September 1, 2015

End of winter, first day of spring

Wes Craven, 1939-2015. With Drew Barrymore, talking knives during the making of Scream. Widely held to be the third of his three reinventions of American horror cinema, as though a career could be loosely mapped against the Vietnam 70s, the VHS franchise 80s and the post-modern 90s, it had the added side effect – good for him, maybe, but perhaps less so for us – of leading to remakes of his and Tobe Hooper’s original, almost unwatchably brutal 70s gore classics for a more flippant, less shockable age. But still, the first Scream would have to be in a Craven top five, with The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, the first Nightmare on Elm Street and the nearly too-conceptual-for-its-own-good New Nightmare. He was one of horror’s thinkers.