In honour of a mini-retrospective in his honour starting this week at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, we look at the career of Wes Craven, the best horror director of his time.
Our film editor was asked to contribute to a list of dozens of "sleeper hits" that can currently be rented free of charge from Bay Street Video in Toronto. Given the vague definition of the term, here is why he chose his films on the list and gives recommendations for other films to pair alongside the free rentals.
Most filmmaking is a seat of the pants endeavour fraught with pitfalls and last second changes. Nothing goes according to plan, but more often that not on major Hollywood productions things tend to go more swimmingly. That is, of course, provided that they aren’t making a sequel to one of the previous year’s biggest success stories. Scream 2 stands as a testament to director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson. It's a film that managed to be almost equally as good as the original and actually far more interesting on an academic level.
After watching all four Scream films again on Blu-ray, I find it a bit strange that I haven’t devoted more time to talking about a series of films that single-handedly revived the slasher genre with a blend of genuine terror and self-reflexive humour. So here now begins a four week long look back at the history of the now seminal series that has been slaying audiences since 1996.
Coming after not only a ten year hiatus, but also after the rise of torture porn, remakes, and reboots, Scream 4 is almost a breath of fresh air. Series creators Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson (who's absence from the third film in the series was wholly apparent) are back with another entry in the lucrative yet entertaining franchise, with a bit more material to chew on this time around.