3 reasons why I love John Carpenter’s films
John Carpenter, you may have fallen by the way-side throughout the 1990s and 2000s but the films you made before your collapse from greatness were astounding. Here’s why I love your earlier films:
1. The settings of Carpenter movies often involve isolated locations where a group of people are over-taken by a ‘siege mentality’. ( The Fog, Halloween, Prince of Darkness, Assault on Precinct 13, The Thing). The characterisations of these people is brilliant and the dialogue extremely conversational rather than the usual high-brow rubbish you get in more critically-acclaimed films ; Carpenter is a story-teller of realism, making movies like little comic books with all your mates in starring roles.
2. Carpenter’s self-penned scores – often using synthesizers – are truly amazing. (particularly Prince of Darkness, Halloween and The Fog).
3. The lighting – when has Carpenter ever made a ‘bright movie’ ? The minimalist lighting effects are his hallmark and add depth to so many of his films. They also provide the classic backdrop for his ‘cheap scares’ when something just pops out of these shadows accompanied by a shrill musical note, only to disappear back into darkness seconds later.