Halloween 2018: The Horror of John Carpenter

Sometimes it’s hard for me to define the idea of “favorite”.

Any day of the week I could claim that John Carpenter is my favorite director. He directed my favorite movie – Big Trouble in Little China – and is responsible for many other films that I consider “must-haves” and have bought multiple times in various formats. Movies that I can’t say I like because I adore them. I watch them annually (or more) and devour each minute because, in my eyes, they’re cinematic perfection.

I don’t feel this way about all of Carpenter’s films, though, which is what drove me to write this post.

There are a few films in the Carpenter library that, for one reason or another, don’t work for me. I don’t consider most of them bad by any stretch, they just don’t connect with me the way the ones I love do. And I can’t think of another director whose work I’m so divided about. For example – I’ll watch Escape from New York any time. It’s excellent. But I find Ghosts of Mars to be so bad that I can’t even get through the whole thing for my occasional “It can’t be that bad” revisit.

What I’m going to do today is run down John Carpenter’s horror films and how I feel about them and maybe why some seem so perfect and others seem far from it. Obviously I could write entire articles about each movie regardless of how I view them, so I’ll keep these brief. Also, I’m not covering everything Carpenter has directed – just his theatrical horror releases. They Live isn’t included because to me it’s science fiction with horror elements. The Thing, on the other hand, is the inverse of that.

Your opinion may differ. If so, I encourage you to start a website and write a post about John Carpenter. I’ll read it. I promise. Continue reading “Halloween 2018: The Horror of John Carpenter”