There is no room for slurs against John Carpenter’s legacy from Jordan Peele, the actor, and filmmaker recognized for successfully transitioning from comedy to horror.
Let us first go back in time. There’s a lot of excitement building for Jordan Peele’s third feature film direction, Nope, which hits theaters on July 22. Positive feedback abounds on social media, particularly Twitter.
It’s a hot take, but when does Jordan Peele become the greatest horror filmmaker of all time??” Adam Ellis, a comic book creator, made a post early on Wednesday morning. Another horror filmmaker that had three terrific pictures, much alone three in a row, can you name?” “I’m unable to,” I reply.
Isn’t that a nice thing to say? Peele is exempt from this rule. In reaction to the letter, Peele quickly accepted John Carpenter as the greatest horror filmmaker and rated Halloween, Christine, and The Thing as his three favorite Carpenter films.
Peele’s answer on Twitter was, “Please, Sir, put the phone down I ask you.” “Sorry. Your excitement is contagious, but I will not put up with any disparaging remarks about John Carpenter!!!”
Get Out, Peele’s directorial debut was released in 2017. Us, which came next, was also quite good, but whether these films qualify as real horror remains debatable. In many respects, Thriller is much more relevant.
It’s been more than 40 years since Carpenter’s first “horror king.” With the original Halloween, which spawned several sequels and a new trilogy that will have its third and “last” installment in theaters this October, he laid the groundwork for all that has followed. (Of course, there are also the two terrible Rob Zombie remakes, but we won’t discuss how they nearly wrecked the series…)
So, we’re siding with Peele, right? The film Nope will be released in cinemas on February 14th.
When It Comes to Horror, is John Carpenter the True Master?
In the horror genre, there are numerous names that have had a big effect on movies. The founding fathers of found-footage horror, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, are widely acknowledged.
He proved that a filmmaker’s zeal for independence may result in a gripping horror picture in Sean S. Cunningham’s film. Alongside his brain-eating monsters, George A. Romero displayed societal criticism. But who was the ultimate master of horror?
He has done it all when it comes to horror films by John Carpenter. Carpenter, who has never shied away from taking on several roles, has worked as a composer, producer, writer, and director.
John Carpenter has a legitimate claim to the label of a real horror master since he has been in a number of popular horror films. When it comes to making a case, this is what sets him apart.
The Slasher is Credited to Him
John Carpenter revolutionized the knife-wielding madman genre with Halloween’s Michael Myers. Michael plays cat and mouse with the teens of Haddonfield, Illinois, creating a gripping cinematic game. Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays Laurie Strode, is the classic horror star in this film. Michael, who was ruled mad for murdering his sister with a knife at the age of six, hunts Laurie and her friends with savagery.
It doesn’t matter what genre you want to categorize it under, the cinematography and soundtrack that accompany the lingering pauses and scary views of Michael in his white face mask are still being hailed as a classic today.
John Carpenter had a tough struggle on his hands to obtain the honor in the face of widespread anti-horror movements at the time and afterward. Sean S. Cunningham has said that he was motivated by the success of Halloween (1978) to make his independent picture Friday the 13th, which he claims was a direct result of the success of Halloween (1978).
Trilogies of the Apocalypse
John Carpenter is the man behind the camera for a trio of films. “The Apocalypse Trilogy” is a collective term for these cult masterpieces. But even though these movies don’t have a plot and their subgenres are all drastically diverse, they share an overall concept. It’s a manifestation of the abyss.
When a group of researchers at an Antarctic research outpost are targeted by a monster that can flawlessly resemble any one of them, the film The Thing (1982) follows. The crew starts to disintegrate in the face of uncertainty about who they can rely on as they try to overcome the mysterious evil that has haunted them.
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Afterward, we have The Prince of Darkness, a film that questions the audience’s belief systems and religious faith. An extraterrestrial creature is known as Satan or the “Anti-God” comes into power in a conceivable future, and a tiny number of humanity struggle with their faith and face the unknown in this film’s plot.
Of the Mouth of Madness would be the concluding chapter in this trilogy. H.P. Lovecraft’s influence was more prominent in this picture than in its predecessors. The film’s last scene depicts the end of the world, with a slew of individuals driven crazy by monsters their brains couldn’t understand.
For their allusions to the occult horror of H.P. Lovecraft and for their societal critique, all of these films were scrutinized in great detail. The AIDS pandemic and Cold War paranoia are seen as possible parallels by some experts. Cult classics aren’t easy to make. But to make three and have them jointly studied by fans and cinema scholars alike is a different effort entirely.
He’s Keeping the Tempo Going, Literally
Music is an essential part of every horror film. If you don’t trust me, mute Psycho’s shower scene or Jaws’ opening scene. More than twenty of John Carpenter’s films have used his music. The Fog (1980 & 2005), Christine (1983), all three films in The Apocalypse Trilogy, and many more have included John’s music, including the aforementioned Halloween (1978).
That’s quite an accomplishment: in just one picture, his name appears on all four of those roles. His involvement in the making of Halloween II, however, was minimal.
Despite the fact that John Carpenter hasn’t directed a picture since The Ward in 2010, he continues to create the music for horror films. To do so would allow him to maintain the legacy he’s established. Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills both have his music on them.
Finally, he created music for three horror films in 2022 alone. Studio 666, Firestarter, and Halloween Kills, all of which will be released on October 14th, round out the list. True Horror Master John Carpenter has more than 40 years of experience in the genre with no indication of slowing down, even including his son in the composting process.