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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Wes Craven!

Oct. 8, 2012by: Johnny Moreno

Welcome to Movie Jail, a facility like any other, only its inmates are Hollywood writers, directors, actors and producers. This column will serve as a Movie Jail trial. We will put one defendant on trial; lay out arguments for the Prosecution and Defense. And we leave it up to YOU, the reader, to decide whether the defendant is guilty of his or her crime. What crime? The crime of consistently being a stinking shithouse.

The Defendant


Wes Craven

The Case

The Prosecution: My Soul to Take, Cursed, Scream 3, Vampire in Brooklyn, New Nightmare, producer and executive of many awful projects*

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, there have been many times on The JoBlo Movie Podcast (every Monday on JoBlo.com) when Movie Jail warden, Jim Law, has brought up Mr. Craven's name as a defendant. Seeing that this week's FACE-OFF pits Craven against Carpenter, the prosecution feels what better time to throw Mr. Craven on trial than now. How does one man, who's name is synonymous with the horror genre, create some of the two of the biggest franchises in said genre, and fill the gaps with such horseshit? Just look at the man's Rotten Tomatoes rundown. Does this look like the resume of a groundbreaking visionary of the horror genre? His last fresh rating was Red Eye in 2005? That's 7 years ago, ladies and gentleman of the jury, and since then he's polluted the genre with crap like My Soul to Take and producing other crap like The Hills Have Eyes 2, The Breed and Dracula 2000. DRACULA 2000 folks! And if Vampire in Brooklyn is brought up in the defense, the prosecution is liable to throw someone out a window. Not really.

The Defense: Scream 1 and 2, Red Eye, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, Shocker*

Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, how can we just completely discount Mr. Craven's place in horror history? Can we name another person who has spawned so many imitators in the genre? The things he's done to create a new brand of horror back in the day should not go overlooked, no matter the blunders he's had over the last couple of years. And what's the guy supposed to do? Sit on his ass and float on the success of his earlier work? No, he keeps plugging and plugging away. Does it always work out? Maybe, maybe not. But he still remains prolific, and why should he be faulted for that? And besides, what's this shit about Vampire in Brooklyn? You have Eddie Murphy as a goddamn vampire....in Brooklyn, yo!


IN CLOSING...

So, whats to be done with Mr. Wes Craven? Will a stint in Movie Jail help his career to get back on the right track? Has his recent run of shit sandwiches ruined his legacy in the genre of horror? And the most important question to be asked, once all evidence is taken into consideration, we ask you The Jury, is Wes Craven GUILTY or NOT GUILTY? Lets hear YOUR arguments, either side, by STRIKING BACK BELOW.

*The court recognizes that all movies are subjective, so relax.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?


LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

It is the jury's decision that after reviewing last week's evidence, the court finds Jim Carrey unequivocally NOT GUILTY of all charges. Not only is Mr. Carrey acquitted by a 95% margin, but with such a lopsided victory, it's likely that he'll never see the inside of Movie Jail. Instead, the defense for that trial is sentenced to two years of Federal "pound you in the ass" prison.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS
GUILTY NOT GUILTY
Adam Sandler
Eddie Murphy
Vince Vaughn
Tim Burton
The Farrelly Brothers
 
Robert De Niro
Val Kilmer
Nic Cage
John Travolta
Oliver Stone
Ben Stiller
Jim Carrey
Extra Tidbit: Who Should Take the Stand Next? Strike Back Below!
Source: JoBlo.com

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12:34PM on 10/08/2012

What?

No hey in HELL does New Nightmare belong in the Prosecution.
No hey in HELL does New Nightmare belong in the Prosecution.
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1:22PM on 10/08/2012

not guilty

he's always been hit and miss since he started, this is nothing new. He doesnt deserve jail becuse for every couple of stinkers he puts out, he eventually comes back with something strong.
he's always been hit and miss since he started, this is nothing new. He doesnt deserve jail becuse for every couple of stinkers he puts out, he eventually comes back with something strong.
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1:21PM on 10/08/2012

Not Guilty

He's had flops. Plenty of flops. I'll admit that. I looked forward to MY SOUL TO TAKE for the longest time, and I couldn't even get past the first fifteen minutes. So that was a heavy letdown. But... SCREAM! One of my favorite movies ever (with parts 2 and 4 fitting in there as well). I love his other movies, but SCREAM holds a special place in my heart and on my DVD shelf -- so for that alone, this gentleman is safe in my books.
He's had flops. Plenty of flops. I'll admit that. I looked forward to MY SOUL TO TAKE for the longest time, and I couldn't even get past the first fifteen minutes. So that was a heavy letdown. But... SCREAM! One of my favorite movies ever (with parts 2 and 4 fitting in there as well). I love his other movies, but SCREAM holds a special place in my heart and on my DVD shelf -- so for that alone, this gentleman is safe in my books.
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+6
3:05PM on 10/08/2012

New Nightmare was good!

