John Carpenter never gives a dull interview, and his latest with AV Club is no exception. As a highly esteemed horror filmmaker and composer, and an avid gamer, he also has a lot to say about video games.
AV Club’s William Hughes asked Carpenter all about the games he’d played, what he likes about them, and even his gaming routine. What quickly emerged was Carpenter’s addiction to Fallout 76, “I got hooked on this Fallout 76 game. Been hooked for a good long time on it. You know, I know it had bugs coming out, and a lot of it was put down, but I thought it was great. It’s really fun to play.” He’d also mentioned he’d been keeping up with Borderlands and Horizon Forbidden West.
It was noted that Carpenter seems to enjoy open-world titles with more exploration, to which he said, “It’s fun. Your freedom to roam around and do it your way. And that’s what I love about Fallout.” There is a template to follow, there are missions, but you can do it differently. And they keep coming up with new missions every once in a while, and new ideas,” Carpenter says.
After recommending that Carpenter play Elden Ring, who hasn’t yet tried the FromSoftware RPG, he was asked as to whether he has considered writing a soundtrack for a game. Carpenter has scored multiple renowned films including Halloween, The Fog, They Live, and more. So, given his fondness of games, you’d think he might’ve tried scoring one, but when asked about it, Carpenter responded, “If somebody asked me, I sure would. But no one’s asked!”
Right now, the only game to feature any of Carpenter’s licensed work is The Thing, a video game adaptation of the 1982 film of the same name, which was directed by Carpenter.
Eventually, Hughes asked whether Carpenter has ever considered adapting a game into a movie, to which he said “The only one I can think of, and I’ve mentioned it before, is Dead Space. That would make a real great movie. I could do that.” Now, this is no confirmation whatsoever that Carpenter is working on a Dead Space movie, but it’s certainly an interesting idea to think about. I know I’d certainly pay to see it.
Carpenter also shared that gaming is a big part of his life, an activity that he certainly finds more fun than directing films. To him, gaming is relaxing. I wish I could say the same. When finally asked about modern games, and if there’s anything Carpenter would like to see changed, he said, “Oh, hell no. Keep going. Keep making great ones. That’s what I say, because they’re all good. I don’t have any criticism of them. I don’t want them to do something they’re not doing. What they’re doing is very good. I started in 1992, Sonic The Hedgehog. Trying to figure out how the f**k to play that game. Oh, god. It was tough for me. I mean, nobody else, I’m sure.”
Last, but not least, does Carpenter feel a sense of accomplishment when finishing a hard mission in a game? Yes. “I feel proud of myself. And celebrate by, I don’t know, smoking a joint.”