News that John Carpenter, the driving force between the original 1978 Halloween, was returning to the Halloween franchise for the next feature film has horror fans ecstatic and heavily anticipating a return to the classic story. Taking time to talk in a new interview, Carpenter revived a long debated rivalry by trash talking the original Friday the 13th film, proving once and for all that Carpenter will always consider Friday the 13th to be inferior to his Halloween creation.
John Carpenter Says Friday The 13th Is “Very Cynical Movie-Making”
When it comes to comparing Halloween to its 1980 competitor, Friday the 13th, John Carpenter doesn’t hold back. The Halloween writer says Friday the 13th was little more than a way to cash in on past horror successes and the rise in popularity of the slasher film genre. Though he doesn’t say it outright, it seems clear that Carpenter feels Friday the 13th creator Sean S. Cunningham deliberately built on the success of Halloween with little regard for the art of horror.
“One springs from an organic idea and has a truly artist’s eye working,” Carpenter said of his own film. “And Friday the 13th, I feel, affects me as very cynical. It’s very cynical movie-making. It just doesn’t rise above its cheapness.”
John went into greater detail about how many slasher franchises, including the Friday the 13th series, attempted to cash in on the slasher craze, which Carpenter says was started by Halloween. He says the success of his film stirred the greed in other filmmakers and, in turn, they hoped to capitalize on Halloween‘s popularity.
“I think the reason that all these slasher movies came in the ’80s was a lot of folks said, ‘Look at that Halloween movie. It was made for peanuts, and look at the money it’s made. We can make money like that. That’s what the teenagers want to see,'” the Halloween director said during a podcast interview with American Psycho author, Bret Easton Eliis. “So they just started making them, cranking them out. Most of them were awful.”
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Mr. Carpenter’s remarks on the greed of Friday the 13th filmmakers comes as he signs on to take over the Halloween franchise once again, agreeing to executive produce the film with Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions. Carpenter will also pen the latest Michael Myers film. Malek Akkad is also returning to Halloween through Trancas.
“Thirty-eight years after the original Halloween, I’m going to help to try to make the 10th sequel the scariest of them all,” said Carpenter.
John doesn’t say just how the sequel will fit into the Halloween franchise, but considering he includes every film in his count of the sequels, it seems as though he’s at least acknowledging the fourth, fifth, and sixth Halloween films, which is something subsequent films have not done. Together, the first six Halloween films tell the story of the Myers family and the evil that has haunted their bloodline through the generations, which is a theme some fans have found appealing. It would be interesting to see Carpenter pick up that theme once again and possibly take it in a new direction.
“Halloween is one of those milestone films that inspired everyone at our company to get into the world of scary movies,” said producer Jason Blum in recognizing the importance of having both Carpenter and Akkad return to the Halloween franchise. “The great Malek Akkad and John Carpenter have ￼￼￼a special place in the hearts of all genre fans, and we are so excited that Miramax brought us together.”
[Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly]