It’s hard to argue that John Carpenter isn’t one of the greatest horror filmmakers ever. I know there are plenty of great horror director/writer/filmmakers like Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, and Alfred Hitchcock, but John Carpenter should be on the top, or at least in the top three.
Here’s a cool article about some films that John Carpenter passed on, or never got made for other reasons. What could have been . . .
I made a list of the best horror movies ever made on this blog before, and looking back at the top movies, only John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper had two films in the top 15 – Halloween and The Thing (1982) for John Carpenter, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist for Tobe Hooper. Interestingly, you could almost count Steven Spielberg twice on that list as a writer and a director for Poltergeist and Jaws.
But for me, just for a body of horror films, I would have to put John Carpenter at either number one or two. He created horror film classics such as: The Fog, Halloween, The Thing, Christine, They Live, Prince of Darkness, In the Mouth of Madness, and others.
Hitchcock would usually be a unanimous number one on most people’s lists, but besides Psycho and The Birds, a lot of his other films could be called suspense rather than horror (which isn’t to say that they weren’t classics).
I’d like to hear your opinion – please feel free to comment.