Wait.....what?!?!?! New Nightmare is in the prosecution? Did I miss something here Joblo? That was a good film, and creepy!
Wait.....what?!?!?! New Nightmare is in the prosecution? Did I miss something here Joblo? That was a good film, and creepy!
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2:24PM on 10/08/2012

No Fuckin Way

Firstly: Why is New Nightmare in the prosecution? I saw it for the first time last night and fuckin loved it.

Second: I'll admit as a producer he's not been the best but as a director this guy fuckin rules. He's one of the horror masters and there's a reason for that.

Not guilty.
Firstly: Why is New Nightmare in the prosecution? I saw it for the first time last night and fuckin loved it.

Second: I'll admit as a producer he's not been the best but as a director this guy fuckin rules. He's one of the horror masters and there's a reason for that.

Not guilty.
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5:38PM on 10/08/2012

New Nightmare!?

Why is New Nightmare in the prosecution!?
Wes Craven proved he was the best with Freddy as he made him scary again with that film!
Have some cop-on!
I think Moreno may have to face jail time,
First Jim Carrey, now New Nightmare!?
What's next James Cameron?!
Why is New Nightmare in the prosecution!?
Wes Craven proved he was the best with Freddy as he made him scary again with that film!
Have some cop-on!
I think Moreno may have to face jail time,
First Jim Carrey, now New Nightmare!?
What's next James Cameron?!
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5:07PM on 10/08/2012

Not guilty

The prosecution says take a look at his rotten tomatoes ratings but we all know horror films will always be one of the hardest genres to review with every horror film being touted as the next whatever successful horror film came out previous, the man helped develop the genre and revitalized the slasher film when it had been pronounced long dead. Not guilty I say!!!
Extra Tidbit: Im still waiting for Katherine Heigl surely its time to get a woman on the stand
The prosecution says take a look at his rotten tomatoes ratings but we all know horror films will always be one of the hardest genres to review with every horror film being touted as the next whatever successful horror film came out previous, the man helped develop the genre and revitalized the slasher film when it had been pronounced long dead. Not guilty I say!!!
Extra Tidbit: Im still waiting for Katherine Heigl surely its time to get a woman on the stand
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12:52PM on 10/08/2012
Not guilty. He directed the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, the intense Red Eye. I say not guilty.
Not guilty. He directed the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, the intense Red Eye. I say not guilty.
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+4
6:24PM on 10/08/2012

Not Guilty...

I'm gonna have to call BS on the prosecution for New Nightmare. That was by far the best Nightmare film since the first, and being that it wasn't a direct sequel, it was objectively good as a standalone film. I can't defend My Soul To Take or Scream 3, but Scream 4 was a solid entry into the series, and while he hasn't been at the top of his game for a while, he's still one of the most inventive names in the horror genre. He has redefined horror more than once, and I don't doubt he's still
I'm gonna have to call BS on the prosecution for New Nightmare. That was by far the best Nightmare film since the first, and being that it wasn't a direct sequel, it was objectively good as a standalone film. I can't defend My Soul To Take or Scream 3, but Scream 4 was a solid entry into the series, and while he hasn't been at the top of his game for a while, he's still one of the most inventive names in the horror genre. He has redefined horror more than once, and I don't doubt he's still got a couple great films left in him.
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5:11PM on 10/08/2012

Not Guilty

First off like everyone esle said "Why the hell is New Nightmare in the prosecution?" That movie was so underrated.
Secondly,I was 5 secs away from calling guilty if Scream 4 didn't come out. MY Soul to Take was beyond horrible ( I didn't know what he was thinking) Cursed was plain bad ( though it wasnt his fault , the Weinsteins raped it to kingdom come from the rough draft I saw a year and a half prior.) but then you mentioned Red Eye and i realize how much I love most of his work...so not
First off like everyone esle said "Why the hell is New Nightmare in the prosecution?" That movie was so underrated.
Secondly,I was 5 secs away from calling guilty if Scream 4 didn't come out. MY Soul to Take was beyond horrible ( I didn't know what he was thinking) Cursed was plain bad ( though it wasnt his fault , the Weinsteins raped it to kingdom come from the rough draft I saw a year and a half prior.) but then you mentioned Red Eye and i realize how much I love most of his work...so not guilty.
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+4
4:24PM on 10/08/2012

Not guility

There are plenty out there who are worse.

