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 . . .”: