Monday, August 31, 2015

Goodbye Wes Craven

Everyone remembers their first horror film and for me, it was Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. I remember running to turn on the lights as soon as I knew that Pinhead and his demon allies known as the cenobites were going to appear. It was a good feeling only because I was introduced to a new genre and I have to admit that I liked being shocked every now and then. After that, I moved on to Halloween and wasn’t really into the whole slasher genre and the same goes for Friday the 13th. The one slasher/horror film franchise that did make me afraid to go to sleep was A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy Kruger was hands down the scariest thing I’ve ever seen and for good reason.

I dream a lot so a film about someone that could kill you in your dreams will really make you want a lot of caffeine. I can thank Wes Craven for giving me a lot of sleepless nights but also a sense of what it really means to be scared. Now he’s passed on at the age of 76 and that is a terrible loss for the horror genre. Today’s horror films are mediocre at best to be real honest. I can’t tell the last time that I went to a horror film and was actually scared to go to bed. To be fair, the bar is set high which is another credit we can give to Wes Craven, Clive Barker, and John Carpenter.

His career is marked with many memorable films and The Serpent and the Rainbow was his crowning achievement in my opinion. Like John Carpenter’s The Thing, that film was just one of those movies that gets to you no matter how many times you watch it. It’s a true gift to make a horror film when you know what’s coming and yet you can’t help but flinch. Now these days we’re so desperate to be scared we’re remaking classics like Poltergeist in order to bring back real horror but instead of great acting and a capturing story, we’re given cheap C.G.I. tricks that ruin it for the audience.

People say that the horror genre is dead and there is some truth to that. Back when I was young, we had monsters that were never seen and were creative with the way they looked and the way they scared people. Like I said before, the bar is set very high but there has been some progress with horror with hits like Paranormal Activity, Sinister, and The Conjuring. There’s some creativity flowing back but it’s slow and with our beloved Masters of Horror no longer at the wheel, it’s still up in the air. I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to Wes Craven’s family and his friends during this time.

I would also like to thank him for making some of the best films that I’ve seen. If you aren’t familiar with his work then please look him up and see what you can, especially The Serpent and the Rainbow. Wes Craven left behind a legacy that most film makers should aspire to achieve and hopefully surpass. I would like to try something different instead of just closing this and wishing everyone a good day. Let’s honor Wes Craven’s memory by sharing a memory of our own. I invite you to please share what was your first horror film, how old were you when you saw it and which horror film is your favorite.

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