117 Great Directors: John Carpenter

“Things haven’t been going great lately. For a while now people haven’t really been getting my movies. Certainly the box office hasn’t been up to speed. Sure, some of my recent stuff hasn’t been perfect, but neither has it been the shit that many have said. Critically, it’s all become a bit of a crapshoot. The critics thought I was a bum when I started out and they think I’m a bum now.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Body of work from the 70s-80s.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: The Thing.

What Did I Watch: Halloween.

Where Does He Fit: Halloween was reportedly inspired by the autumn sequence in Meet Me in St. Louis, a scene that I sort of appreciated but didn’t have much use for. This improves upon it, with a hell of repeated music and babysitter deaths being conjured up that frankly could have made Tootie a little more interesting. The mundane soap opera of high school is casually turned up in pressure thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence’s unusual performances, very unlike the casual banter in The Thing but no less successful for it. It’s Suspiria reflected as American anxieties, with a really hilarious needle drop during one driving scene. What more could you want?


Most Valuable Asset: Atmospheric specificity.
Most Excited For: Assault on Precinct 13.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: George Romero and his zombies.


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