Hey, guys. Per usual, I’m belated in addressing this very important subject, but I wanted to address it nonetheless because as a horror fan, this is a pretty big blow. As most of you already know, writer/director Wes Craven lost his battle with brain cancer on Sunday. It was a pretty big surprise as even some of his friends didn’t even know he had cancer, let alone his fans. So I wanted to take a minute to talk about some of Craven’s contributions to the horror genre.
The biggest one for me personally is A Nightmare on Elm Street, which I think is just a brilliant film (and I talk about why here). It’s probably Craven’s crowning achievement and what we’ll remember him by for many years to come. As the writer/director of the film, Craven clearly had a lot of input, which makes me respect him all the more because this film is just a ton of fun. It has a really fascinating and creepy premise, a strong female lead in feisty Nancy (whom I mention in this list of my favorite horror heroines), and, best of all, Freddy Krueger, a villain who is not only scary but wickedly funny and charismatic. Really, if I were to do a top ten list of my favorite horror villains, there’s a good chance Freddy would be my number one guy. Between Robert Englund’s mischievous performances and Craven’s clever writing, Freddy has become a horror icon that has clearly influenced many villains that have followed. That’s why I thought it would be fitting to share this delightful video of some of Freddy’s best quotes.
A Nightmare on Elm Street may be Craven’s greatest accomplishment in my mind, but Scream is a very close second (and you can see why I think that here). Scream is a horror film that openly discusses and breaks down conventions of the genre, making it a delightfully meta experience. Much like A Nightmare on Elm Street, it’s funny and clever with its fair share of creepy moments along the way. Also like Elm Street, Scream includes a solid female lead in Sidney (who is included in that horror heroine list I mentioned) and a villain nearly as entertaining as Freddy Kruegar in Ghostface. And since I found a Freddy video, it only seems fair to give Ghostface the same treatment. We’re introduced to the Scream villain right away in the film’s absolutely brilliant opening scene. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a clip I liked that actually showed him, but that voice, man…that voice is what gets ya.
There are so many other films I wish I could talk about, but, sadly, I haven’t seen much of the rest of his stuff. I have seen Red Eye (which is pretty good) and My Soul to Take (which is not so good), but I’ve missed out on the rest. I was thinking about catching the original The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House on the Left along with his segment in Paris, je t’aime, but I wasn’t sure what else might be considered the best of his stuff. I’m definitely up for recommendations, should you guys have some.
Anyway, I wanted to end with a nifty video I’m borrowing from the folks at ScreenCrush that pays homage to Wes Craven in an absolutely perfect way for someone who had such an impact on the horror genre. Buckle up because this video has lots of screamin’. Here are some of the best of the best screams from Craven’s films.
Also, here’s a little something I found that made me feel feels (and will probably do the same for you):
R.I.P. Wes Craven. This Halloween won’t be quite the same without you.