Master of horror John Carpenter doesn't 'need to see' the Borderlands film, may have quit Diablo 4 for the same reason he dropped Red Dead 2: 'I can't even get on that horse'

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 13: Special Guest John Carpenter attends the screening of 'Escape from New York' at the 2019 TCM 10th Annual Classic Film Festival on April 13, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
(Image credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for TCM)

John Carpenter is a filmmaking genius, a horror legend, and a terrible equestrian. At least, that's my takeaway from a recent interview the director gave to Larry Fitzmaurice's newsletter Last Donut of the Night. Among questions about noir, ageing, and politics, Carpenter was asked about what he's been playing lately. The answer? Not Diablo 4.

"I can't even get on that horse," said Carpenter, whose only other substantial comment on Blizzard's latest was "Oh, no no no. I can't… no, no, no." Hey, John, I get it.

I have to admit I'm not sure whether to interpret the horse comment literally or metaphorically. It could be that Diablo 4's infinite live serviceness makes it just too much for Carpenter, and he's using the phrase as a saying equivalent to "That's just too much for me." On the other hand, Carpenter does have a history of problems with actually, literally getting on videogame horses. He's previously told interviewers that he had to quit Red Dead Redemption 2—our #7 videogame of all time—because he "couldn't get on the damn horse."

I kind of hope it's the latter. When he's not creating absolute filmic bangers like Prince of Darkness and The Thing, Carpenter is an avid gamer whose most recent appearance in our pages came when he lavished the Dead Space remake with fulsome praise: "Great game!" Possibly because it didn't have a horse in it.

To be fair, Carpenter is a 76-year-old man with far better things to be doing than dressage, and Diablo's mount system is a weird, opaque thing (unlike RDR2's; I can't really explain that one). To get a mount in Diablo 4, you have to get all the way through Act 3 before doing the Mount: Donan's Favour quest. It's very understandable if Carpenter chucked the whole thing in long before he ever reached that point. Hell, I did, and I'm one of the fools who set aside time to get that time-limited Ashava mount trophy during the beta.

Carpenter didn't just discuss Diablo in the interview, mind you. He also offered his thoughts on Horizon Forbidden West ("loved it"), God of War ("it's fun") and the Steam Deck ("I don't know what that is"). Asked if he's seen the trailer for the Borderlands movie, Carpenter diplomatically says "Yes, I did. It looks… I know Anthony Burch, he's a friend. He says he's seen it! So I don't need to see it."

Plus, he says he's played Super Mario Bros and, when confronted with the concept of Zelda, said "Zelda I can't take. I wouldn't get near that." What is it about Zelda that has the master of horror quaking in his boots? Probably Epona.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.