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October 31 2013

20:49

Our Favorite Wes Craven Horror Trailers

Seeing as it’s Halloween and all, we got extra spooky here at On Point to celebrate the creepiest American holiday. Our broadcast this Thursday looked at all the many reasons why we turn to horror again and again in films, books and TV shows. It’s a topic that guests director Wes Craven and authors Elizabeth Massie and Michelle Hodkin knew a good deal about.

Craven, that master of scary cinema, has been serving up big bowls of screams since 1971. “The most frightening monster you present to your audience is yourself,” he told us this Halloween, but we think there’s something to be said for the terrifying previews that a good horror film trailer can deliver. It’s the terror of the unknown, and the promise of a good scare waiting on the other side. We’ve collected some of our favorite trailers from some of Wes Craven’s most iconic films here.

“The Last House On the Left” (1972)

Craven’s first big hit, this psychological chiller has more than a few chills. We particularly like the clever rejoinder in the trailer: ‘To Avoid Fainting, Keep Repeating: It’s Only A Movie. Only A Movie.’

“The Hills Have Eyes” (1977)

This environmental / nature terror turn may be remembered for the squeamish scenes of torture, but we think the yelling, smash-cut filled trailer is a work of fright art in itself.

“A Nightmare On Elm Street” (1984)

The creepy-clawed film that launched a thousand spinoffs, the trailer for the original Elm Street thriller is remarkable for how many of the iconic moments it gives away in its less than two minute duration. Suffice it to say, the actual film is really pretty scary.

“The People Under the Stairs” (1991)

Whether it’s plucky young kids or creepy suburban mothers that gets you screaming [A caller on our Halloween show asked why the sound of children laughing is so creepy], this trailer has it all. Plus, an army of hands and unsettling basement dwellers, too, if you’re curious or anything.

“Scream” (1996)

The original “Scream” might be remembered more for its masks than its clever conceit of a horror killer who is deeply familiar with the horror genre [guest Michelle Hodkin pointed out in our conversation on Halloween that modern horror writers have taken that concept on in full force, giving the fictional world a conscious knowledge of the standard horror tropes even as they occur around them], but it’s also ultimately a pretty scary ride.

 

What’s your favorite Wes Craven movie? What’s your scariest memory at the cinema? Share your thoughts below, or on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

08:06

Wes Craven And Fright-Meisters On Why We Love Horror

For Halloween, we look at the horror genre today — in the movies and in print — with some of the best fright-meisters in the business.

Guests

Wes Craven, horror film director, writer, producer and actor. (@WesCraven)

Elizabeth Massie, two-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author of horror novels and short fiction, including “Hell Gate,” “Desper Hollow,” “Playback” and “Sineater.”

Michelle Hodkin, young-adult novelist, author of “The Mara Dyer Trilogy.” (@MichelleHodkin)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Guardian: Halloween Reading — “I’m convinced that people who write and read horror are saner and better-adjusted than those who casually dismiss the genre. By engaging with horror, we take a journey into every possible fear. We open the closet door, rip the mask from the psycho’s face, embrace ghosts and demons, cast ourselves into the hellish chasm of the imagination. We return, not polluted but cleansed and set free.”

New York: The 25 Best Horror Movies Since the Shining – “One third of a century ago, Stanley Kubrick released ‘The Shining’ and changed the face of modern horror. Except that he didn’t, at least not initially. The Shining was a critical dud and, at first, a financial disappointment. (Kubrick even got nominated for a Razzie for Worst Director.) But over the years, the movie has, to understate mightily, gained in stature. And its release seemed to us like a good cutoff point for our journey through the ensuing 33 years of horror cinema.”

The Morning News: Our Hallows Eve — “This will be my son’s first Halloween, and I’m taking him to Indiana to give him a taste of Halloween as I remember it. My mom and I have been making plans to take him to a pumpkin patch and maybe a costume party at the zoo. We chat on the phone while I follow Fabian around the playground, discussing the tiny Purple Rain Prince costume she is making for him. She tells me to measure his arms, as she wants to make sure she gets the ruffles at the ends of the sleeves just right.”

Read An Excerpt Of “The Evolution of Mara Dyer” by Michelle Hodkin

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