Boo! John Carpenter Returns to the Halloween Franchise

Boo! John Carpenter Returns to Halloween Franchise!

In case you missed it, Blumhouse has announced that they have brought John Carpenter back into the Halloween franchise.  He will be producing the next installment in the series, set to release in October 2017.

I do not like this.

As you all well know, Carpenter is the man responsible for first bringing Michael Myers into our world back in 1978, effectively giving birth to the slasher boom of the 80s.  Even after all these years, Halloween is just as good today as it was when it was released (I assume, anyway: I was -2 at the time of its release).  It looks amazing, the acting is incredible and it features one of the best theme songs in horror history.

Carpenter wrote and produced Halloween II (one of the best horror sequels ever made) and produced Halloween III: Season of the Witch.  He had success outside this series as well, with an insane filmography that includes The Thing, The Fog, Escape From New York, Prince of Darkness, They Live and In the Mouth of Madness, to name a few.

His recent history, however, has not been so kind.  The last three movies he directed were Vampires (1998), Ghosts of Mars (2001) and The Ward (2010).  The Rotten Tomatoes scores for those are 37%, 21% and 32%, respectively.  Rotten Tomatoes scores are nothing compared to the losses these racked up.  Vampires brought in $20.3 million on a budget of $20 million.  Ghosts of Mars brought in $14 million on a budget of $28 million.  The Ward brought in $1.2 million on a budget of $10 million.

For the record, I didn’t hate any of those movies, but I wouldn’t call a single one of those a good movie.  They are terrible movies, but they’re bad enough that I can laugh at them.

But he’s not directing this new Halloween movie, so let’s throw those out the window.  Get outta here, Ghosts of Mars.  He’s merely producing this movie.  So let’s look at the last two movies he produced.

Vampires: Los Muertos and The Fog.  Yeeeesh.
Vampires: Los Muertos is best known for starring Jon Bon Jovi, Darius McCrary and Natasha Gregson Wagner.  Rotten Tomatoes has this at 20%.  I can’t find budget/box office numbers.
The Fog is a remake of Carpenter’s classic.  It stars Maggie Grace, Selma Blair and some other random people.  Rotten Tomatoes has this at 4%.  It brought in $46.2 million on a budget of $18 million, so it did pretty well there.  However, as the Rotten Tomatoes score shows, this was not a good movie.

Due to circumstances I don’t care to explain, I have seen each of these movies no less than 4 times each.  I have problems.  I know it.
Again, like Vampires, Ghosts of Mars and The Ward, I don’t hate these movies, but they are not good movies.  These are both very bad movies.  They just happen to be bad in a way that I can laugh at them.

That’s not what I want for a new Halloween film.  I don’t want a Halloween movie that is so bad it’s funny.  They tried that with Resurrection, but they tried to actually make it funny and failed miserably.  MISERABLY.  I hate that movie so much.

A producer could be anything.  Carpenter could just be put in the role as a figurehead: a way to drum up press and get people talking.  When work starts on the movie, Carpenter could be a thousand miles away, with absolutely no involvement.  He could just as easily be in some kind of on-set consultant role.  Whichever way it goes, it doesn’t guarantee the movie is going to be good just because his name is slapped on it.  This could just as easily turn into The Fog remake all over again.

Carpenter stepped away from movies after 2001’s Ghosts of Mars because he felt “burned out.”  I doubt his experience with The Ward lit any fire underneath him.  He has released two stellar albums (Lost Themes and Lost Themes II), but nothing in regards to film.  I love John Carpenter.  He has done wonders for the horror genre, but I think it’s time for him to finally fade into the cinematic sunset.

This movie could be good, but Carpenter won’t likely have much to do with it.  Call me when a writer/director is announced.