John Carpenter is known for his enormous contributions to American horror cinema through classics such as Halloween and The Thing. Although Carpenter was often dismissed throughout his career, his films have been discovered by newer generations of audiences who have rightly regarded him as one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century.
In a recent interview, Carpenter said that he was inspired to make a horror film based on the Trump era: “I’m thinking about it. I’ve got to let all of this percolate a little bit. But these folks who rioted [in the Capitol], they are really mad. And what are they mad at? The changes they’re seeing in their country and all these real or imagined slights that are happening to them? And it’s all stoked by these politicians. I’ll have to think about it. I don’t know, could aliens be behind it all? I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Carpenter noted that he doesn’t mind being referred to as the director of Halloween: “I love it, and I’m still loving it. Are you kidding me? Being the Halloween guy gave me a career in movies. And even now I’m working on the new Halloween movies that are being released by David Gordon Green. I’m as happy as a pig in shit. Halloween gave me everything. It’s great. I get to be John Carpenter.”
In an exclusive feature, Carpenter was invited to name some of his favourite horror films of all time. By doing so, the iconic filmmaker provided fans with a complete picture of the masterpieces that have influenced him on his own journey and have helped him shape his sensibilities as a director.
While talking about The Fly, Carpenter said: “I know everyone loves the remake, but I love the old one. When his wife rips the hood off him and there’s a big fly head there, I just — the popcorn went flying! That just scared the hell outta me. I was 10. I should have known better! I should’ve been more mature and cooler, but I wasn’t. I was a wimp then. I admit it.”
He also included The Exorcist on his list: “The first time I saw it, I thought, in order to be really effective, this movie requires a belief in a higher power. But since then I’ve come to appreciate it just for what it is. It’s got some pretty great scenes in it. I watched it again recently and was surprised by how intense it is. The things that they did back then, with this little girl, they broke a bunch of taboos, my god. It’s pretty damn good.”
Check out the entire list of John Carpenter’s favourite horror films of all time, featuring unforgettable classics by George A. Romero and William Friedkin among others.
John Carpenter’s favourite horror movies:
- The Thing from Another World (Christian Nyby, 1951)
- X The Unknown (Leslie Norman and Joseph Losey, 1956)
- The Quatermass Xperiment (Val Guest, 1955)
- Horror Of Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958)
- Night Of The Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968)
- The Fly (Kurt Neumann, 1958)
- The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
While talking about George A. Romero’s masterpiece Night Of The Living Dead, Carpenter recalled: “I saw this back in 1968. Back in the day, it was a pretty terrifying movie. It’s not so much anymore, but that’s a groundbreaking movie. I went to see it with my girlfriend at the time, who was so freaked out at it.
Adding, “I think it may have affected how I saw the film; maybe I’m a little biased. But it’s the idea of this relentless, relentless horde of things coming after you…. The fact that a loved one can be turned into a zombie. It’s just tremendous. I mean, look at the movies that have ripped it off! Look at Walking Dead. I mean come on.”