Wes Craven was a visionary filmmaker who pioneered many famous horror movie stereotypes and scripts. The rich legacy he left behind in cinematic history began to take shape with the crime horror film The Last House on the Left, known as The Rape of Kanla, when it was first translated into Turkish, making his directorial debut in 1972.
The shocking and violent horror classic also shaped the motifs that influenced the understanding of filmmaking and will continue to work in future cinematic works. At a time when various slasher films with and without elements of fantasy began to spread, he really left his mark on the history of horror cinema with the A Nightmare on Elm Street series.
Craven, who introduced the whole world to the terrible serial killer Freddy Krueger; He depicted a vengeful spirit with a horribly mutilated body and face, burned alive by the parents of their young victims. Craven brought a lot to this film from his unique vision. On the other hand, during this period, the experienced director made a number of great horror films such as The Serpent and the Rainbow and The Shocker.
Craven, who directed another slasher film with the 1996 cult classic Scream, which broke box office records and greatly surprised critics, including with elements of black comedy, was going to revive the horror genre with this work.
While Wes Craven completed his cinematography on 2011’s Scream 4, his final film before his death in 2015; He is still known today as one of the finest and most innovative film geniuses. Not only constantly updating the often stagnant horror movie; He has also created truly terrifying iconic characters, staged cult classics and helped launch the careers of Sharon Stone, Johnny Depp and Rose McGowan. For this and many other reasons, Wes Craven has undoubtedly left his mark on film history as one of the greatest horror film directors of all time.
Today, instead of films such as “The Scream”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “The Last House on the Left” and “Red Eye”, already familiar to the audience, a little-known film by Craven in Turkey; We’ll take a look at the “underrated” films, as some viewers who meet the viewer quite late say.
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Bitter Day on Elm Street: Wes Craven in 7 points
1. My Soul to Take – Soul for Sale (2010) – IMDB: 4.7
My Soul to Take, the 2010 slasher film directed by Wes Craven, grossed only $21 million despite its massive $25 million budget at the time. The film is an impressive production with many likes and dislikes.
For years, the legend has been whispered of a serial killer in the city of Riverton who vowed that he would return to kill the seven children born on the night of his death. Sixteen years later, people begin to disappear again in present-day Riverton.
Did the psychopathic serial killer who vowed to die reincarnate, or did he actually survive the night he was left for dead? Only one of the children knows the answer. This boy must face a relentless evil to save his friends from a returning monster…
2. Damned – Damned (2005) – IMDB: 5.0
Christina Ricci, Joshua Jackson and Jesse Eisenberg star in this 2005 horror comedy about werewolves. Despite a huge budget of $75 million, this production, which did not bring the expected success at the box office, has a fan base despite negative reviews from critics. The film was nominated for the MTV Movie Awards in the Best Horror Performance category.
Ellie is a young woman and older sister who takes care of her younger brother Jimmy after his parents’ death. Picking him up from a party one night, they get into a car accident on Mullholland Hill. As they try to free themselves from the woman in the other car, the creature attacks and kills her, injuring Ellie and Jimmy. After much research, Jimmy begins to suspect that this creature could be a werewolf.
3. Invitation to Hell – Invitation to Hell (1984) – IMDB: 5.1
This Emmy-nominated horror film is direct-to-TV. Inviting to Hell, which brings together famous actors of the time, Robert Urich, Joanna Cassidy, Susan Lucci, Joe Regalbuto and Kevin McCarthy, is another Craven work with an impressive screenplay.
When a family moves to a suburban California area, everything is fine at first. The family has good neighbors, a clean area and a local hot spring next to the house, which is used by all residents of the city; He is faced with a strange situation. Neighbors and colleagues begin to constantly disturb them, because they do not immediately visit the spa. Although they doubt why they are so interested in getting there, they have not yet gotten to the point where they think something is wrong. Although the couple’s children and mother are ready for it, the father is skeptical of the idea and has a negative view of the resort. Is the father of the house a bit superstitious, or does the resort’s doors lead to a much darker place?
4 Swamp Thing – Swamp Monster (1982) – IMDB: 5.3
The Swamp Thing horror film, based on the DC comics character Vertigo of the same name, is another of Craven’s works based on the comic. The work, which also has a sequel, was continued by a different director than Wes Craven.
Hiding deep in a dark swamp, Dr. Alec Holland is trying to create a new genre. This species will be half animal, half plant, able to adapt and thrive in even the harshest of environments.
