Horror Movie Directors:
John Carpenter

John Carpenter

There is no denying that John Carpenter is a true Master of Horror. With classics like Halloween (1978) and The Thing (1982) - to mention just a few - to his name, Carpenter has left an indelible mark on the horror genre. He first proved his worth on Dark Star (1974). Working with a shoestring budget, Carpenter took on directing, producing and writing duties as well as composing the score - something he would continue to do for many of his movies.

His big break came in 1978 with the release of the ground-breaking Halloween. Featuring another classic Carpenter composition, Halloween (1978) not only launched a seven film franchise (not including remakes) but also created a genre - the slasher film. While the Halloween franchise continued on with little or no involvement from Carpenter, his career continued to soar.

The Fog (1980) saw Carpenter re-team with Jamie Lee Curtis. While not considered to be one of Carpenter's best movies (he himself referred to it as only a "minor classic") it is still a fun watch and a must-see for any Carpenter fan.

Following this, just two years later, was the seminal The Thing (1982). With a beard thick enough to knit a sweater Kurt Russell battles paranoia and aliens in possibly one of the best Sci-Fi horrors of all time. With a score from the legendary Ennio Morricone and exceptional practical effects - that still hold up today - The Thing was surely destined to be another hit for the seemingly unstoppable John Carpenter. Sadly, this was not the case. A cute little alien called E.T. saw to that. Released only a few weeks before The Thing, the light-hearted and family-friendly E.T. stole the hearts of the cinema-going public. The Thing was the complete polar-opposite and was a commercial disappointment. However, today it is still considered a masterpiece, with Quentin Tarantino citing it as an influence on his movie The Hateful Eight.

Despite this setback Carpenter continued undeterred. Directing cult favorites like Prince of Darkness (1987), Christine (1983) and the tragically under-appreciated In the Mouth of Madness (1994).

In recent years, Carpenter has focused on his music more than filmmaking by touring and releasing a number of albums. While all has been quiet on the movie front for a while we’ve recently had some good news. He is finally returning to the Halloween franchise by taking a producer's role on the reboot/remake due to arrive sometime in 2018.

Until then there’s plenty of Carpenter mayhem to keep you busy. Crack open some beers and make a double bill out of Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and They Live! (1988). You won’t regret it. And remember: if you’ve seen it, rate it.

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John Carpenter Horror Movies

Highest Rated: The Thing (1982)

Lowest Rated: Village of the Damned (1995)

The Greatest Horror Movie Directors

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