In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Lucy in the Sky

There’s a point at which this joke stops being funny and turns sad, and it’s very early in its over two hours runtime.

Other reviews
Review Archives

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other articles
Blog Archives

From Dreams to Horrific Reality: Wes Craven’s Vision

From Dreams to Horrific Reality: Wes Craven’s Vision

Wes Craven was a pioneer. For most he is known as the creator of 1984’s "A Nightmare on Elm Street," which birthed the horror movie icon Freddy Krueger. This is in addition to the slew of important horror movies he directed—"The Hills Have Eyes," "The Last House on the Left," "Scream"—which influenced future filmmakers and spawned unavoidable remakes and spin-offs. When Mr. Craven passed on August 30, 2015, at the age of 76, a big hole was ripped into the canvas of horror cinema. And whilst many tributes have surfaced in the last few days, most seem to fall into the fashion of simply listing favorite Craven titles from over the years. There is nothing wrong with such an outpouring of fandom, but for those interested in something deeper, a little more probing is required.

Advertisement

In my latest video essay “In Memory of Wes Craven,” the concentration on characters’ faces and emotion is given slightly more weight and gravitas than some of the more grotesque imagery. This is because Craven was more interested in what made us tick individually, and as a society, more than he was interested in whatever new death trick Freddy Krueger had up his sleeve. The “horror film” as a vehicle for this thesis is most apt because it taps into that primal fear we all have of death. For some people death is a jarring notion; for others it’s an inevitable fate, but when we’re thrust into the unnatural state of murder ("The Last House on the Left") or are threatened by some supernatural force of evil ("My Soul to Take"), we are universally bound by the immediate, sheer feeling of terror. Terror is an equalizer. Craven understood this and he was a craftsman at building those scares, film after film. The reason so many other horror filmmaker imitators come and go with little impression is because they forgot the basic landscape and vulnerability of the human condition.

Craven pioneered this landscape for decades and it’s hard to imagine another filmmaker making any new headway in that territory anytime soon.

RogerEbert.com VIDEO ESSAY: In Memory of Wes Craven (1939-2015) from Nelson Carvajal on Vimeo.

Popular Blog Posts

Ebert's Most Hated

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sometimes, Roger Ebert is exposed to bad movies. When that happens, it is his duty -- if not necessari...

Netflix’s The I-Land is Almost So Bad That You Should Watch It

A review of Netflix's The I-Land, the worst show in the streaming service's history.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Venice 2019: Roman Polanski's J’Accuse

A review of the new film by Roman Polanski, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus