Wes Craven made a career out of debunking the traditional values of cinema with shocking scenes and nightmarish characters. But, on several occasions, he also displayed a unique ability to blend genres while keeping viewers glued to their seats. While his films were never meant to capture the kind of award recognition that many strive for, Craven followed the golden rule of film: Entertain and enthrall. We lost an icon on Sunday when Craven passed away at 76, but after decades in the movie business, Craven left an impact that will be felt for generations.
Here’s a look back at the resume of one of the most revered figures in Hollywood.
The Last House on the Left (1972)
One of the many themes that pervaded Craven’s work is placing the power back into the hands of the victims of a crime; The Last House on the Left was no different. Featuring some shocking moments, especially for its time, the film played like a grindhouse horror piece with scenes of torture and rape. But, there remained a glimmer of hope in this gritty revenge fable with a moral compass that allowed the parents of a brutalized woman to extract a measure of justice in the bloodiest way possible. Unlike many other films during the slasher-film era, Craven’s first directorial effort had the victims of a brutal assault commit possibly even more depraved acts with the film asking the question: What constitutes an “eye for an eye?”