Halloween director John Carpenter talks down Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer: ‘It was OK’

The ‘Halloween’ and ‘Escape from New York’ director commented: ‘Everyone’s praising it as the movie of the century – I don’t know about that’

Kevin E G Perry
Saturday 04 May 2024 00:54 BST
Logan Paul on why he walked out of Oppenheimer

John Carpenter has delivered his verdict on Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning blockbuster Oppenheimer, describing the epic biopic as “OK”.

The director, 76, is often known as the “Master of Horror” for his work on films like Halloween and The Thing.

While speaking to the Last Donut of the Night newsletter, Carpenter was asked which recent movies he had or hadn’t enjoyed.

Oppenheimer was OK,” he responded. “It was alright. Everyone’s praising it as the movie of the century – I don’t know about that.”

Asked whether he liked Nolan’s films in general, Carpenter replied: “Yeah, I guess, sure.”

Oppenheimer tells the story of the mastermind behind the atomic bomb, J Robert Oppenheimer. It won seven categories at the 96th Academy Awards ceremony including Best Picture, Directing, Actor in a Leading Role (Cillian Murphy), Actor in a Supporting Role (Robert Downey Jr), Cinematography, Film Editing and Original Score.

John Carpenter (left) and ‘Oppenheimer’ director Christopher Nolan (Getty)

Carpenter reserved higher praise for Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, saying: “I liked Maestro a great deal. I thought that was terrific.”

Last year Carpenter revealed that he’d also been left cold by Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, telling the Los Angeles Times: “I can’t believe I watched Barbie.”

He added: “It’s just not my generation. I had nothing to do with Barbie dolls. I didn’t know who Allan was. I mean, I can sum it up. She says, ‘I don’t have a vagina,’ and then at the end, ‘I’m going to go to a gynecologist!’ That’s the movie to me.”

In 2021, Carpenter spoke to The Independent and reflected on whether he would ever direct another film after 2010’s The Ward.

“I love directing and under the right circumstances I would do it again,” said Carpenter. “But it can’t be an underfunded movie, you know, and it has to be something I love. A Dracula movie would be nice.”

He acted as an advisor and provided the score for 2021’s Halloween sequel Halloween Kills, a series which he franchised after the success of the original and now has 13 titles to its name.

“I think it is the ultimate slasher film,” said Carpenter. “It is rough and tumble, and boy is it tough! Michael [Myers] is a force of nature again. He’s like the wind – it just comes and you can’t stop it. My new music had to match its intensity. I love the female solidarity [in the new films]. The girls really kick ass. Don’t f*** with them!”

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