Can you forgive the unforgivable?

Can you forgive the unforgivable? Heavy way to start the day, I know, but relax, my question isn’t as life changing as you may be thinking. I am talking, of course, about John carpenter’s latest cinematic abortion, The Ward, or as IMDb was kind enough to point out, also known as John Carpenter’s The Ward. Now, I say latest because think back to the last John carpenter movie you may have seen in theaters. That’d be all the way back in 2001 with John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars starring Ice Cube. Is anyone else noticing a trend here? For those of you who may be a little slow on the uptake, it’s the fact that this man will literally attach his name to just about anything he touches. True, in both cases he was the director, but is anybody really that proud of Ghosts of Mars? I bet even Ice Cube is embarrassed of that one…

But that’s not the real question here, is it? The question is, can you forgive the unforgivable? I’m not talking about acts of genocide or infidelity. I’m talking John Carpenter. I know, not the most important of discussions, but here’s my problem. While watching the trailer for The Ward, the trailer cuts to a title card.

From the Director of Halloween

But this is where it gets tricky. Yes, it’s true that John Carpenter directed Halloween back in 1978 and yes, it will probably always be his most famous movie, but is there ever a point where a director should stop being known as “the director of” a certain movie? Logistically speaking, if you’re a director of something, you never stop being a director of something, so technically John carpenter has every right to be “the director of Halloween” but doesn’t that irk anyone else? Or is this just a me thing?

Like, seriously John Carpenter? You haven’t done anything you’re equally proud of since 1978? I understand that it’s also about audience association and what audiences will recognize him for, but at some point, I feel like Carpenter has to stop riding his own coattails. It just doesn’t seem fair that he can live off the infamy of one movie and before anyone gets started in on me, I recognize Halloween‘s influence, even if I refuse to call it the first slasher film. I get that it broke barriers. I get that it was “the little movie that could” and performed better than anyone could have imagined. Hell, I even like the movie, but I just feel like, for every Halloween that John Carpenter has made over the years, he’s got an embarrassing entry into his filmography, like Ghosts of Mars. And maybe it’s just my “negative attitude” or something, but I’m stuck on the flukes of his career rather than clamoring to praise him for Halloween. Like I said, that was over 30 years ago. Now, unfortunately, whenever I think of Carpenter, my mind goes to Halloween for a brief moment before remembering the atrocity that was Ghosts of Mars.

So I guess, in a roundabout way, I’ve answered my own question. No John, I can’t forgive you. Not quite yet. especially with The Ward on the horizon, I recommend getting some new material to brag about because Halloween,/b> can only carry you for so long.


2 thoughts on “Can you forgive the unforgivable?

  1. Let us not forget The Thing, which was truly good in a completely different way than Halloween. Halloween was foreboding, slow, and scary. The Thing was in your face, gruesome, and had a bleak ending. True that Halloween might be his best movie, but The Thing (and Escape from New York to a lesser extent) deserves credit in its own right.

    But then again he also made Vampires, Ghosts of Mars, Prince of Darkness, and Escape from LA so maybe he is just a hack with some good luck.

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