When I think of the masters of the horror genre, John Carpenter has to be near the top of that list. Carpenter’s approach to scaring an audience comes from his delight in the genre and its ability to reshape what is truly terrifying about the world into memorable terrors. 

Carpenter has a gusto-like approach to filmmaking and is driven by the desire to create something that pleases him. He isn’t a filmmaker who thinks of himself as a master of horror. Instead, Carpenter is a humble filmmaker who loves making films just as much as you and I. 

All the Right Movies sat down with John Carpenter to talk about the Masters of Horror, which was a series based around an informal dinner with 10 masters of the genre. When asked about some of those dinners, Carpenter lights a cigarette at his desk and takes a moment before revealing that he hasn’t gone to those dinners in a long time. 

“I went to the first few, and it was a lot of fun. It was just fun. Just have dinner, talk, insult each other, and tell jokes,” Carpenter said. “Then, you know, it sort of became something else.”

What changed?

For Carpenter, the change happened when his friend, David Cronenberg, betrayed him.  

“I think the night that got me was when David Cronenberg showed up. He is an old friend of mine. Unfortunately, he takes himself so seriously these days. He is an artist now,” said Carpenter. “And literally, he was holding court in the middle of the room, and I came over to talk to him and he didn’t even look at me. I thought this is enough of this. Forget it. Goodbye.” 

Horror has been taking itself pretty seriously recently. The term  “elevated horror” being used to describe some directors' style creates a disconnect between the joys of the genre and its art form. Horror has always commented on the state of the world, and for some people who receive praise for their horrifying commentary, the praise can perhaps go to their head. Horror can be "elevated" and beautiful, but it can also be ugly and outrageous. It's a genre that leaves room for anything to exist and flourish.

I’m not saying that these filmmakers don’t deserve the respect we give them, but they don’t have to act pretentious about their work. Creating a film is special, and it's a rare chance to take what is in your head and bring it to the screen for someone else to watch. Sometimes it will work, and other times it won't.

What is important is remembering to enjoy the work you create and embrace the community of filmmakers that surround you. Collaboration exists everywhere, so listen to the criticism and praise of your peers to better your craft. 

Do you agree that some filmmakers take themselves too seriously? Let us know in the comments below! 

Source: All The Right Moves via Twitter