Wes Craven, American director, screenwriter and producer, died in August 30th at the age of 76, after struggling with brain cancer. Craven built his career “through horror”, as he’s well known for his movies A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) with the insane-yet well known- scarface serial killer Freddie Krueger, the movie series Scream, The Last House On The Left (1972) , The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and many more, most of them both scriptwriting and directing. But what is more significant to mention, is his influential start in horror filmmaking.
Craven was passioned with Bergman’s Virgin Spring (1960) at his early creative years and came up with The Last House On The Left as a remake. We see on the one side a father in Bergman, who gets bloody revenge for his daughter’s rape and assassination, and a father and a mother in The Last House On The Left, who materialize original and brutal revenge tactics to the gang that kidnapped and assaulted their daughters. But as familiar as the story sounds or- better- appears, Wes Craven managed to build his own stair on the stairway, since he leaded the way for rape revenge films, a very well-known and notorious subgenre of exploitation film at the 70s. The Death Wish (1974, by Michael Winner), Act of Vengeance (1974, Robert Kelljchian) and Day Of The Woman (1978, Meir Zachri) are some examples of the 70’s rape-revenge cycle. Although Bergman’s realistic and brute austere in his enactment of the violation and murder of a young girl in The Virgin Spring had raised ambivalent reactions and the movie was even prohibited in some American states , it deservably earned Academy Award for Best Foreign-language film (1961) and enhanced Craven’s startling view. Catharsis through revenge becomes both a principal and an intensive, irregardesly of the cost.