Extra Tidbit:Jonah Hill
There are plenty out there who are worse.

Extra Tidbit:Jonah Hill
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+4
3:10PM on 10/08/2012

NOT GUILTY

Craven has made plenty of crap, but also some minor genre classics (Nightmare, Scream, etc).
Oh and guys, take the 'S' off Defendants. This week's defendants is Wes Craven is not exactly the proper way to use the English language. Noticed it on last week's too. Hate to be a grammer nazi, but geez...
Craven has made plenty of crap, but also some minor genre classics (Nightmare, Scream, etc).
Oh and guys, take the 'S' off Defendants. This week's defendants is Wes Craven is not exactly the proper way to use the English language. Noticed it on last week's too. Hate to be a grammer nazi, but geez...
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2:34PM on 10/08/2012

Not guilty.

Yeah, he's made some bad movies. But when you're working with the horror genre, it's kind of hard to knock it out of the park every time. He's knocked it out enough.
Yeah, he's made some bad movies. But when you're working with the horror genre, it's kind of hard to knock it out of the park every time. He's knocked it out enough.
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2:10PM on 10/08/2012

NOT GUILTY

He directed some of my favorite horror films, yes even shocker, Movies that i grew up watching. I know he's had his share of bad movies, but i'm voting not guilty.
He directed some of my favorite horror films, yes even shocker, Movies that i grew up watching. I know he's had his share of bad movies, but i'm voting not guilty.
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2:41PM on 10/08/2012
First off. Love the Office Space reference with regard to last week.

I'm not a HUGE horror buff. Or even a die-hard Craven-worshiper. But I do know this: horror is not an easy thing to pull off. We Craven has been hailed as a visionary. I can respect that. And yes, he does turn in a lot of crap. But the man isn't exactly David Lynch. He's not about to come out of left-field with something along the lines of A Straight Story. He prides himself on being firmly entrenched in the horror-thriller
First off. Love the Office Space reference with regard to last week.

I'm not a HUGE horror buff. Or even a die-hard Craven-worshiper. But I do know this: horror is not an easy thing to pull off. We Craven has been hailed as a visionary. I can respect that. And yes, he does turn in a lot of crap. But the man isn't exactly David Lynch. He's not about to come out of left-field with something along the lines of A Straight Story. He prides himself on being firmly entrenched in the horror-thriller genre, with the modest goal of making people uneasy, or down-right spooked, for at least eighty minutes. Listening to him talk, he doesn't have loftier goals in his work than that. Probably the best comparison for someone like Wes Craven would be a veteran comedy director. Maybe Ivan Reitman, who has made genuine classics but isn't at the top of his game these days. If you want to fault a genre director for potentially running out of tricks, that's certainly your choice. But I will say the man has given us a handful of genuinely spooky movies (maybe more), and still shows passion for his work. And Scream is still one of the best movies about movie culture I've ever seen.
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9:37PM on 10/08/2012
I haven't seen many of his movies but I love the ones I have seen so I'll say not guilty. And lets put Amanda Seyfried on the stand next..She's annoying.
I haven't seen many of his movies but I love the ones I have seen so I'll say not guilty. And lets put Amanda Seyfried on the stand next..She's annoying.
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9:10PM on 10/08/2012
WOW really joblo? Isn't Craven like in his 80s & he is still making movies? Sure My Soul to Take was absolute crap but Scream 4 was a very decent film that acted as yet another satire to this generation,so in that sense i appreciated it. Plus he created one of the most famous horror icons & my own personal fav in Freddy Krueger, for that reason he is not guilty.
WOW really joblo? Isn't Craven like in his 80s & he is still making movies? Sure My Soul to Take was absolute crap but Scream 4 was a very decent film that acted as yet another satire to this generation,so in that sense i appreciated it. Plus he created one of the most famous horror icons & my own personal fav in Freddy Krueger, for that reason he is not guilty.
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11:19AM on 10/09/2012