Unfortunately, dr. Holland would become the subject of his own creation and, unfortunately, become the creature he wanted to create. Arcane is an infamous warlord trying to capture a swamp monster known as the “Swamp Thing”. Finally, an exciting chase begins with the possibility of a confrontation between Holland and Arcane.
5. A Stranger in Our House / Summer of Fear – The Witch (1978) – IMDB: 5.4
Another Craven work from 1978, The Summer of Fear is another horror film starring Linda Blair and Lee Purcell.
Julia, who recently lost her parents in a car accident, is picked up by a five-year-old relative from a rural family. Spreading her influence over her family and those around her, Julia deceives everyone except her cousin Rachel, whom she does not deceive. Rachel begins to suspect that she is engaged in witchcraft and commits many crimes, but how will she stop Julia?
6. Shocker – Shock (1989) – IMDB: 5.5
The Shocker is a 1989 horror film that grossed over $15 million at the time. The production company released several cut-down versions of the film to be seen in theaters. Despite audience interest, there is no uncut version of the film.
Horace Pinker, known as a TV repairman, is a serial killer who commits murders all over the small town. When he finally finds the home of Lieutenant Parker, who is investigating his crimes, he will brutally murder Parker’s wife, son, and daughter. However, Parker’s other surviving son, Jonathan, forms a strange bond with Pinker through his dreams and begins helping his father capture Pinker.
In a terrible frenzy, Pinker finds herself in the middle of an escape chase and begins to pursue Jonathan through his relatives. The other dream is of a gruesome death in the final electric chair that awaits Pinker when Jonathan and his father take him to the house where they finally capture Pinker. But will the physical death of Pinker put an end to everything that is happening?
7. Deadly Blessing – Cursed City (1981) – IMDB: 5.5
Deadly Blessing, another slasher film made in 1981, tripled its budget and took its place in horror cinema as a popular production of its day.
Martha is happily married to former Hittite farmer Jim Schmidt, with whom they soon have a child. Their neighbors, who lived in the eighteenth century and belonged to a backward religious community called “Hittites”, hate the religious community, headed by a strict and fanatical leader.
One day, Jim sees a mysterious shadow in his barn and shortly thereafter dies in a strange accident with his tractor for an unknown reason. After the funeral, Martha meets her friends, Lana Marcus and Vicki Anderson, who decide to spend a few days with her.
As the deaths and disappearances continue, Jim’s father and Isaiah come to Martha’s farm in search of a missing person. Later, Isaiah proposes to Martha to buy the farm, but gets the answer “no” from Martha. Then strange things start to happen again.
8 Deadly Friend – Kill a Lover (1986) – IMDB: 5.5
1986 Warner Bros. The sci-fi horror film The Deadly Friend is another Wes Craven classic that has repeatedly applied for an uncut version in recent years.
Paul Conway is a 15-year-old child prodigy who has moved to a new city with his mother. Paul also has a yellow robot named Bibi, who is his friend and protector. Paul befriends his neighbor Samantha, who has to live with her abusive father.
One night, Samantha falls seriously down the stairs and is seriously injured. While on life support at a local hospital, he goes offline and dies. Paul disguises himself as a hospital worker and takes Samantha’s body from the hospital to the local university.
He implants Bibi’s robotic microchips into Samantha’s brain to save her life, but Bibi soon spirals out of control.
9. People under the stairs (1991) – IMDB: 6.4.
Grossing over $30 million despite a low $6 million budget, The Men Under the Stairs is Craven’s impressive production, earning a Saturn Award nomination for Best Young Actor.
It was announced that the remake will introduce viewers soon in 2020, but in Turkey it did not achieve the value it deserves. The film, which has been the subject of many studies of gentrification, capitalism and class struggle, also reflects social inequality.
On the 13th birthday of the Jester, a boy living in the ghetto, a failed robbery attempt takes place. Fool, locked up in big suburban houses; He meets children under the stairs, in cages who have no idea that they are at home. Especially while the owners of the house are going to return home …
10. Music of the Heart – 50 Courageous Violinists (1999) – IMDB: 6.8
Unlike Wes Craven’s classics, Music of the Heart, the 1995 biographical musical-drama adaptation of the documentary, is an impressive film that won two Oscar nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Original Song.
The film, which tells the true story of a young teacher who fights the education board to teach underprivileged children the beauty of music through the violin, paints a very impressive portrait. In his struggle, the teacher, who lost everything when the system came down on him with all its might, continues to do what he knows is right for the happiness of small and poor children.
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