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BrianS81177

R.I.P. Wes Craven

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I know, I know, this was mentioned in the horror thread but surely Wes Fucking Craven (actual middle name "Earl") deserves his own memorial thread. 

 

A lot of the stuff he slapped his name onto in the last 20 years or so was pretty blah (though I did like "Red Eye"), but he made what I will still argue with anybody was one of the top 5 horror films of all time if not top 3: New Nightmare. 

 

I wasn't a big fan of the Scream series, but you can't deny it's success and cultural relevance in the 90s/early 00s. 

 

A personal favorite of mine: Shocker. It's so ridiculously dated now (came out in the late 80s) but god is it a lot of fun to watch. Mitch Pileggi hams it up as the big bad, long before he got famous on the X-Files.

 

RIP you sick bastard (meant in a loving way of course).

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I'll go to my grave defending Cursed as a good werewolf movie.

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God New Nightmare is so fucking great.

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I'll go to my grave defending Cursed as a good werewolf movie.

Maybe I should re-watch it because I saw it when it first came out and it really just did NOTHING for me. It wasn't even offensively bad or anything, it just felt so... blah. But then, I spent the bulk of 2000-2010 automatically shitting on any horror film that came out with a PG13 rating. 

 

Honestly even today if I see a horror film rated PG13 my gut instinct is to roll my eyes.

 

*edit to add*

 

And yes Fowler, New Nightmare is so fucking great. 

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I know NIGHTMARE is his masterpiece, but it was also one of a triumvirate of defining horror films in the 80s.  SCREAM on the other hand basically defined an entire decade in the genre.

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I loved the meta-ness of New Nightmare. It's a bit too clunky, but I like the point: Even watching and making horror movies does slightly wacky things to people.

 

Scream was him perfecting and bettering the idea. 

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And Red Eye was pretty good.

 

She stabbed the hell out of the dude with a fucking pen!

 

I guarantee you at least one woman watched that movie and realized it could be a valid form of self-defense if the worst came to the worst and the opportunity ever came up. 

 

Wes Craven: Helping Society. 

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This man basically redefined "horror movies" THREE different times in THREE different decades. First, he was right there on the ground floor of the Incredibly Scummy Exploitation Films in the early 70s with Last House on the Left. Then, he wrenched the slasher genre away from "big dumb guys in masks" to supernatural antagonists with Nightmare on Elm Street. Finally, he permanently popularized the super-meta horror flick with the Scream series. Is there any other single person who's had more influence and more success with changing the genre? I can think of a few other people who arguably did it twice (Romero, Carpenter, Mario Bava) but nobody else comes to mind as a triple threat.

And you know what my favorite Craven movie is? Dead serious: The People Under the Stairs. One of the INCREDIBLY few "horror comedies" which actually brought some horror to play with the comedy, and it even had a pretty blunt sociological message which felt way less preachy and didactic and way more bitterly true than such messages tend to be in these sorts of movies. Let's also remember the fact that Craven was one of the few white directors in genre films who repeatedly made movies starring black actors as the main characters.

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Craven was a fucking genius. 

 

His movies always explored the nature of perceived reality vs actual reality whether it be the dream world vs the material world, buried truths such as the mutants from The Hills Have Eyes, subsumed evil as shown in The People Under The Stairs or Last House On The Left, or fourth wall breaking films like New Nightmare or Scream.

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I still think this is his best film. Perfect deconstruction of the nuclear family (heh) and a great example of his love of booby traps as well. 

 

EDIT: The irony of the man with the biggest brain in horror dying of brain cancer is fucked.

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The Serpent & The Rainbow was criminally underloved.  Ending was way too over the top but it wasn't the one Wes wanted.  Studio wanted it to make the film open to sequels.

 

There are some guys that the studio should just leave the hell alone so that they can work.  Wes was one of those guys.

 

No one will talk about Music Of The Heart on the news aka the non-horror movie that Wes directed just to prove he could work outside of his chosen genre.

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Wes and crew almost died multiple times on that shoot so they definitely should have butted out.

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The only problem with that movie is Bill Pullman. Everything else is pretty rad, especially this guy

 

the-serpent-and-the-rainbow-peytraud.jpg

 

who could carry any movie on his back as an insane, sadistic villain.

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Crap news. Wes Craven created the influential Freddy Krueger and the Scream series. Scream remains one of my favourite horror films ever. R.I.P.

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