John Carpenter’s Second Life

Do you feel like there’s any lessons we can take away from the film in terms of our approach to the pandemic?

[Laughs] Is there a lesson? Be careful of who you trust! Or you’ll catch this disease! It’s not a real positive message.

It feels like a lot of your work is still prescient. I’m sure I’m not the only person that’s ever said that to you.

It’s happened for years and years. It seems like I’m just ahead. I’m making movies for an audience that doesn’t quite exist yet.

Do you have any regrets about any of your films?

Are you kidding? Every movie! I can’t watch my own movies. I’m too critical of myself. I see a scene and I go, “What did I do that for? Why did I put the camera there?”

Do you feel more comfortable making the remakes of your films?
No? [Laughs] I’d be more comfortable if I had nothing to do with it! No, that’s not completely true. I love the new Halloween. David Gordon Green, what a director. And I loved doing the score for it, too. I’m very proud of that work with him.

I know you’re a fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog games. Did you see the movie?
[Laughs] I did not. Sonic was a great game, but I’m not sure that translates to movies.

There’s a Wikipedia page about your unrealized projects that claims you once had interest in being involved with a Sonic film.

No! I have no interest in that! I wouldn’t get near it! It would screw up something that was great.

You did almost make a film out of the Dead Space franchise, though.

I’d love to do that one. But no one’s even near asking me to do that, so I don’t have to worry about it. [Laughs]

Did you get a Playstation 5 yet?

What video games have you been playing?

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which is very good, and for a long time I’ve been playing Fallout 76. It really grew on me. They keep giving you adventures and storylines.

You’re the first person I’ve spoken to that’s recommended Fallout 76.

I know. It was a terrible launch. But I got into it! What can I say?

You were playing Destiny 2 for a while, too.

It’s a mixed bag. The loading is always an issue because of the amount of memory it takes up. You have to cannibalize your collection. The gameplay’s good, but I could never figure out a story—if there was a story. Something about a traveler? That’s all I could figure out.

You previously praised Horizon Zero Dawn’s storytelling. When it comes to video games, how important is story to you in relation to gameplay?

It all comes down to the gameplay. You can have a great story, but it’s tricky. Red Dead Redemption 2, I can’t play that game. The aiming is off, the riding horses is off—it’s weird and primitive. Stories are always important though, especially in movies. But I loved Horizon Zero Dawn, I played through that several times.

Did you play The Last of Us Part 2?
Ay. Yeah. I couldn’t get through that. The main character was trying to start a generator, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to do it. There was nothing intuitive about the controls, so I just stopped playing. It’s just starting a generator! Come on, man.

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