John Carpenter is a living legend of horror cinema. With “Halloween – The Night of Horrors”, “The Fog – Nebel des Grauens” and “The Thing from Another World” he has put his style-defining stamp on the genre several times. Meanwhile, John Carpenter has not directed for twelve years (most recently on the psychological horror The Ward, starring Amber Heard), concentrating mostly on his role as a producer or composer of film music.
In an interview with The AV Club Carpenter recently wrote extensively about “Halloween Ends’, the final part of David Gordon Green’s ‘Halloween’ trilogy. When asked what he would think of the so-called “elevated horror”, the original director was at a loss for words: “I don’t know what that term means. I mean, I can guess what it means, but I don’t really know.”
When interviewer John Carpenter asked about indie production company A24 and named Ari Aster and his acclaimed horror hits “Hereditary” and “Midsommar,” the filmmaker simply retorted: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Shortly thereafter, the “Halloween” creator stated that he didn’t really deal with current horror films or modern trends.
Whether that’s really the case or whether John Carpenter just didn’t feel like dealing with the subject on stage because he is a fan of traditional horror cinema is another matter. Maybe at the age of 74 he just really doesn’t care if he still pays the necessary attention to today’s horror cinema. But he was already helping to shape the genre when A24 was not even mentioned.
If you are now wondering what is behind the term “elevated horror” (or in the translation: “elevated horror”): These are horror films that are also made for an audience that usually does not understand the genre. Prime examples of this are “The Babadook”, “The Witch’, ‘Hereditary’ or ‘Suspiria’ by Luca Guadagnino. In a highly artistic manner, a subtle visual language is used here that avoids superficial shock effects and works towards a statement that goes beyond horror.
The aforementioned Studio A24 is also predestined for such films, but also stands outside the horror genre for particularly creatively implemented original material far away from the mainstream franchise market. This was impressively proven again this year with the great multiverse hit “Everything Everywhere All At Once”.