The Ward feels like a death rattle.
Ghosts of Mars is another old-school outing bearing many characteristics familiar from Carpenters' early work, but also suffering from the same sort of formal imbalance
Vampires remains one of the more underwhelming entries in the legend’s filmography.
Escape from L.A. finds Carpenter working on a scale he deserved but producing something more in line with his more modest features.
Village of the Damned definitively disappears into unremarkable ‘90s thriller territory, functioning as yet another bland entry in the director’s less-than-lustrous late period.
Distills Carpenter’s thematic sensibilities into its purest form, conveying the central thesis of his horror films that nothing is quite as it seems and evil lurks beneath even the quaintest, most idyllic facades.
A deliciously fun distillation of why Carpenter has endured for so long.
A famously hands-on auteur was ultimately cowed by his star’s predominating power over the project.
Perhaps because of how undeniably cool the film is, it remains one of the director’s most underrated efforts.
Its climax may be Carpenter’s single best demonstration of skill.