In the same interview, Carpenter was complimented on his ability to craft a great “cheap scare.” The filmmaker took no offense. “I’m a cheap guy,” Carpenter said in response. “That’s all just instinct. You try them and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.” Given his straightforward approach to filmmaking, it’s not hard to see why he would look at a scene that involves vampires coming out of the ground and think that the best possible solution is to bury people so that they can come up out of the ground. Cheap and effective.
As for the whole “calming the actors down” bit, Carpenter also addressed that in a roundabout way later in the interview. Discussing dealing with actors in a broader sense, the director likened it to being a father. For him, it’s a matter of determining the type of father an actor needs to do their job:
“You just have to figure out what each actor needs. Most of them want a father, and you have to determine as you’re working with them if they respond best to a strong father, a nice father, a severe father – what’s going to get the best out of them? Sometimes you have a group of actors who each need different approaches, and it’s tough to know what to do in that situation; you just do the best you can. It’s an exhausting job, I must tell you.”
The exhausting nature of the job may be why Carpenter hasn’t directed a feature film since 2010’s “The Ward.” But he did recently direct a TV show from the comfort of his couch, which we have to look forward to. That undoubtedly makes it far less exhausting. Maybe if he could make a movie from his couch, he would get back in the game and bury some more actors for the sake of entertainment.