began scene in The Fog

Lions Gate Studio in North Vancouver

Flashback scenes almost always serve to show the audience what happened, rather than writing cumbersome dialogue for the cast. That’s the case of one of the best scenes in The Fog, not because it’s spectacular, but because it gives us a visceral knowledge of exactly why these ghosts are so intent upon wreaking vengeance on Antonio Bay.

As William Blake and his followers, who also happen to be suffering from leprosy, sail into Antonio Bay to start anew, the founders of the town cook up a scheme to betray them. Under the cover of a heavy fog, Patrick Malone, Norman Castle, Richard Wayne and David Williams row out to the Elizabeth Dane and loot it. Not content to simply make away with their treasure and leave the colonists with no money and no recourse, the four men also set the clipper ship ablaze.

The tragedy of this act, and hence the impetus for Blake’s ghostly retribution, is that the men weren’t simply stealing money and perhaps killing a few armed men – they caused the death of innocent women and children. As the men watch the Elizabeth Dane founder and sink, the screams can be heard echoing along the cliffs.

Only one man, Patrick Malone, seems to feel any guilt over the act.

“I tell myself Blake’s gold will allow the church to be built, and our small settlement to become a township,” Malone says as he writes in his journal. “But it does not soothe the horror that I feel becoming an accomplice to murder.”

In the end, his remorse is not enough to save his family – both Mayor Tom Malone and his son, Father Robert Malone, pay for the sins of their fathers.

How to get there: Because a 19th century clipper ship couldn’t reasonably be built on a budget, this scene was filmed at Lions Gate Studios in North Vancouver. A model ship and wave tank were used, along with some CGI effects.

Conclusion

Although the film was panned by critics, and a lot of amateur cinephiles with a DVD player, many believe that the film was not as bad as it was purported to be. While it doesn’t build and vague and ominous dread like Carpenter’s original film, The Fog does manage to humanize the very human tragedy that is the basis for the entire premise of the film.

The film did receive two “awards” for its poor performance, both critically and at the box office: it was rated the Worst Movie by Fangoria Chainsaw Awards and the Least Scary Movie Award by the Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Most felt the film relies too much on special effects and established tropes instead of the building unseen menace that Carpenter originally used with great success.