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Nobody would hire me after 'The Thing' debacle: John Carpenter

Friday, July 05, 2019

Horror master John Carpenter says after the box office failure of "The Thing" in 1982, things were so grim that no one wanted to take chances on him.

Starring Kurt Russell, the horror film shocked audiences with repulsive special effects used for the titular, shape-shifting monster and opened to negative reviews.

"'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," Carpenter told Variety.

"The Thing" went on to gain a cult following over the years, with critics hailing it as a seminal horror movie and praising its themes of paranoia and mistrust in the Cold War era.

His "Christine", the 1983 adaptation of Stephen King's killer car novel, was Carpenter's only film which turned out to be better than he anticipated.

"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 back seat. I thought that was a bit cheesy. I don't know, maybe I made a mistake, but it turned out okay," he said.

One of Carpenter's most famous works is "Halloween" franchise, to which he returned as both composer and executive producer for the horror sequel "Halloween" (2018).

The filmmaker is also attached to executive produce Universal and Blumhouse's "Halloween" sequel, slated to be released in October 2020.

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