John Carpenter has directed several masterpieces over the course of his directorial journey, including the likes of The Thing and They Live among others. Although many of Carpenter’s works were misunderstood when they first came out, there were some instant hits that solidified Carpenter’s status as a talented auteur.
Carpenter’s filmography might be filled with gems but the one project that had the most impact on the frameworks of popular culture as well as the evolution of horror films is definitely his 1978 masterpiece Halloween. A technically sublime work of art, Halloween laid the groundwork for the countless slashers that followed in its footsteps.
Continuing the legacy of other milestones in the genre like Psycho and Black Christmas, Halloween attracted a lot of attention because of the unparalleled cinematic experience it offered – fuelled by the combination of iconic characters like Michael Myers with an immaculately engineered sound design as well as a highly engaging narrative.
The remarkable success of Halloween led to the formation of a popular film franchise, with multiple projects in it including games and books as well as sequels. In recent years, the legacy of the franchise has been carried forward by David Gordon Green as he is set to round off his own Halloween trilogy this year with a brand new horror flick – Halloween Ends.
While Carpenter has been involved in many of the sequels as a consultant, there was one particular project that the acclaimed director could not stand at all. In an interview, Carpenter revealed that he did have second thoughts when a sequel was put on the table after Halloween but he went ahead with it to see how his creation would evolve.
“I let my producer’s side come out when they offered me the sequels to Halloween. They offered a nice sum of money,” Carpenter explained while talking about the vision he had for the future franchise. “I also had a lot of hope for giving new directors a chance to make films as I had been given a chance with low-budget films.”
However, he was completely appalled by Halloween II and he called Rick Rosenthal’s continuation of the franchise. “an abomination and a horrible movie”. Expressing his feelings, Carpenter added: “I was really disappointed in it. I don’t think [Rosenthall] had a feel for the material. I think that’s the problem, he didn’t have a feeling for what was going on.”
That feeling did not last long as Carpenter was very happy with what came next. He revealed: “I thought Halloween III was excellent. I really like that film because it’s different. It has a real nice feel to it.” Since then, Carpenter has played an active role in the management of his legacy and it will be interesting to see how Green contributes to it later this year.