Monday, 31 August 2015

Waking Nightmares: The Visions of Wes Craven

Throughout his career, Wes Craven created some of the most arresting, disturbing and genuinely haunting moments in horror cinema. That they were contained in some of the genre's most provocative and striking titles, is testament to his power as a filmmaker and a weaver of unsettling dreams... Very unsettling dreams.

Last House on the Left (1972) was Craven's intensely brutal debut

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) demonstrated what happens when you stray from the path

Deadly Blessing (1981) featured some of Craven's most unnerving imagery and ideas. And starred a fresh-faced Sharon Stone

Swamp Thing (1982)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) redefined the slasher film

Fred Krueger, a boogeyman for the Eighties

Freddy stalks a sleeping Nancy

Another haunting vision...

Feverish sexual connotations mix with primal fear

Nancy turns her back on fear and denies it power over her

Deadly Friend (1986) was a disappointing remix of 'Frankenstein' for Eighties' teens 

The Serpent & The Rainbow (1988) combined political subtext and voodoo shocks

Shocker (1989) was Craven's attempt to create a new horror icon/franchise

Bloody visions in Shocker (1989)

The People Under the Stairs (1991), a terrifying exploration of class, race and familial strife

Alice through a bloody looking-glass...

Family problems and monstrous mothers in The People Under the Stairs (1991)

Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) a postmodern spin on the series and a prelude to Scream

A nod to Tina's death scene from the original film

Krueger appeared 'darker, more evil' in New Nightmare

For Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Craven paired up with Eddie Murphy, who wanted to make a straight horror film, whereas Craven wanted to explore comedy. 

Scream (1996) re-wrote all the rules...

Scream 2 (1997), a fine sequel

Scream 3 (2000) favored chuckles over chills

Scream 4 (2011) proved there was still life in the series

Music of the Heart (1999), surely Craven's most terrifying film...

My Soul to Take (2010) explored familiar themes...

...and images

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