(Credit: Gracja Waniewska)
Last night, we were all stunned by the news that director We Craven had passed away after a battle with brain cancer. If you want to see a great tribute to Craven, check out this 4 Shots From 4 Films that Arleigh posted on his birthday. If you want to read a great reflection of Wes Craven and his career, check out this tribute from Ryan the Trashfilm Guru.
As for me, I’m going to share an anecdote and then, I’m going to pay tribute to Wes with a six trailer salute.
First, the anecdote. I can still remember the first time that I ever watched Last House On The Left. It was a film that I had mixed feelings about. On the one hand, as a horror lover, I could not help but be impressed by the terrifying performances of Fred Lincoln and David Hess. I could not help but by moved by the way Hess’s haunting song, Now You’re All Alone, was used in the film. And, as low-budget and exploitive as the film may have been, I could see that Wes Craven was more interested in critiquing sadism than in celebrating it.
At the same time, it was still an unpleasant film for me, as a woman, to watch and the addition of some clumsy humor pretty much confirmed that Craven was still finding his way as a filmmaker. It was one of those films that I knew, as a horror fan, I had to watch but I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed it.
However, that night, I did end up watching the movie twice. I watched it a second time so that I could listen to the commentary from Wes Craven and producer Sean S. Cunningham. And — oh my God — both of these guys were so funny and charming! Craven, especially, seemed to enjoy pointing out scenes that didn’t quite work and the frequently awkward dialogue that he had written. Craven and Cunningham both came across as being two of the nicest guys in the world and it was indeed an experience to hear them cheerfully talking while these absolutely vile images were flickering by onscreen.
And really, that taught me an important lesson and it’s one that I remember to this day. Whenever I hear some judgmental know-it-all claiming that only a sick person could direct or write a horror movie, I remember that charming Wes Craven audio commentary.
And now, here are six trailers for six of Wes Craven’s films.
Wes Craven, R.I.P.