Remembering Wes Craven and the Movies You Have to Watch! | Fanboys Anonymous

Remembering Wes Craven and the Movies You Have to Watch!

Posted by Caroline Oliveira Thursday, September 3, 2015
One of the greatest horror movie maestros has passed away last Sunday. Wes Craven, the man behind The Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises, had been battling brain cancer and took his last breaths at his home in Los Angeles on August 30. He was 76.

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Craven.
Nobody can deny the huge impact Craven had in the horror genre. His movies have scared audiences since 1972 and spawned sequels, prequels, and even a MTV television series. In an effort to celebrate his genius, Fanboys Anonymous has compiled a list of his greatest movies.

The Last House on the Left (1972)

"To avoid fainting, keep repeating: 'It's only a movie, only a movie, only a movie...'"
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The original 1972 poster.
Talk about a brutal movie. Craven's 1972 debut tells the story of two teenage girls who are taken into the woods and tortured by a gang of lunatics. As if the amount of violence the girls endure was not intense enough, things escalate further when the psychopaths end up seeking refuge in one of the girl's family home. Once her parents realize what has happened to their daughter, they decide to get revenge on the thugs, even if that means they will become murderers themselves.

Upon its theatrical release, The Last House On The Left was met with extreme censorship due to the sadistic violence and rape scenes. According to IMDB, the movie was banned for 28 years in England and for 32 years in Australia. The uncut version was so filled with disturbing scenes that a distribution company tried to market it as a real snuff film.

There was a 1980 sequel and a 2009 remake, but go with the original.

Wes Craven's Last House on the Left screenshot
One of the many violent attacks in the film.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) & The Hills Have Eyes 2 (1985)

"A nice American family. They didn't want to kill. But they didn't want to die."

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The original The Hills Have Eyes poster.
Both movies center around a simple idea: a family gets stranded in a remote part of the Nevada desert and is hunted down by mutated savages. Fun times.

Not running short on disturbing scenes, both movies have become cult favorites. According to IMDB,
"when originally submitted to the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), the film was given an X-rating which would have relegated it to the porno circuit and severely hurt the box-office returns. Wes Craven cut the film enough to secure an R rating, and the original director's cut is thought to be no longer in existence."

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Still from The Hills Have Eyes 2.

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

One, two, Freddy's coming for you.
Three, four, better lock your door.
Five, six, grab a crucifix.
Seven, eight, gonna stay up late.
Nine, ten, never sleep again...
Nightmare on Elm Street original movie poster
The original movie poster.
One of the most successful slasher movies to date, Nightmare on Elm Street introduced the audiences to a very frightening idea: what if dreams could kill?

In the movie, teens are hunted by a cruel serial killer who murders his victims in their dreams. The only chance they have to survive is to stop him before it is too late and not fall asleep in the meantime.

Nightmare on Elm Street was not only Johnny Depp's first movie, but also Freddy Krueger's. Even though Freddy only has about seven minutes of screen time in the first movie, the success was so massive that it saved New Line Cinema from bankruptcy. In fact, it granted the studio the nickname "The house that Freddy built."

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Freddy Krueger.
The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise also spawned nine movies, a 1988 television series, novels, and comic books. On August 7th, 2015, it was reported that New Line Cinema is developing a new remake, which is being written by Orphan's David Leslie Johnson.

If all of this awesomeness has not convinced you to watch (or re-watch) Nightmare, picture this: young Johnny Depp, gallons of blood, bed.

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Depp in Nightmare On Elm Street.
Go watch it.

The Serpent and The Rainbow (1988)

In the legends of voodoo the Serpent is a symbol of Earth.
The Rainbow is a symbol of Heaven.
Between the two, all creatures must live and die.
But because he has a soul, man can be trapped in a terrible place where death is only the beginning.
The Serpent and the Rainbow movie poster

Seriously underrated, this movie is based on a nonfiction book by Wade Davis and it tells the story of an anthropologist who goes to Haiti to investigate a drug used by voodoo practitioners to turn people into zombies.

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A voodoo priest in The Serpent and the Rainbow.
Not only this is probably one of the best horror movies out there about voodoo, but it also gives us a peek at the political unrest that plagued a pre-revolution Haiti. In fact, "due to political strife and civil turmoil (...) during the production, the local government informed the film crew that they could not guarantee their safety for the remainder of the shoot," which caused them to relocated to Dominican Republic in order to finish it.

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Bill Pullman taking a blood bath.

The Serpent and the Rainbow is also Craven's first film to get a R rating without any problems by the MPAA.

The People Under The Stairs (1991)

"In every neighborhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid. Now Wes Craven, creator of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" takes you inside..."
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Original movie poster.

One of Craven's comedy/horror movies, The People Under the Stairs tells the story of a young boy from the ghetto, who while accompanying two older boys in an attempted burglary of the "home of his family's evil landlords, becomes trapped inside their large suburban house and discovers the secret of the children that the insane brother and sister have been 'rearing' under the stairs."

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Brandon Adams as "Fool."
The movie was number one at the box office during its opening week and stayed in the Top 10 for a month after. Earlier this year, Craven confirmed he would be adapting it into a television series for Syfy, so hopefully we will get to see a new take on this classic soon.

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Everett McGill as "Daddy."

Scream (1996)

"Someone has taken their love of scary movies one step too far. Solving this mystery is going to be murder."
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The original poster.
While attempting to cope with her mother's murder, Sydney and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by a crazed killer known as Ghostface.

Scream is considered a big turning page for the horror genre, which had been in decline since the great influx of sequels in the 1980s. Not only it had a popular and attractive cast, it also poked fun on horror movie clich├ęs. Here are some "horror film rules" stated in the movie:
  • You will not survive if you have sex.
  • You will not survive if you drink or do drugs.
  • You will not survive if you say, "I'll be right back."
  • You will not survive if you ask, "Who's there?"
  • You will not survive if you go investigate a strange noise.
  • Everyone is a suspect.

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The ladies of Scream 2.

Dead on, right? Skip the sequels and indulge in the original.

Wes Craven will truly be missed. Although not all his movies were described in this article, they should be must-sees in every horror fan's list and will continue to be considered classic no matter what happens in the film industry.

RIP Wes Craven tribute

As a horror-obsessed fan, I say thank you Mr. Craven for all the scares, thrills, and laughs.

How do you feel about these movies? Which one was your favorite? Leave your comments below!
THIS POST WRITTEN BY: CAROLINE OLIVEIRA

Caroline Z Oliveira enjoys drawing, writing horror tales, and using her B.F.A. in Film and Television Production to create nightmares in the horror industry. You can follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram. Extended staff profile here.

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