What is John Carpenter known for? Legacy explored as Jordan Peele insinuates 'Halloween' director to be G.O.A.T. of horror genre

Jordan Peele (right) hails John Carpenter (left) as the best horror director. (Images via Getty Images/Emma Mcintyre/Christopher Polk)
Jordan Peele (right) hails John Carpenter (left) as the best horror director. (Images via Getty Images/Emma Mcintyre/Christopher Polk)

Jordan Peele is one of the most successful Hollywood directors when it comes to horror movies, but the man himself does not believe he can be above the famous John Carpenter.

On July 20, when a fan tweeted their opinion about Peele being “the best horror director,” he slid into the comments section to speak about the legendary horror director, Carpenter.

For those unversed, Peele’s latest movie, Nope, has received an early Rotten Tomatoes score of more than 80%. His two previous movies, including Get Out (2017) and Us (2019), have received similar acclaim, but Peele does not seem to believe he can be called the best when John Carpenter exists.

Peele tweeted:

“Sorry. I love your enthusiasm, but I will just not tolerate any John Carpenter slander!!!”

Exploring John Carpenter’s legacy as a horror director

John Carpenter co-wrote and directed the 1978 movie Halloween, which was a massive success. The director then worked on movies including The Fog, Christine, and In the Mouth of Madness, which became cult classics. The director has also helmed movies like Dark Star and The Thing, which were not appreciated when released.

While speaking to Variety, Carpenter recalled how fans were shocked to see the repulsive special effects used to portray the monster in The Thing since he was a “low-rent” director at that point in his career.

He said:

“'The Thing' was a bomb. Fans hated it, critics hated it. They thought I showed them too much of the monster. You just don’t do that. Only if you’re a low-rent director, like me, do you show the monster. You’re supposed to hide it in the shadows.”

Moreover, at one point, John Carpenter also recalled facing difficulties in his career after The Thing did not do well at the box office.

“I needed a job after ‘The Thing’ because nobody would hire me. So this came along and I took the job, and it turned out better than it had any right to. We discarded one element of Stephen King’s story, which was the ghost of the owner would sit in the backseat. I thought that was a bit cheesy. I don’t know, maybe I made a mistake, but it turned out okay.”

In the same 2019 interview with Variety, John Carpenter looked back at his half a century journey as a horror film director and shared how “big” a deal his movie releases were to him. He said:

“Just getting these movies to release is a big deal. When I was a kid, I decided at one point I wanted to be a movie director, and I got to do that. A lot of very talented people never got the chance to do that. So I’m really lucky. Don’t lose yourself, no matter what happens. Keep in touch with who you are when you start because a lot of things happen to you, success and failure both.”

However, Jordan Peele’s tweet defending Carpenter’s legacy sat well with fans who praised the Candyman director for his honesty and love for Carpenter.

While one social media user thanked him for his “humility,” another user hailed him and Carpenter as “kings.”

John Carpenter and Jordan Peele have established their legacies as two of the best horror movie directors. The two have also branched out into other genres of action, comedy, and sci-fi. Peele’s new movie Nope is set to hit American theaters on July 22.

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Edited by Piyush Bisht