John Carpenter is a legend – and he’s exactly the kind you’ll likely make fun of when you tell him that fact to his face. (In his role as co-author on David Gordon Green’s continuation of His Sweetheart HalloweenCarpenter is inclined to refer to himself and his associates as “carpet men,” brought in to install the background element, rather than claiming any more explicit creative role.) Carpenter, a longtime outsider of the Hollywood system, is well known for his ease of anger, self-deprecation, and blunt honesty. And the natural – both of them were pretty visible in our last conversation with him about Green’s next goal score The end of Halloween.
Our conversation naturally drifted, though, to one of Carpenter’s other big passions: video games, discussions about which have often been a healthy part of the director’s online conversations in recent years. And that’s how things went here, as Carpenter indulged in talking about all his favorite games of 2022, and what game franchise he would adapt to screen if he had what he wanted, and what he’s thinking metal equipment Hideo Kojima – who has his signature, Solid Snake, A slight Similar to Carpenter’s cinematic badass nicknamed Reptile, Snake Pleasekin, from Escape from New York.
AV Club: When You Watch Someone Else Halloween Movie to score, is it hard to stay in composer mode?
John Carpenter: Well, sometimes I have an opinion. Sometimes I share it with David, sometimes I shut up. I am now a composer. I’m supposed to make him happy. Humanitarian.
AVC: Is it difficult to do this?
JC: of course not. of course not!
AVC: With the same soundtrack, how do you balance giving familiar people Halloween Seems along with doing something new?
JC: Well, it depends. Everything just comes out of the story and the characters. So if we have a new character, like we do with Halloween Ends, we developed a theme for them. And we utilize that, but sometimes we use the old stuff. All of this is a matter of judgment and instinct. That’s all it’s about. I know that’s not very sexy to say, but judgment and instinct is the whole deal.
AVC: Do you like the movie?
JC: Yes, I do. It’s a very, very interesting movie.
AVC: Shifting gears slightly: Are you familiar with the phrase “elevated horror?”
JC: I don’t know what that means. I mean, I can guess what it means, but I don’t really know.
JC: I have no idea what you are talking about.
AVC: fair enough!
JC: But I hear you, I hear you. There is metaphorical horror. But all the movies have them… they don’t have messages. They have themes. Thematic material and some horror movies contain thematic material. The good ones do.
AVC: What balance has to be struck there, between subjects, and just scaring people?
JC: When a scary scene comes, we must be scary. It all depends on what we are looking at on the screen. This balance is done by the director. [Referring to himself and his composing team] We are just carpets. We’re just carpet guys here. Your wood floors need carpet? We provide.
AVC: Are you keeping up with new horror movies at this point?
JC: some of them. Not all of them, but I definitely do some.
JC: Yes, I really liked this movie. This was really interesting. It has covered new ground, which is always a pleasure.
AVC: One of the reasons why I want to talk to you is that you talk a lot about online video games, and I’m the game editor on the site—
JC: Oh, what a good man you are!
AVC: Thank you! First of all: what have you been playing lately?
JC: Oh, I’m so attached to this fallout 76 Game. Long hooked on it. You know, I know it had bugs coming in, and a lot of it got put out, but I thought it was pretty cool. It’s really fun to play. I keep up Borderlands And the Horizon: Forbidden West. I love that game. Nice. What a design! Brainstorming.
AVC: You seem to be drawn to games that are a more open type of exploration game. How about those games that you like?
JC: Well, it’s fun. Your freedom to roam and do it your way. And that’s what I love Drops. There is a form to follow, there are tasks, but you can do it differently. And they keep coming up with new tasks every now and then, and new ideas. it is good. It’s really interesting. But I have time for Bandicoot Crash And the Questions and clankingand things like that, too.
AVC: did you play the new Questions and clanking? Playstation 5 one?
JC: she did. loved it.
AVC: did you try elden ring?
JC: No, it looks like a role-playing game. Is that what it is?
AVC: It’s one of the people who did it Evil spirits. It is a role playing action. But kind of open world too.
JC: Do I recommend it?
AVC: Yes! It is on the more difficult side. But if you like going through a big and interesting countryside, it’s pretty cool.
JC: Maybe I will try it.
AVC: Have you ever thought about writing a soundtrack for a game?
