Sunday, 9 August 2015

Belated Birthday wishes Mr Craven

I have talked a lot about Freddy Krueger in the past, the character is an icon of horror who is loved despite the fact that so many things about him should make him hated. I was going to write something about his creator Wesley Earl "Wes" Craven a week ago as on 02/08/2015 he celebrated his 76th birthday. I had planned to re-watch one of his films and maybe review it or talk about his influence on the world of horror in general. We Craven is largely thought of as one of two things either ''The guy who came up with Freddy'' or ''The guy who came up with the idea of Scream''. Now don't get me wrong I love Nightmare on elm street and I love Scream but limiting the guy in this way is doing him a huge disservice.

The thing I really love about Freddy is the way he came to be. I have watched multiple interviews with Craven in which he has talked about the origins of the character of Freddy Kruger so what I am about to type here is basically a rough version, the man is brilliant to listen too so I would recommend finding a video of him talking about this if it interests you. Craven had read a newspaper report about young people somewhere being terrified of going to sleep and when they went to sleep they died. Freddie came out of this but he also came out of an early experience of Craven's. He had been left home alone with a sibling when he looked out of his bedroom window and down upon a scary homeless man who looked back up at him and scared him.

Now I might not be an amazing film director or writer but I do write horror shorts and in fact the first horror short I published was called Digital Immortality. I might be over simplifying here or miss quote myself but the basic idea of this story came from a newspaper report I had read while waiting for my at the time girlfriend (now fiancée) she was at a short university lecture and I had sat in the campus coffee shop with a newspaper a pen and some time to kill. I had flicked through the paper just trying to find something to occupy myself when I had come across an article which was about being able to transfer the contents of a human mind on to a computer. The article was brief and in truth was a little beyond me scientifically but it did peak an interest in me. I didn't really wonder if it was or would be possible what I was more interested in was if it should be done and in what could go wrong. I guess this is because I am to some degree a pessimist, I always tend to feel something will go wrong in every endeavour so my mind tries to map out all of the possibilities and in this case it lead to the first short story I really felt proud of writing.

This is one of the reasons I admire Wes Craven because he managed to take an idea and spin it into not just a horror film or a character but into an entire world which seemed so full of endless possibilities that it spawned a whole film series, a TV series, a remake , possibly soon another remake. Yes Craven might not have been involved in all of these but he did the groundwork, he laid the foundation.

If you only know him for Freddy and Scream then let me recommend you watch some of his other films. If you want to see something else a little bit like Freddy to sample some more Craven without moving to far from your comfort zone then you cant really go wrong with Shocker but the film I would highly recommend is ''The people Under the Stairs'' both of these he  wrote and directed. I could talk about his work as a director almost endlessly as I believe he is really up there with the greats despite this though it is as a writer I really admire him even if he has filled this role less often.

As a writer myself I don't think I am even in the same league as Wes Craven yet alone the same ballpark but I still enjoy his work all the more for a kinship I feel with him, a sense of understanding of how our childhood fears and dreams can be used as a creative tool given his position as one of the kings of nightmares it seems only fair to end with this quote by Gene Wilder as Willy Wonker ''We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.''

Belated Birthday wishes Mr Craven...

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