Wes Craven (1939-2015)

I am not much of a horror fan, so I have not seen very many of Wes Craven’s films, mostly just those where the horror was filtered through humor, like the Scream series and Swamp Thing.

However, I have seen his directorial debut, the original The Last House on the Left. I am sure Craven would have taken it as a compliment that I found it terribly disturbing.

The trailer for that film employed what I still think is one of the best movie marketing strategies of all time. In college, I was taught that the enjoyment of literature (and, by extension, film) required the reader’s “willing suspension of disbelief.” I’ve never found it that hard to lose myself in a fictional world on the page or, especially, the screen. This trailer capitalized on that easy immersion, offering scared viewers the reassuring mantra that quickly became a catchphrase: “It’s only a movie, . . . only a movie, . . . only a movie . . .”:

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One thought on “Wes Craven (1939-2015)

  1. I will just note here that Nightmare on Elm Street was based on actual events in the town just up the road from me-Potsdam, NY. I am vague on the details but seem to recall that the events happened in one of the frat houses on Elm St. The Potsdam Historical Society has an actual Wes Craven exhibit (up on Facebook as of yesterday), which I have to think is unusual if not actually unique for a horror film director.

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