Picture Privateer – September 8, 2015


Contributing Writer
Jared Hill


Netflix Suggestions: Wes Craven

Wesley Earl “Wes” Craven, American movie director, producer, writer and actor was best known for his work in the horror film genre. Slasher films were a specialty. Craven died of brain cancer on August 30, 2015, Los Angeles, CA at the age of 76. These Netflix suggestions are presented in Craven’s honor.

Scream (1996)

Director: Wes Craven
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, and Matthew Lillard. Jamie Kennedy

Classic in its inventiveness, Scream takes a stab at the Hollywood horror genre and the teens that star within. Scream is one of the first horror films in which the killer is actually in control of the movie. The Ghostface Killer likes to play games over the phone, just like our friend the Jigsaw killer does over intercom in one of his asylums. Only thing is, Wes Craven did it first. Not to mention that this film inspired the creation of an entirely new comedy franchise, Scary Movie. Admit it… you liked at least one of those movies. Thank you, Wes.

Rating: 3/4


Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

Director: Wes Craven
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett, Allen Payne, Kadeem Hardison, John Witherspoon

Though undermined by its title, Vampire in Brooklyn is one of the more original vampire movies I’ve seen in years. In my mind, Bella (from Twilight) could never compete with Angela Bassett; and I don’t even want to know what Eddie Murphy would do to poor Edward. It is Wes Craven directed and co-written by Eddie and Charlie Murphy. Craven truly frames this work as a horror. It is incredibly comedic at times (Preacher Paulie aka Al Sharpton), but the film actually pays great homage to its genre. It is romantic and seductive, but it also has its share of violence and horrific imagery. Multiple devices in the film refer to classic horror films such as The Birds, Psycho, Nosferatu and even incorporates Vincent Van Gogh. Craven had more than enough going on here. This actually stands firmly and proudly in the line of Gothic horror. Thank you one more time, Wes.

Rating: 2.5/4


Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010)

Director: Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch
Starring: Wes Craven, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp Robert Shaw (founder of New Line Cinema)

Wes Craven even said that someday, upon his death, he would ultimately be best known for creating Freddy Kruger. This documentary film brings you all the inside knowledge about making those films. Never Sleep Again takes you inside New Line Cinema into the makings of all the Nightmare films. Narrated by Heather Langenkamp (Nancy in Nightmare I) and opened by incredible Claymation sequences of the Freddy films, this film without failure gives you an appreciation for the hard work, the practical effects and the people who came together in order to build a company. It is a company dedicated to the single purpose of keeping Freddy Krueger alive. It’s a great story, rich in its knowledge. The Elm Street Legacy demonstrates the cultural impact one man’s nightmare had on American Pop Culture. Without Wes Craven, one-hundred percent of the franchise would not be possible. Thank you Wes Craven, for keeping us awake and for letting our Nightmares play out for out amusement, on-screen. Thanks you Wes Craven, sleep peacefully.

The Jamestown Gazette is pleased to bring our readers insightful and informative reviews of some of the nation’s most popular, current films. Jared Hill’s past commentary and reviews will be archived at Jamestown Gazette’s website, www.jamestowngazette.com.