Monday, August 31, 2015

Until I can get something better here's a thought or two on Wes Craven

The passing of Wes Craven has to be noted. He’s a guy who changed horror forever., and I don’t mean Freddy Kruger, I mean a decade before that- Craven along with Sean Cunningham (you know the FRIDAY THE13TH guy?) gave us LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. This little balls to the wall remake of Ingmar Bergman’s VIRGIN SPRING was one of the opening salvos of the new generation of horror with graphic (or seemingly so) doings set in a world that was very much real. Few people had ever considered doing what Craven was doing, horror remained, for most practicioners abstract and fantastical.  Craven cjanged that, he brought it into your living room in a real wayand it rattled cages across the land.

The establishment got pissed off and Hollywood took notice and the doors opened so that two years later we got TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE which really got the ball rolling at speed. After Tobe Hooper’s film very little was the same in the horror genre. Hooper's film may not have been as accepted if Craven hadn't started things off.

Ultimately Craven reset the board in the 1970’s paving the way for his own resetting the board again ten years later with ELM STREET.

Don’t kid yourself-what you know about horror today is the result of Wes Craven and what he was doing way back in 1972.

And I should note- because no one seems to be saying it in the talking about their favor films- Craven many have been the smartest man in the room. If you look at his films they are not quick knock off hack and slash- there is reason and logic for what happens. Additionally  Craven was operating on a large canvas even if it didn't look like it- in ideas and myths- look at LAST HOUSE which took an art film as inspiration or look at THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS which is not a horror film but in fact a Grimm's fairy tale.

Wes Craven will be missed more than most of us will ever realize.

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