The Halloween movies have been rebooted more times than virtually any other horror franchise, with plenty of retconning and different explanations offered regarding why Michael Myers targets Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode. But horror master John Carpenter considers every sequel that came after the first movie to be “silly” and “a mistake.”
A long-running franchise has been spawned from 1978’s Halloween, as it’s widely considered to be one of the best horror movies ever, but Carpenter views the numerous sequels as ill-advised. Reboots by directors such as Rob Zombie and later David Gordon Green “rooted around in [Michael Myers’] motivation. I thought that was a mistake,” Carpenter told Deadline in 2014.
“Michael Myers was an absence of character. And yet all the sequels are trying to explain that. That’s silliness – it just misses the whole point of the first movie, to me. He’s part person, part supernatural force.”
John Carpenter wrote the first sequel (1981’s Halloween II) against his better judgment, as he explained; “I had to write the second movie, and every night I sat there and wrote with a six pack of beer trying to get through this thing. And I didn’t do a very good job, but that was it. I couldn’t do any more.”
Carpenter says that he accepts that sequels and remakes will be made, but he’s happy not to be directly involved. “I didn’t think there was any more story [after the first], and I didn’t want to do it again. All of my ideas were for the first Halloween – there shouldn’t have been any more! I’m flattered by the fact that people want to remake them, but they remake everything these days, so it doesn’t make me that special.”
2022’s Halloween Ends was possibly the most controversial Halloween movie yet, with opinion massively divided over whether it was ridiculous in a good way or a bad way. Our own Halloween Ends review expressed disbelief over its weird and wonderful self-aware form that played with all of the many expectations of how a slasher movie trilogy should end. David Gordon Green cannot be stopped, and moved onto The Exorcist as his next victim.
Carpenter has directed just two movies this century – 2001’s brilliant science fiction movie Ghosts of Mars and 2010’s The Ward. He now focuses on making music with his son and other collaborators.
2023 marks significant anniversaries for three of Carpenter’s horror classics – Halloween (45), Christine (40), and They Live (35) – meaning he’s constantly pursued for interviews and to attend events. Carpenter turned 75 in early 2023, and speaks frankly about his attitude to his own legacy and about the now-rabid fan attention for movies such as The Thing, which bombed on release.