He smokes endlessly, wears faded blue jeans, talks about sports. By all appearances, John Carpenter is the guy next door. Have a drink with him, shoot the breeze, what the hell? Only thing is, he’s the man who made Halloween, Christine and The Thing. He is, in fact, the best friend a horror movie ever had, a devoted fan of the genre with the power to crawl under our skin and scare us half to death.
Monsters that cannot be stopped. Worlds on the brink of destruction. Heroes who don’t give a damn. Horror or sci-fi, fantasy or comedy, Carpenter knows exactly what we want and delivers the goods with style, intelligence, and perhaps most important of all, humour. Clearly, there’s a lot more to him than the guy next door, unless, that is, you happen to be neighbours with the likes of Wes Craven, George Romero or Dario Argento.
“I’ve always had a real affinity for horror,” confirms Carpenter, “and I know the genre very well. But the thing is, it’s not always my choice, I just get offered a lot of horror films.” Not that typecasting presents a problem. “It’s like we say in the States,” he adds sagely, “you gotta dance with the one who brung ya.”