The Green Fog compiles bits from about 100 San Francisco-set movies and TV shows into a quasi-narrative pastiche that ostensibly pays tribute to Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Only faint echoes of that classic can be detected here, but this ingenious gizmo will nonetheless delight Maddin fans, or anyone else who enjoys games played with and about old movies. […] While there’s only one fleeting, incidental actual shot from Vertigo here, The Green Fog is suffused with a very Hitchcockian sense of intrigue, romance and suspense.
Divided into nominal chapters, the movie is more thematic than linear, as we move from clips personifying preliminary action (which underline how many rooftop foot chases have been shot in San Francisco) to scenes that emphasize familial torment among the rich […] and so forth.
The Johnson siblings’ witty editing tends […] to mostly avoid dialogue, cutting around it in eccentrically shaved excerpts. This results in bizarre scenes where no-longer-coherent character exchanges warp into wordless confrontations full of heavy hidden meaning and even unlikely flirtation. Deliberately disconcerting, such effects grow more and more hilarious as we grow accustomed to their staccato rhythms. […] [The Green Fog is] of a piece with [Maddin’s] oeuvre in using the archaic style and content of prior cinematic eras to render an absurdist abstract of high melodrama.
Dennis Harvey, Variety