JC: If someone asks me, I’m sure of it. But no one asked!
AVC: Maybe we can change that. A lot of your albums will work great with games.
JC: Fine, thank you. I like that. It will be fun, huh? fun for me.
AVC: The only game your business has been licensed is the thing From 2002, right?
JC: Oh yes. that’s cool. *chuckles* I love that game.
AVC: Do you know the name Hideo Kojima?
AVC: Have you met him? He has a character named Solid Snake…
JC: I know about Solid Snake. I have knowledge of that. No, he wrote to me. I think he wrote to me instead of paying the company any money at all.
JC: He just said, “Hey, how are you?” But I know who it is for sure.
AVC: Did you play those games?
JC: Oh no. did my son. I looked at them, but I didn’t play them.
AVC: I’ve talked a lot about Doctrine killer Online games. Do you have a favorite from this series?
JC: I did like ValhallaWell, that was very good. I like the early ones a lot, where you had to climb towers and sync. I love that. And there was Assassin’s Creed: Origins, I wasn’t fond of this game, because it just… it sounded repetitive. Anyway, I don’t know. I do not want to criticize.
AVC: Do you play these games mostly? Or is it about the play for you?
JC: It’s all about the gameplay. all about it. nothing else matters. I mean, I’d play a poorly designed game, but it’s great.
AVC: What falls under that? Badly designed, but great?
JC: I can’t tell you one directly. But older games in general are not as well designed as newer ones. They are not smooth. The graphics are not good and well developed. But still, it’s fun to play sometimes, you know?
AVC: I started playing with sonic the hedgehog. Are there any other old games that you revisit often?
JC: surely. Jack and Daxter. Do you remember that game? I love that game. Well, the first in particular.
AVC: It’s interesting, because this studio kept working the last of us Toys. Did you play these?
JC: I own. I got stuck Our last 2. I could not start the generator. I felt frustrated.
AVC: Fair enough.
JC: Well, that’s not fair! I wanted to keep going! But they wouldn’t let me.
AVC: Do you have any interest in adapting a game? the last of us TV program Working now…
JC: the last of us TV program?
AVC: Yes, HBO makes it.
JC: are you kidding me? this is unbelievable. unbelievable.
AVC: It’s Craig Mazen who did it Chernobyl.
JC: Oh, wow. Chernobyl It was awesome.
AVC: Have you ever thought about adapting a game?
JC: The only thing I can think of, and I mentioned it before, is dead space. This would make a really great movie. I can do that.
AVC: Do you have a favorite from this series?
JC: Well, any of them were really good. I even like the latter, the work that no one liked.
AVC: Do you feel scared while playing?
JC: Well, I don’t like things that jump in my face and threaten my character, no! Don’t threaten my character, I want to survive. Lots of games, they punish you to death. It’s one of the things I love DropsThey don’t punish you. You die over and over in a difficult mission. I love that.
AVC: It is a multiplayer game as well. Do you interact with people at all in it?
JC: Me, no. I don’t want to be ashamed of some punk guys. You know, that’s what will happen, they will shame me. They are all better than me. I’m just trying to get it. I’m not that good.
AVC: How many hours do you say you are logged in fallout 76?
JC: I don’t know. She is sick. Whatever it is, he’s really sick. I am addicted to it. It’s way too many hours, okay? That’s what it is.
AVC: How do games fit into your usual routine?
JC: It’s a big part of my life. I enjoy it. It’s more fun than directing movies. This is hard work. This is exhausting. This is comfortable. I will play anytime I can.
AVC: Do you have anything you wish was different in modern games, anything you would like to change?
JC: Oh, hell no. Keep going. Keep making great things. That’s what I’m saying, because they’re all good. I have no criticism of them. I don’t want them to do something they don’t. What they do is very good. started in 1992, sonic the hedgehog. I’m trying to figure out how to play that game. My God. It was difficult for me. I mean, nobody else, I’m sure.
AVC: These are tougher games than people might remember.
JC: Oh, my God, so bad. harsh. The early games, you know, were ruthless. They make them easier sometimes, now.
AVC: Do you feel accomplished when you finish a difficult task in a game?
JC: yes! Oh yes. I feel proud of myself. And celebrate, I don’t know, by smoking a cigarette.