At first thought, many people probably would have thought director Wes Craven to be some kind of unbalanced oddball because of some of the films he has made. Not to mention some of the gnarly and overly violent scenes he has created in his numerous films. What kind of a person would of made "The Last House On The Left", or "The Hills Have Eyes"?. Or have a geiser of blood shooting up from a teenaged boy's bed in the original "A Nightmare On Elm Street"?. Well, Mr. Craven. That's who. Newbies just finding his work and learning more about him, might be surprised to find that Mr. Craven is the exact opposite of what you would of thought. Instead of coming across as some crazy horror film director, he comes across more as a polished and highly intelligent man who looks and dresses like a college professor. "Freddy" star Robert Englund even once made that comment after meeting Wes for the first time after auditioning for the first Freddy movie. This book delves right into the entirety of Wes' career and offers glimpses into the makings of each ones, not to mention his own life. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 2, 1939. One other interesting note was how his family were a deeply religious baptist family. The religion and the nature of his family's religion is something Wes goes on to discuss a bit further in the book. It's also incredibly interesting to know that Wes never saw a movie until
he wasin college. The good and the bad from his work is brought to the forefront and dissected. A running theme thru the book is the effect that horror, and many of Wes' films, have had on the world. Is it good?. Is it harmful to children?. Is it responsible when someone commits a crime and says they did because of watching "Scream" or any other movie?. That is some of the interesting bits you will read about in this book. Author Brian J. Robb, an autobiogrpaher who has done work on such other people as Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, River Phoenix, and Leonardo DiCaprio, does a nice job of getting the information there and making it easily accessible and interesting to read. Granted, the book isn't entirely perfect. It's a thin and light book that could probably be read in one sitting. Also, many of the quotes seem like they were taken from many other sources. It doesn't feel like Wes had directly talked to this book or was involved in any interviews for it. I'm just guessing. It would of been better if it had a tad more in depth, but I'm not really complaining for as it is a great book. The "Nightmare On Elm Street" films are thoroughly researched and talked about here. It is kind of odd that every single one is accounted for since 4 of them had nothing really to do with Wes at all. I did get the feeling that Wes wasn't properly treated at time by New Line over the "Elm Street" series. These films were what really made Wes known, until a little movie called "Scream" came out to terrify theatergoers in 1996 and made Wes not only a household name again, but proved that he is master and back at the top of the horror list. Much talk and detail goes into all 3 of the "Scream" films as well. Overall, this is avery entertaining and enjoyable read. From his trouble with getting a film done, going without money, and the ever present cencorships board, and other things you will read about in this book, Wes Craven has had his struggles. But as always, he rolls with the punches and he always gets back on his feet again. This is a book that satisfy fans, newcomers to him and his work, and genre buffs all over the world.