John Carpenter Explains Why New Horror Movies Don't Scare Him

At the height of his career, filmmaker John Carpenter was delivering audiences impressive genre [...]

At the height of his career, filmmaker John Carpenter was delivering audiences impressive genre films on an almost yearly basis, which means that when he finds the time to watch a contemporary horror movie, he has a hard time turning off his filmmaker brain long enough to enjoy it and can see all of the processes involved in bringing the movie together. Carpenter last delivered audiences a horror film in 2010 with The Ward, though he recently produced last year's Halloween, having confirmed earlier this year he will return to the franchise to produce the upcoming Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.

"No, I see the plumbing," Carpenter confirmed to when asking if a modern horror film has scared him. "You have to be young, young is good, and know a little less [to get scared]. But when a movie does affect me, that means it's great because it's gotten past all my sensors."

The filmmaker did point out that 2008's Let the Right One In, an adaptation of the 2004 novel of the same name about a young vampire who befriends a boy in her apartment complex, did offer him some exciting surprises.

"There was a movie a few years ago I thought was just fabulous," Carpenter confessed. "It was called Let the Right One In. I believe that was a Swedish film. Oh, man, that was terrific. Just terrific. It just reinvented the vampire myth quite a bit. And I liked it."

Whether it be a slasher like Halloween, a ghost story like The Fog, or an exploration of the apocalypse like Prince of Darkness, Carpenter left his mark on a number of corners of the genre, inspiring some current filmmakers to emulate his style. The drawback is that what helped establish Carpenter as a prominent voice in the genre is that he was doing things that other filmmakers hadn't done before.

"That's what they should do, they shouldn't emulate anybody," the filmmaker advised. "That's what these new filmmakers should do. They should be themselves. Pave their own way."

When discussing how filmmakers like Jordan Peele and Ari Aster are offering experiences that feel fresh with films like Get Out and Hereditary, Carpenter noted, "That's right. And doing it well. They're doing great. So they got to keep going."

Carpenter will be producing and scoring Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, releasing on October 16, 2020 and October 15, 2021, respectively.

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