John Carpenter quit Red Dead because he 'couldn't get on the damn horse'

A beautiful vista in Red Dead Redemption 2 with a horse in the foreground running on Nvidia graphics with DLSS
(Image credit: Future)

John Carpenter is a genius. The man is responsible for directing The Thing, They Live, Escape From New York, and Assault On Precinct 13. Also, ah, Ghosts Of Mars, but they can't all be winners.

The point being that his taste is—almost—irreproachable. But in an interview with The New Yorker, the master of horror revealed that he couldn't bring himself to make it all the way through Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2, which currently sits pretty at #5 on our list of the top 100 PC games. The reason? He "couldn't get on the damn horse".

Carpenter says he's pretty good at games, but "with that one I was terrible". "The controls weren't intuitive, at least for me," he says, explaining his equestrian troubles. He's not alone: several writers here at PCG took Red Dead to task recently for handling "like absolute dogshit". It seems Carpenter would agree, although his language had to be more in line with The New Yorker's style guide.

Carpenter has a long history of gaming hot takes: a couple of years back he was singing the praises of Assassin's Creed Valhalla as a "return to excellence in the franchise", and in the same New Yorker interview where he decries Red Dead's controls, he talks about how much he's loving Fallout 76 and Horizon: Forbidden West. There's no accounting for taste.

Carpenter's far from the only celeb with a passion for pixels, although he might be the one you'd least expect. Such luminaries as Robert Pattinson, Jamie Lee Curtis, and (of course) Henry Cavill can also be found tinkering with their builds and working on their KDR. No word how many of them smashed a controller in frustration at ploughing their horse into a tree in Red Dead, though.

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.