John Carpenter At 75: A Master Of Horror and Paranoia

Filmmaker and musician John Carpenter remains a master of the horror genre and indie filmmaking as he turns 75 in January. / Illustration by Dominic Ho

John Carpenter was making films before started high school. Now, on his 75th birthday, he’s an icon of the genre and several of his films have become classics.

Halloween kicked the slasher genre into full gear in 1978, but The Fog took slasher elements and bathed them in atmosphere and a maritime ghost story. His remake of The Thing as well as late ’80s film They Live were two of the best Reagan-era Cold War paranoia allegories ever made.

Carpenter also made one of the best Stephen King adaptations in Christine, and rounded out the 1980s with an interstellar love story in Starman.

His contributions to the genre as well as to indie filmmaking are gigantic. Catch up to a few of these films and celebrate Carpenter’s craft.