Horror Maven John Carpenter Doesn’t Care If You Don’t Like His New Show ‘Suburban Screams’: “If You Don’t Like It, F**k Off”

Roddy-They Live
Roddy Piper puts on the glasses in John Carpenter's They Live (1988), Universal Pictures

Legendary director John Carpenter, known for Halloween, The Thing, Escape From New York, and much more, has reached a point in his long career where he doesn’t have to care what people think – fans and detractors alike. More importantly, he isn’t afraid to let them know it, especially where his new docu-series on Peacock (Suburban Screams) is concerned.

Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken in Escape from New York (1981), AVCO Embassy Pictures

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“I made a little series. If you don’t like it, f**k off. If you do like it, I like you. So there you go,” he said to Business Insider. “It was fun. It didn’t require too much of my time. It was a light commitment and I enjoyed telling the story.” Carpenter is known for his enjoyable stories and spectacles.

“Good story is what horror is all about. That’s what I searched the world for, what I try to do,” he said, rejecting jump scares, final girls, and the usual tropes as anything that matters.

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in Halloween Ends, co-written, produced, and directed by David Gordon Green.

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There are a few reasons why his films stand the test of time. The director’s storytelling prowess is a big one. Generations have connected with his characters and signature atmosphere that redefined the horror genre.

In many ways, Carpenter’s work also revived it during low periods. Halloween, for instance, spawned the slasher and The Thing helped mainstream gross-out effects.

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He continues that tradition with Suburban Screams, which documents real stories of terror in the burbs. “We have researchers that are scouring the suburbs for stories, and the stories need to focus on survivors, violence, and evil and in various places…we found a lot of amazing ones, and we just chose the best, the most fun, most cinematic,” Carpenter explained.

There are, as you might expect, cases with a supernatural twist. It’s the material that earned the filmmaker the honor of being called a master of horror. Strangely, Carpenter doesn’t see himself that way and, blasé to that idea, is more interested in discussing hobbies he occupies his time with. Basketball and video games are surprisingly paramount in his lifelong vocation.

Michael Myers (aka The Shape, left) in Halloween Kills, directed by David Gordon Green

“I’m not a master of anything. I just want to play video games and watch basketball. That’s all I care about doing. I don’t want to bother anybody,” Carpenter confessed. He’s also not spooked anymore by his favored medium. “I’d ask you to take a look around the world right now. A frightening place in reality. I don’t need movies to scare me.”

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