Wes Craven is undoubtedly one of the most influential people still working in horror today. To genre fans, he's an old friend. And even people who aren't horror fans have seen at least one or two of his films. He's been awarded nearly every prestigious award in the industry, and this weekend he added a new one to his trophy case: a lifetime achievement award at the 2008 Scream Awards. While at the show, Wes talked about what comes next in his illustrious career...
Tell us about your current projects.
We have two right now. We produced a remake of Last House on the Left, directed by a young Greek director, Dennis Iliadis. It just went through its final [sound] mix, and it’s wonderful. It’s really strong, and completely fresh. There is also the film that I wrote and directed last summer. My wife produced it. It is called 25/8, which basically means if you want to fight the devil, you don’t fight 24/7, you fight 25/8. That is halfway through post, so that will come out next year. It’s the first thing I’ve written and directed in a while, so it’s been fun.
Will the remake of Last House on the Left be as visceral and violent as the original?
Yeah, it is. But it is also very psychologically complex, and has some fabulous acting. They had more money for this one.
Do you think this one will make it onto one of those “10 most disturbing films” list?
I don’t know. It might. I wouldn’t be surprised. I hope so!
Does it feel weird to have your films being remade like this? Are you okay with it?
Well, I’m the one doing it. We’re only doing it with the films we own, my early films. Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes. We did both those projects. Two separate producers, but both close friends - Peter Loch and Sean Cunningham - we have control over it, so we’re doing it right, and we are happy with it.
Horror has often been seen as a “sign of our times,” reflecting the darkness of the real world. With such “tortutainment” as Hostile and Saw, do you think that still holds true?
Yeah, I think it is true. It’s interesting, because about the time that you have it revealed that the United States is torturing prisoners, you have these films about torture. You can label them “torture porn” or something, but unfortunately, it is [a reflection] of what has been going on at the hands of our government. I think horror is always a mirror, and you hold it up to everybody. If someone doesn’t like what they see, that means they don’t like themselves, or what they are up to.
Horror is there, in a weird sort of way, to piss us off, who we have become and who we are. Are you going to go with that in the new movies, and the remakes?
Yeah, I think so. I think [the movies] are all relevant because of the violent times we are living in. Very, very strange times with the market collapse and all. It’s like, “Hello, apocalypse? Are you around the corner?” I think these are very scary times, and the movies will reflect that. Most fans, when they come out of a movie, think, “Well, I survived that, I can survive another week in the USA.”
Do you have a favorite amongst the movies you have written, produced, and directed?
No, I don’t. They are all my babies.
What scares you?
Bad reviews, and low box office.