August 31, 2015

"Horror movies have to show us something that hasn’t been shown before so that the audience is completely taken aback."

"You see, it’s not just that people want to be scared; people are scared."

Said Wes Craven — of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Scream" movies — who has died, at the age of 76.


dbp said...

1. I didn't realize he was so old.

2. Isn't Wes Craven the perfect name for a director of horror movies?

CatherineM said...

As a teenager of the 80s, I loved Nightmare on Elm Street. Watched it in my friends basement and was so scared the first time, I had to go upstairs and hang with her mom, peeling potatoes, until it was over. When I went home, I ran from the car to the door like something was about to get me. I watched it the next day in the daylight. Also may have been Johnny Depp's first movie.

Scream was great too. Quentin Tarantino said in his NY Mag interview last week he wishes he could have directed Scream (he thinks he could have done better). The most terrifying beginning to a movie ever. I screamed (so embarrassing!) so much in the theater, my friends were laughing at me. Loved how it mocked horror movie staples (the virgin lives, why do people run up the stairs rather than out the door?), while being so scary.

mikee said...

Violence as porn: when the audience feels like it needs a hot shower with lots of eyesoap to erase the experience of the movie, is it good movie making or decadent human degradation?

Watching slasher movies, I thought as a teen, was meant to keep us kids out of the back seats of parked cars on Saturday nights. Or at least meant to cause us to keep a wary eye out and the car doors locked while back there.

Paco Wové said...

Never understood the appeal of movies like this. It seems masochistic. Why would I want to make myself feel bad?

Robert Cook said...

"Never understood the appeal of movies like this. It seems masochistic. Why would I want to make myself feel bad?"

It feels good to have your adrenaline stimulated by imaginary scares. The sad thing is that too few "scary" movies are really scary, and too many are merely exercises in gratuitous sadism.

Now, riding roller coasters or other such rides--where the danger of being harmed or killed is real, (however slight)--that's something I can't imagine being fun for anyone. The very few times I've been on rides like that, my feeling that I was going to die was as palpable and certain as it would be if I were in a plummeting aircraft. Not Fun At All. (and Never Again.)

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I tend to avoid horror movies because they frighten me.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

A high school buddy talked me into seeing Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Some guy murdered Dawn Wells by strapping a knife to the slide of a trombone and stabbing her as he played music.

It takes a sick mind to think of shit like that.

There was a scene where a train passes by in the background and you could see a camera crew on a flatbed.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Some guy murdered Dawn Wells by strapping a knife to the slide of a trombone and stabbing her as he played music"

That was "The Town That Dreaded Sundown." Seventies film.

Based (loosely) on a true story.

The town has an annual festival where they show the movie in a park.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Here. In Texarkana (where the story is based), this film is shown to the public at Spring Lake Park near Halloween. It is the last film shown for "Movies in the Park", which plays a film on each Thursday during May and October. The showing of the film, which has been a tradition since 2003, is a free event sponsored by The Texarkana, Texas Department of Parks & Recreation.[31].

I am Laslo.

Robert Cook said...

@Eric the Fruit Bat:

What you're describing is not The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

(At least, not the original--the good one--by Tobe Hooper. It may have been one of the several sequels/remakes.)

BTW, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was inspired by the same gruesome real-life case that inspired Hitchcock's Psycho, that of Wisconins's Ed Gein.

Laslo Spatula said...

Wes Craven's first horror film. depending how edited the version you see is, it is a nasty bit of business.. The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American exploitation-horror film written, edited, and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Sean S. Cunningham. The film follows two teenage girls who are taken into the woods and tortured by a gang of murderous thugs. The story is inspired by the 1960 Swedish film The Virgin Spring, directed by Ingmar Bergman, which in turn is based on a Swedish ballad "Töres döttrar i Wänge"..

It also used the classic ad line: "Keep repeating It's only a movie, It's only a movie, It's only a movie, It's only a movie...

I am Laslo.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Crap! And that was before I started drinking!

Tom said...

Craven was a graduate of evangelical Wheaton College, the alma mater of Billy Graham (and me, FWIW). One time in the alumni news page, it said "Don and Debbie Smith (or whatever their names were) just retired after 40 years on the mission field" and next to it "Wes Craven just completed Death Slasher II".

Laslo Spatula said...

"...and next to it "Wes Craven just completed Death Slasher II"."

There is no Wes Craven film with that name.

There aren't any films with that name, according to Wiki and IMDB.

Which means you have an open field to produce that movie.

I'm willing to write and direct.

I am Laslo.

Tom said...


The title was hyperbolic, to contrast it with the college's typically staid alumni news about missionaries and academics.