When John Carpenter’s original Halloween hit theatres in 1978, it became an instant horror classic. Over 40 years later, Michael Myers and his haunting white mask remain etched in pop culture history. So when a new Halloween trilogy came out in 2016, fans were cautiously optimistic – could these movies live up to the lofty expectations set by the 1978 original?
For many, the new Halloween trilogy not only lived up to the Carpenter originals – it surpassed it thanks to a heightened sense of drama and a natural evolution of the main characters. Laurie Strode, in particular, became even more iconic thanks to the new films.
That said, not every fan of the original Halloween (or even Halloween H20, if there’s any) loved the new movies. While Carpenter did work on the new films, he only did so in the soundtrack department. Does the latest trilogy really keep the spirit of the seminal slasher film? That’s something that only John Carpenter himself can answer. Fortunately for us, he recently opened up about how he sees the latest Halloween trilogy.
The Master’s Seal of Approval
Surprisingly enough, Carpenter has been somewhat retired from the whole “Director” business. His last feature film came out thirteen years ago; The Ward was not one of his most memorable films, but that hasn’t soiled Carpenter’s legacy as one of the key players in the horror industry.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Carpenter finally let us know what he thinks of David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy. “I loved what David did,” the Master of Horror commented. He’s especially fond of the second movie in the series, Halloween Kills. While critics might not agree with Carpenter on this matter, the take of the guy who created Michael Myers and Laurie Strode should be worth something for the fans of the legendary horror series.
In the same interview, Carpenter also promoted his upcoming non-scripted horror anthology, Suburban Screams. The Peacock miniseries marks Carpenter’s return to the director’s chair, after his long hiatus. Suburban Screams appears to be equal parts true crime documentary and a classic John Carpenter flick – in other words, just the perfect series to watch this Halloween.
As for why Carpenter has remained more or less distanced from movies in general, the legendary filmmaker explains that he’s come to the conclusion that “Music is the purest art form there is.” While he’s always been one of the best composers in the biz, Carpenter has become more and more attached to his passion for making catchy synth tunes for other films.
In many ways, Suburban Horrors marks a return to form for John Carpenter. While we won’t be seeing many masked killers or alien invaders in his upcoming anthology, horror fans should definitely take a peek into what Carpenter has in store for them this Halloween.
Still, knowing that Carpenter gave Green’s trilogy his blessing is a momentous occasion for horror fans. It’s a shame the same can’t be said of Green’s recent adaptation of The Exorcist. To be fair, improving on William Friedkin’s classic was impossible by any means.
At the end of the day, Carpenter seems pleased that the Halloween franchise he birthed over four decades ago continues to thrive and terrify new generations. Though he’s largely stepped away from the director’s chair, his passion for horror storytelling burns as bright as ever. With his seal of approval, the new trilogy has officially earned its place in the Halloween canon.
Born in Venezuela – and still living there – Tito Pernalete loves all things geeky and sci-fi. He studied Social Communications in college: an odd career choice for a confessed introvert. Though he has experience as a director of photography for some short films, Tito has been a writer for most of his adult life, with a particular interest in movies/TV and tech in general. When he's not playing Elden Ring or binge-watching a horror movie marathon, you can find him planning his dream trip to Japan. His favourite film is RoboCop, but he also has a soft spot for cheesy 80s horror flicks and anything made by Wes Anderson.