The guy who gave us A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. Most of the time, he's a smart horror director.
The Hills Have Eyes (1977) -- Great little movie about an all-American family (which doesn't mean "perfect") who gets mixed up with an evil clan who eats babies. The entire thing has a speedy pace and lots of little surprises. It's brutal in the best of ways. (See below for the sequel, The Hills Have Eyes, Part 2.)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) -- Slightly more smart than most slasher films, with plenty of creative ideas, even if half of them don't exactly make any sense. It's fun to watch. (Jack Sholder directs the sequel, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge.)
The Hills Have Eyes, Part 2 (1985) -- This sequel feels like it was done by someone else, even though it was written and directed by Wes Craven. None of the fun, invention, and meaning of the first movie is here: instead, you get a mediocre, kill-'em-one-at-a-time slasher film. (See above for the predecessor, The Hills Have Eyes.)
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1987) -- One of Wes Craven's best movies, it's kind of creepy and scary without being a normal teenage horror flick like a lot of his other stuff.
The People Under the Stairs (1991) -- The kid does an okay job and it's fun to watch Everett McGill and Wendy Robie together again, after playing husband and wife on Twin Peaks, but the movie is dull for the most part, the comedy doesn't work that great, and the anti-racist backdrop of the movie seems silly (and almost racist).
Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) -- An interesting idea, almost too clever for its own good, and just as good an ending as anything else, ten years after the first movie and after six other sequels. Worth watching once. (Rachel Talalay directs the predecessor, A Nightmare on Elm Street 6: Freddy's Dead.)
Scream (1996) -- A smart movie that's worth about all the praise it gets. Everything else by Kevin "Dawson's Creek" Williamson (including the other Scream movies) aren't that great, but he got it right with this one. (See below for the sequel, Scream 2.)
Scream 2 (1997) -- What could have maybe been a smart comment on horror sequels (as many have claimed it was) ended up just being another bad horror sequel which (especially after the third one) almost manages to defeat the purpose of the first one. (See above for the predecessor, Scream. See below for the sequel, Scream 3.)
Scream 3 (2000) -- While I was able to live with Scream 2, this was just horrible. My recommendation for how the movie should have ended? The killer should have been revealed as being Freddy Kreuger. (See above for the predecessor, Scream 2.)
Paris, Je T'aime (2006) -- Directed with Olivier Assayas, Frédéric Auburtin, Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Isabel Coixet, Alfonso Cuarón, Gérard Depardieu, Christopher Doyle, Richard LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydès, Walter Salles, Jr., Oliver Schmitz, Nobuhiro Suwa, Daniela Thomas, Tom Tykwer, Gus Van Sant. Eighteen five-minute shorts set in (and named after) different areas of Paris, all created by different directors. Most of directors apparently don't know how to deal with the short form and use the same pacing as a feature-length movie, not telling any real story in the process or setting us up for a story that we'll never get to see. The ones that stand out to me are the films by the Coen Brothers (which actually use some kinetic camerawork to wake us up), Christopher Doyle (another wake up), Alexander Payne (which is a mix of offensive and almost-touching), and Sylvain Chomet (with a mime). The rest are either average or make you say "Well, at least it was short." (See individual directors for a review of their short.)
Père-Lachaise (2006) -- From Paris, Je T'aime, another average short from that collection in which the ghost of Oscar Wilde helps a humorless man to be more funny to his fiancée. Even in the context of this goofy five-minute presentation, the couple is unbelievable and unlikeable.
Copyright (c) Mar 2001 - May 2008 by Rusty Likes Movies