Halloween Series Wiki
Halloween Series Wiki
John Carptener.jpg
Name: John Howard Carpenter
Known aliases: Frank Armitage, Johnny Carpenter, James T. Chance, John T. Chance, Rip Haight, Martin Quatermass
Gender: Male
Place of birth: Carthage, New York, USA
Birth: January 16, 1948 (Age 72)

John Howard Carpenter (born January 16, 1948) is an Academy Award-winning American film director, screenwriter, producer, editor, composer, and occasional actor. Although Carpenter has worked in numerous film genres, his name is most commonly associated with horror and science fiction.


Carpenter's Halloween was a smash hit on release and helped give birth to the slasher film genre. Originally an idea suggested by producer Irwin Yablans (entitled The Babysitter Murders), who envisioned a film about babysitters being menaced by a stalker, Carpenter took the idea and another suggestion from Yablans that it take place during Halloween and developed a story. Carpenter said of the basic concept: "Halloween night. It has never been the theme in a film. My idea was to do an old haunted house movie." The film was written by Carpenter and Debra Hill.

Carpenter again worked with a relatively small budget, $320,000. The film grossed over $65 million initially, making it one of the most successful independent films of all time.

Carpenter relied upon taut suspense rather than the excessive gore that would define later slasher films in order to make the menacing nature of the main character, Michael Myers, more palpable. At times, Carpenter has described Halloween in terms that appeared to directly contradict the more thoughtful, nuanced approach to horror that he actually used, such as: "True crass exploitation. I decided to make a film I would love to have seen as a kid, full of cheap tricks like a haunted house at a fair where you walk down the corridor and things jump out at you." The film has often been cited as an allegory on the virtue of sexual purity and the danger of casual sex, although Carpenter has explained that this was not his intent: "It has been suggested that I was making some kind of moral statement. Believe me, I'm not. In Halloween, I viewed the characters as simply normal teenagers." Of the later slasher films that largely mimicked Carpenter's work on Halloween, few have met with the same critical success.

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In addition to the film's critical and commercial success, Carpenter's self-composed Halloween Theme remains a recognizable film music theme to this day.