chris 🔪’s review published on Letterboxd:
i actually haven't watched this yet today as i'm waiting for this to come around in my viewing of wes's filmography in release order, but i found it appropriate to take today — on what would have been his 82nd birthday — to talk about the impact he's had on my life.
when i was three years old, my mother let me watch the original halloween for the first time. as much as that scared the shit out of me, it stuck with me. and four years later, in second grade, i found myself getting into the scream trilogy. every morning i would wake up around 5 or 6 in the morning, get dressed, make a bowl of cereal and sit in the living room alternating between watching one of the three films every day. this went on for a few months until my parents decided my doing this was beginning to get a little concerning and they took the dvds from me. but still i found them and snuck them into my room and would instead watch them on the dvd player hooked up to the old tv with the box in the back next to my bed and would watch them. sometimes i would even fall asleep to them. by the time i turned eight, i had already had all three movies memorized word for word.
it wasn't until maybe 2013 that i finally got a chance to watch a nightmare on elm street for the first time. and, while i didn't like it as much as the scream films, i was still amazed by his level of creativity and ingenuity, realizing his mark on the horror genre was bigger and much more prominent than i thought. hell, scream kicked off an entirely new sub-genre of the horror genre — the meta humor from scream that every movie tried to replicate but could never quite get there. then a year later, i was able to watch last house on the left, which is definitely not easy viewing. it's a tough watch, but for a directorial debut — and film debut in general — i was incredibly impressed. his mark on the genre went back even further, spanning from the 70s with last house, the 80s with the invention of freddy krueger, and then the 90s with the introduction of one of horror's most iconic and terrifying villains, ghostface.
even to this day, i struggle to put his impact on my life into words. if it weren't for his films, i don't think i'd be going to college for film right now. hell, i don't think i'd be going to college at all. i wouldn't be working at a movie theater, a job i've wanted ever since i was a kid. i'd still probably be working at a shitty job with shitty management. wes craven changed my life. he helped me figure out just exactly what i want to do. i want to do what he does. take horror and try to flip the genre on its head. his level of originality always amazes me and i just know there's another kid like me out there, watching the scream movies every day, realizing they want to make films when they're older.
thank you, wes. i can't thank you enough for the impact you've had on my life. your films have brought me comfort when i'm at low points and they always will. your mark on the genre will never be forgotten. you were a true legend, and i know your legacy will continue to live on for decades to come.