Not Guilty

I'm going to chime in with some other folks: New Nightmare may not be defense worthy material, but it's certainly not an indictable offense. The guilty party seems to be the defense for using Shocker, for crap's sake, instead of something like The Hills Have Eyes (1977) or Last House on the Left (1972)! This guy always has been, and is still, dangerous. And @HoyleHaw--you're right, no one will ever confuse Craven with a director like Lynch. But he did have a Straight Story. He directed
I'm going to chime in with some other folks: New Nightmare may not be defense worthy material, but it's certainly not an indictable offense. The guilty party seems to be the defense for using Shocker, for crap's sake, instead of something like The Hills Have Eyes (1977) or Last House on the Left (1972)! This guy always has been, and is still, dangerous. And @HoyleHaw--you're right, no one will ever confuse Craven with a director like Lynch. But he did have a Straight Story. He directed that violin movie with Meryl Streep that made me cry. Was it good? Kinda. But it was sincere, and I think that's what we've often gotten from Craven--sincerity. He cares more about the horror genre than 99% of the hacks churning out bilge for paychecks at Platinum Dunes. That's why I still get excited when he makes a movie.
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8:54AM on 10/09/2012

Not Guilty

I'll take issue with some of the films he's made, and Cursed was a sack of crap, but Craven's done enough horror innovation to keep him out of movie jail, surely? A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and New Nightmare all showed he was willing to create new experiences and mess with people's expectations - something he's done more of than a lot of horror movie makers. Like a lot of genre filmmakers he might struggle to keep things fresh, but at his best he earned some respect.
I'll take issue with some of the films he's made, and Cursed was a sack of crap, but Craven's done enough horror innovation to keep him out of movie jail, surely? A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and New Nightmare all showed he was willing to create new experiences and mess with people's expectations - something he's done more of than a lot of horror movie makers. Like a lot of genre filmmakers he might struggle to keep things fresh, but at his best he earned some respect.
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6:53PM on 10/22/2012

CRUCIFY HIM!!!!!!

When I think of all the absolute crap that Wes Craven has directed/produced it makes me shudder. His last good movie to me was People Under the Stairs. Scream was meh, and all its sequels can go rot in teeny bopper hell!!!!
When I think of all the absolute crap that Wes Craven has directed/produced it makes me shudder. His last good movie to me was People Under the Stairs. Scream was meh, and all its sequels can go rot in teeny bopper hell!!!!
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12:00AM on 10/09/2012

Guilty

As much as it pains me to say this, Mr. Craven is guilty. Yes, he made some amazing films/ franchises (for what it's worth, I like "New Nightmare"). But it's clear that in his old age, he has forgotten what makes people scared, and the fact that he can't admit that and insists on trying is sad.
As much as it pains me to say this, Mr. Craven is guilty. Yes, he made some amazing films/ franchises (for what it's worth, I like "New Nightmare"). But it's clear that in his old age, he has forgotten what makes people scared, and the fact that he can't admit that and insists on trying is sad.
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6:49PM on 10/08/2012

Guilty

I think people are feeling generous b/c Craven works in the horror genre, which produces a lot of crap. If you take the horror part out of the equation and weigh the good films against the bad, sadly I feel Craven has more bad than good, especially recently. Despite the great films he's done, I gotta say guilty.
I think people are feeling generous b/c Craven works in the horror genre, which produces a lot of crap. If you take the horror part out of the equation and weigh the good films against the bad, sadly I feel Craven has more bad than good, especially recently. Despite the great films he's done, I gotta say guilty.
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2:33PM on 10/08/2012

Guilty

I find it pretty ridiculous Wes Craven is unanimously "not guilty" at this point, yet a director like Tim Burton was ultimately voted "guilty". The only decent movie Craven's directed in the last 15 years was Red Eye. Meanwhile, Burton did Sleepy Hollow, Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd and Frankenweenie. And I'm not a crazy Burton fanboy, I'm just making a comparison. Craven is one of the most overrated names in the horror genre, in my opinion. I enjoyed The Serpent and the Rainbow,
I find it pretty ridiculous Wes Craven is unanimously "not guilty" at this point, yet a director like Tim Burton was ultimately voted "guilty". The only decent movie Craven's directed in the last 15 years was Red Eye. Meanwhile, Burton did Sleepy Hollow, Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd and Frankenweenie. And I'm not a crazy Burton fanboy, I'm just making a comparison. Craven is one of the most overrated names in the horror genre, in my opinion. I enjoyed The Serpent and the Rainbow, Nightmare on Elm Street, New Nightmare and Red Eye. That about does it.
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11:54PM on 10/08/2012

Guilty

Guilty
Guilty
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-1
8:14PM on 10/08/2012

Guilty

He's a mediocre, journeyman filmmaker who got trapped in a genre he doesn't like. Give New Nightmare another watch. It's painful. Put him out of his misery. He did some wonderful stuff early in his career but his heart isn't in it.
He's a mediocre, journeyman filmmaker who got trapped in a genre he doesn't like. Give New Nightmare another watch. It's painful. Put him out of his misery. He did some wonderful stuff early in his career but his heart isn't in it.
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