Friday, September 4, 2015

Wes Craven- A Tribute Part 1

We here at Jigsaw's Lair were deeply saddened to hear of the death of the horror master Wes Craven.
I am a huge fan of his movies and that is why this tribute will come in two pieces. His name is so synonymous with horror movies and everyone knows who Freddy Krueger is(everyone should anyway).
I know that he did other types of movies and other stuff in his lifetime, but I will just concentrate of my favourite movies...

Let me start with my favourite Wes Craven film- The Hills Have Eyes.I have come to appreciate this movie over the years. It is very simple in some ways, but well made and very effective with the creepy baddies.
It was made in 1977 so it is the same age as I am! The first time that I watched it, it scared me, especially Michael Berryman! I was a lot younger so it was very unsettling to me.The people in the camper van seem doomed as they are stuck in a hot desert with no help in sight. There is a sense of doom as you realise that they are not alone. I love the way that you don't see the baddies straight away. When you do, it is a surprise as they seem like some sort of weird tribe who eat people they meet. This movie is brutal and violent with some eerie scenes such as the dad being crucified and the rape of the daughter.I will say that it is a real classic in my eyes and it is hard to beat it for a perfect horror movie. There was a sequel made by Craven in 1985 which I loved, but I don't think anyone else did!!!

 The next movie that I like is A Nightmare on Elm Street(1984). What can I say about this film? It changed horror and brought us a horror icon- Freddy Krueger. He is a nasty child killer who was tried but found not guilty of the killings. The parents of his victims found him and burned him alive in a boiler room. His face is disfigured as a result. He has a glove with blades on it and he comes to teens in their dreams/nightmares.
The first time that I saw him, he scared the life out of me, but again, I was a lot younger! He is a predator who gets to people in their dreams and he kills teens this way. He killed Johnny Depp in the original movie by sucking him into the bed! The movie spawned so many sequels that I have lost count and a silly remake. The original film is the best and it deserves to be called a horror classic.

The Last House on The Left is another favourite of mine. This was Craven's first movie as a director and it is brutal and raw. It doesn't spare the viewer and you should be aware that it can be quite nasty in parts. It is the daddy of a lot of these torture porn movies around now. It was made in 1972 and it was so reviled by censors that it was chopped to bits as was the thing at the time. There is an uncut version on DVD now, so at least you can see it properly now.Two young girls meet a group of criminals and they are subjected to torture and rape before being murdered. The gang think that they have gotten away with it, but in a strange twist of fate, they end up at the house of one of the young girl's parents and the criminals are the victims as they are killed in revenge. There are no happy endings here. It is bloody and bleak and it can be hard on the viewer, but it is a great example of real horror.

Lastly in this segment is the Scream franchise. In 1996 Craven made another classic horror movie called Scream.It was another benchmark in horror and revitalised the genre. It is about a group of teens who are terrorised by 'ghostface', a killer who wears a ghost mask. It is tongue in cheek but with real horror thrown in. I loved the first movie. I thought that it was just great. I get the similarities to Halloween and Friday the 13th etc and I love all of the references to horror movies in it.
The sequels were good, but not as good as the first. It will always be my favorite in the series. It has earned the classic title as it is such a good movie and far ahead of all of the horror movies that came after it. 

I will be back with part two soon...


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