The Halloween theme is one of the most iconic in all of horror cinema – and it only took director John Carpenter an hour to compose. Carpenter is a legendary figure among film fans, having directed movies like The Thing, Escape From New York and Assault On Precinct 13. He’s probably best known as the writer/director of the original Halloween, a slasher classic that introduced the world to unstoppable serial killer Michael Myers.
In addition to directing, Carpenter is well known for composing the scores to his own work. His menacing, synth-heavy music has proved influential in its own right, inspiring the soundtracks on everything from It Follows to Stranger Things. This started as a necessity for the filmmaker on his early work since he didn’t have the budget to hire another composer. However, as his career progressed it became another way to put his stamp on a movie.
On Halloween, he only had three days to compose the entire score – and in an interview with Consequence Of Sound, Carpenter revealed that the main theme was created much faster than that. While the Halloween theme ranks alongside Jaws and The Exorcist as one of the most recognizable in the horror genre, Carpenter says that the time crunch didn’t allow him to linger on its creation; “That theme was done in like an hour. We moved on.”
Fans of the Halloween franchise are stoked about Carpenter’s return for the next movie as executive producer and composer, and he also briefly addressed how he will be approaching the music for this new entry:
“I would talk to the director about it, see what he needs. Although there are several ways of doing it. We could refurbish the old score, we could maybe do a brand-new score, we could do a combination. It all depends. So, that’s something I’ll sit down with him, spot the movie, and decide what to do.”
Carpenter’s return to the series is something of a surprise since his dislike of the various Halloween sequels is well known. He tried to steer the franchise away from Michael Myers and into an anthology that used the holiday as its uniting theme with 1982’s Halloween III: Season Of The Witch; lukewarm box-office and reviews saw Michael Myers brought back for every movie since. Carpenter feels the sequels just photocopy the original, and add little in the way of creativity.
He previously turned down an offer to direct 1998’s Halloween: H20, but he’s now been lured back in a creative capacity. In a move that probably pleased the veteran filmmaker, the new movie will ignore every other sequel and instead picks up with Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode forty years later. Blumhouse will be producing the new Halloween, while David Gordon Green will direct from a script he co-wrote with actor Danny McBride.
Source: Consequence Of Sound
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