John Carpenter season

“I don’t know what’s in there but it’s weird and pissed off“ – The Thing, 1982

The American film director John Carpenter rose to fame in the late 1970s and 80s with a series of horror and science fiction movies now firmly established as cult classics. Carpenter adapted the B movie format to powerful effect, writing and directing lean, taut low budget movies featuring minimalist production techniques, claustrophobic locations and pulsating, eerie scores often written by Carpenter himself. Carpenter worked in many horror sub-genres including slasher, body horror, zombie and supernatural, exploiting the fears of his audience with tremendous mastery of pacing and suspense.

His first big film was the seminal Halloween (1978) now released in a 40 anniversary edition with an introduction by Carpenter himself (coinciding with the release of the new Halloween sequel featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and the original Michael Myers). The Fog (1980) was a supernatural thriller set on the remote Californian coast. This was followed by his great sci-fi thriller Escape from New York (1981), a cracking post-apocalyptic action thriller set on Manhattan and featuring his regular collaborator Kurt Russell as the iconic anti-hero Snake Plissken.

Our final film is Carpenter’s 1982 masterpiece, The Thing (1982) a remake of a 1951 Howard Hawks movie. With a score by Ennio Morricone and special effects by Rob Bottin he created one of the creepiest and most terrifying movies ever made.

All films shown in new digital restorations.

Films in this season