6. The Final Girls (2016)
There’s no denying that “Halloween” was a huge film for the horror genre and in particular, the slasher subgenre. In fact, many of the slashers got countless elements from “Halloween” and if you’re an avid slasher fan, you’ve probably seen many “Halloween” copies. The success of the film encouraged Hollywood studios to produce more and more of them. They were especially popular in the 1980s, and “The Final Girls” is a film that successfully parodies and pokes fun at the clichés of the genre while also managing to have a story of its own.
And that’s kind of remarkable because the film plays out like a parody, but it has its own story, which is a kind of original one (a young girl finds herself pulled into the world of her late scream queen mother’s slasher classic) with some surprisingly heartfelt dramatic moments and very fine humour.
The film has a few flaws; in order to not lose their PG-13 ratings, the film avoids some famous emblematic sides of slashers like nudity and gore, but thanks to its energy, you won’t mind it at all. It may not be the next “The Cabin in the Woods” and yes, it probably could do even more with the premise, but “The Final Girls” is an entertaining little gem that would please everyone who loves themselves some ‘80s slashers.
7. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Edgar Wright has always been a huge John Carpenter fan, so there are always some of his elements in his work. In an interview with Indiewire, Wright talked of this film and “The World’s End,” stating, “We actually shot in John Carpenter’s format and I used his idea of making a low-budget film look artsy. I was always taken with the glowing-eyed pirates in ‘The Fog.’ ‘The Fog’ is one of my favorites and even though he only put it on screen for a couple of minutes, that image was burned into my subconscious.” There are also some hints of Carpenter films in the soundtrack.
While “Shaun of the Dead” and other Edgar Wright films are not necessarily similar to a typical John Carpenter film, the influence is obviously there and apart from that, “Shaun of the Dead” is one of the most beloved and acclaimed horror comedies of the 21st century.
And if you’re a Carpenter fan, you know that he likes to put humour into his work as well – the guy made one of the best comedies of his decade (“Big Trouble in Little China”). So if you haven’t seen this modern classic yet, don’t miss it.
8. The Guest (2014)
Surely, Maika Monroe is in a lot of Carpenter-inspired films. “The Guest” was one of the most acclaimed films of its year. It was wicked, fun, and had some of the clichés that certain generations grew up with that we somehow missed seeing in films.
Adam Wingard’s career is inconsistent, but he has made some films that are destined to be cult favorites in the future; just like “You’re Next” and “The Guest.” Dan Stevens stars as a mysterious man who shows up at the home of one family and claims he knew their son Caleb who died in the war in Afghanistan. The family welcomes him, but he has dark secrets to hide.
Stevens’ psycho charm works great here and Carpenter’s influence is alive in this movie. The score sounds almost as it was ripped straight out of the playbook of Carpenter. It’s also a love letter to “Halloween” to some degree and the opening credits of the film are spelled out in Carpenter’s trademark font. There’s also a small reference to “Halloween II” if you catch it. Overall, “The Guest” is a great film and a pure fun for those who love ‘80s genre films.
9. It Follows (2015)
Writer-director David Robert Mitchell has clearly studied up on John Carpenter. Regardless of whether you’re among the people who kept thinking about what’s this “It” in the movie and the symbolism of the whole film, or the latter group that thought it’s just nonsense, there’s no denying that “It Follows” is among those independent horror films that gained a lot of attention and praise from movie critics and horror fans for its mysterious plot, haunting atmosphere, and that score that sounds straight out of a John Carpenter film.
Some may argue that Carpenter doesn’t have a movie like this exactly, but he very well could have if he were still making films, because there are a lot of elements of him here. The similarities are more than just a score. The fans were quick to realize that there are a lot of moments inspired by “Halloween” (1978) and even made videos about it around the web.
Several shots are especially similar: a scary figure glimpsed from a classroom window or two girls walking side-by-side down a suburban tree-lined street. Just like “Halloween,” it’s possible to claim that “The Fog” (1980) also has a notable influence on the film when it comes to creating the atmosphere and that chilling environment in general.
10. The Void (2016)
Chaos, Lovecraft, and tons of Carpenter influence from “Assault” to “The Fog” to “The Thing” to “Prince of Darkness.” There’s even a bit of “Halloween II” in there if you pay attention. And all these Lovecraftian elements may remind you of Carpenter’s “In the Mouth of Madness” as well.
Successfully funded by crowdfunding, behind it are special effects technician Steve Kostanski and visual designer Jeremy Gillespie. “The Void” is about a small group of people who become trapped in a hospital by a gathering of hooded cultists, and by grotesque creatures.
Its plot is not easy to follow, in fact some of the things don’t make much sense and some of the acting is kind of inconsistent, but who cares, it’s a great experience. Especially if you love ‘80s horrors, there’s a lot to be found and appreciated in “The Void.”
Just like Carpenter’s movies, the movie borrows a lot of elements from many other classics, one can say “Hellraiser” for example. It can remind you of many things, but on a whole, “The Void” remains a very interesting experience that should be seen by everyone who loves the genre and grew up with such films.