Prolific maestro of the horror film genre, Wes Craven, died yesterday, August 30 at the age of 76, leaving behind a legacy of films that has forever changed the way audiences experience horror movies. Below are my favorites. Leave me a comment and let me know which movies I missed and what else I need to put on my Netflix queue.
1) The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
This was the first horror film I ever saw. It was at my mom’s friend’s house and, while the grown ups were distracted by booze and wedding planning, I hid behind the couch (I was ten, ok) and watched this film about voodoo and necromancy and became hooked on the genre.
2) The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
I recently went to Las Vegas and, during the drive through Baker, immediately made reference to this film when discussing what terrified me lurking in the shadows of the hills all around us. That’s the thing with Wes Craven films–they are not only horror-filled, but they’ve also become part of an iconic pop cultural phenomenon that mean something to almost everyone.
3) The Last House on the Left (1972)
The remake is scary, but the original is terrifying. Note to crazy killers: do not just walk up to any house and think you can do what you want because real people can be crazy too.
4) Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
While this isn’t one of my favorite horror films, I do appreciate the cast (young Johnny Depp, anyone?) and Freddy Krueger has been on regular nightmare rotation since I was 11.
5) Scream 1-4 (1996-2011)
Seriously? One of the best horror series ever created. Scream is campy while remaining scary as hell, plus, the first film made fun of the horror genre in a way that had never been done before.
Thank you Wes, for your contributions to film. Your innovation and penchant for the terrifying will be greatly missed.
xoxo C. Diva