"In France I'm an auteur, in Germany I'm a filmmaker, in the U.K. I'm a horror director, in the U.S...I'm a bum"
                                   
~John Carpenter

John CarpenterMy commentary on horror


A
s I have said repeatedly on this site, gore isn't essential for good horror. Don't get me wrong I love gore, but atmosphere is so much more important to successful execution of horror. One of the masters of atmosphere on every level is John Carpenter.  Carpenter utilizes music, mayhem, and the macabre to deliver some really classic horror moments. Halloween was the masterpiece that helped to skyrocket his career. From there Carpenter went on to make such classics as "Escape from New York", "The Thing", "They Live", "Prince of Darkness", "Big Trouble in Little China", and "In the Mouth of Madness".

"The Thing" is probably my favorite John Carpenter film. Unfortunately, this is also John Carpenter's biggest box-office bomb, but to most Carpenter fans this is probably his most popular.  I had originally planned to put "The Thing" on the site, but I was torn between classifying it a sci-fi or horror film. I had considered it a sci-fi movie, based solely on it antagonist being an alien. But after recently seeing "Event Horizon" and than re-examining "Alien", I now believe that horror and sci-fi can walk hand in hand. "The Thing" definitely has major horror overtone and Rob Bottin's effects are outstanding and not over-the-top like most critics wrote. What is your opinion on the sci-fi/horror debate? Can you have horror in a sci-fiction setting and vice versa? E-mail me your opinion.  

I also a big fan of Carpenter's films:  They Live", "Prince of Darkness", "Big Trouble in Little China", and "In the Mouth of Madness". All of these were relatively low budget film that offered Carpenter greater creative control. Carpenter seems to deliver a better product when he is not so tightly controlled by the studio's pressure to succeed. 

John Carpenter has remained very loyal to the horror genre over his career. He may not have delivered the box-office hit he did with Halloween, he has delivered some excellent films to his fans. 

Again, as always, if you have anything you can add to help improve this page or if you have any comments, criticisms, and suggestions, please e-mail me.

 

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