John Carpenter may not have an abundance of room to talk considering his stale output of the last few decades, but when it comes to an opinion on slasher movies, it’s probably always best to listen to whatever he has to say.
After all, he’s the man that basically built the modern slasher film with 1978’s Halloween. While others did exist before then, few were made with the skill and craftsmanship of his low-budget shocker.
The Michael Myers-creator would roll out one more decent film in the Boogeyman’s mythos, Halloween II, before the series would head south and become a clone of the films that had once ripped it off.
To the credit of John Carpenter, he never had much to do with the series beyond part two, and he wasn’t just gung-ho about making that one.
To him, the Myers story had been exhausted with the original Halloween, and it’s a view that each successive film proved right.
Now that the street-cred of John Carpenter on slasher movies has been established, it’s worth turning to his recent appearance on the Bret Easton Ellis Podcast to see what his opinion is of screen rival Jason Voorhees and the Friday the 13th films.
As it turns out, CinemaBlend reports, he’s not a fan.
“And Friday the 13th, I feel, affects me as very cynical. It’s very cynical moviemaking. It just doesn’t rise above its cheapness.”
That is perhaps a comment that Friday the 13th creator (and director of the original) Sean S. Cunningham would agree to, considering that he decided to make the 1980 classic purely for the money so he could focus more on some children’s projects he had lined up in his queue.
As it turned out, Friday the 13th was an accidental sensation grossing more than $39 million ($126.8 million adjusted) on a budget of $550,000, according to Box Office Mojo.
As impressive as that was, it didn’t quite match John Carpenter in his first Halloween effort. That film, shot for just $325,000 two years earlier, grossed $47 million ($172.3 million adjusted).
It also based most of its scares on suspense and characterization while Friday the 13th went for the jugular (literally and figuratively) with a heavy body count and elaborate-for-the-time gross-out special effects.
The Friday films embraced this aspect of their origin throughout a run that would include 10 sequels and one reboot with another quasi-reboot planned for 2017.
— Dread Central (@DreadCentral) May 27, 2016
No matter what John Carpenter thinks of Friday the 13th, in other words, there is no denying the franchise’s success or influence, the latter of which was even felt in the Halloween series as later films focused more on body count and blood than anything Carpenter’s original stood for.
Firing a shot across the bow of Camp Crystal Lake would indicate the direction that John Carpenter hopes to take his newest Halloween film.
There is a hope among fans of the first film that he decides to hit the reset button altogether and ditch the Strode family mythos, opting instead for the reasonless, emotionless, random killer of yore.
It’s not clear just how much say John Carpenter will have in the final product — he’s acting as an executive producer — but it’s clear that the rights holders are wanting something radical.
Therefore, expect full creative control as the director, who hasn’t released a feature film since 2010’s largely unseen The Ward, looks to shake things up and make everything old new again.
But what do you think, readers?
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 24, 2016
How will John Carpenter be able to make Halloween a success? What would you do with the storyline? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Friday the 13th (2009) promotional]