The reason why John Carpenter hasn’t kept up with modern horror films is pretty easy to sum up. He’s kind of a busy guy. He’s so busy with his music that he just doesn’t take the time to keep up with what’s been done with his movie, Halloween, throughout the years. He still watches movies, he still keeps up on some of the mainstream ideas and films, but when it comes to horror he just kind of stays away. It’s not out of any ill will or desire to snub them, it’s just a matter of personal choice. Think about it this way, he came, he did, and he saw, and now he can look back at it with fond memories and without regret. Once Halloween was put into the hands of others it became something that he no longer had to worry about, which left him free to pursue his love of music. There’s no deep, dark, underlying reason for his decision to step away, and in fact he doesn’t mind at all that people have remade his films.
That alone should tell people that it’s not a big issue, that he doesn’t so much care that the Halloween franchise is being run over and over. Carpenter came up with the idea remember, he pushed it forward and then he allowed others to take the helm when he was finished. It wasn’t a giant conspiracy that turned him off to the horror genre and it wasn’t a huge deal that he stepped away in the first place. The guy is obviously one of the masters when it comes to horror, but in everyone’s life there comes a time that you need to move on and decide on what you’d like to do with the rest of your days and nights. Some folks stay the course and run themselves into the ground trying to keep up with everything, but Carpenter decided to step away and turn towards something else he was passionate about, his music.
When you really think about it that might have been the best move since horror films are not what they used to be. Back in the day you could have scared the living daylights out of people with just a few well-placed musical notes and a setting that told them that something creepy or extremely scary was about to happen. The audiences of today have seen those moments and demand more however. The downside of this is that a lot of times more tends to be too much. The shock factor needs to be bigger and bigger with some people and in some cases it tends to get too over the top, meaning the balance tips and the movie just goes off the rails in terms of gore, violence, and carnage. Some people like it, but others think it’s just kind of ridiculous. Creating a horror movie like those back in the day is something that takes a lot of skill and time to get just right so that people are freaked out but not forced into gales of laughter as the movie devolves into something that’s just so over the top that it becomes ridiculous.
That’s a lot of pressure to deal with, and as a result I’m not surprised that Carpenter doesn’t try.