Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wes Craven: The Man, The Legend

I've told the story many, many times over the years but it's time to tell the story again. Way back in 1997, I was a dorky, little fool who really only liked comedies and Disney movies. But, one thing I hated more than anything was horror films. I refused to watch horror films because I just didn't like them. When a little film called Scream came out everyone, everywhere were raving about this movie. And I, for one, just didn't care. Finally, I just gave into peer pressure and finally, reluctantly, sat down to watch this little horror film.

I sat there riveted. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and when the movie was over I realized I had just watched something special. Scream would go on to spawn 3 sequels and a successful 2015 TV series. But, at least in my generation, the film kind of became a joke. So, me saying that this film is special to me and "changed my life" makes me feel kind of goofy. But it did change my life, it completely changed my life.

After seeing "Scream", I made it a mission to see as many horror films as I could so I would understand any of the references in any of the films. And now, almost 20 years later, I get all the references!

You may be asking yourself, why am I even bothering telling this story again? If you really wanted to read the story you could go back and read my "Scream" review from years ago. The reason is because, not only did the film get me into horror films but it introduced me to the person who would go on to become my favorite director and aside from one movie that followed "Scream", I would see every single one of his movies in the theater. That man, was Wes Craven.

Unlike most of the general public, I had never heard of Wes Craven when Scream came out. I had heard of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and knew it involved Freddy Krueger and how he looked but that was it. Didn't know the director or the cast or anything else. But after seeing "Scream" one of the things I did was make it a mission to see more films by Wes Craven. This led me down a path I was never coming back from but enjoying the hell out of.

I spent the next, nearly 20 years, enjoying horror films and changing my passion from nothing to writing. The writing aspect came from Mr. Craven himself as I began to realize he wrote a lot of the films he directed and I found that the films he wrote were far better than the ones he didn't. And so began my passion for writing.

On August 30, 2015 we lost Mr. Craven after a battle with brain cancer. Words could not describe the pain I felt. Wes Craven was a big part of my life through his films. I would watch anything and everything he worked on from his big budget theatrical films to his garbage TV movies to films that he simply produced all the way down to the film "Wes Craven Presents They" which he had absolutely nothing to do with. I felt like I lost a friend and even though I knew the day was eventually coming that he would be gone, I never really thought about that. It had been a dream of mine to meet the man and tell him how much he changed my life and how I majored in writing in college because of his films. I spent many years of my life studying writing because I loved the movies he made. Some might looked at his films as low budget trash, especially films like "The Last House on the Left" and "The Hills Have Eyes" but I look at them as groundbreaking and very interestingly those films look very tame nowadays compared to the torture-porn crap we have today.

I'm writing this really to just get my feelings out there. I wanted to do this right away the day after he died, but I just couldn't put any of this into words until today. Most people nowadays will remember him for Scream, but he did so much more, he worked on films and TV. He was a director, writer, producer and actor. One of his greatest films he ever made "New Nightmare" brought all of those aspects of him together.

Wes, even though I never got to meet you and tell you this, but you changed my life. You meant so much to me and you will never be forgotten. Not by me and not by the millions of others who were touched by your work as I was. Your legacy lives on and I want to thank you for all the wonderful films you have left us with.