Notable films: Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, Red Eye
Famous for: Horror with American allegory, heavy amounts of blood and gore, genre subversion, self-aware horror, torturing a female lead and sometimes letting her live.
Hypothetical title: Euro
Hypothetical premise: Honors student Jane is in the transitional summer between high school or college and has just been informed that her job at the ice cream station has been terminated because it is going out of business. With absolutely nothing tying her down, she decides to fly to Europe for the summer with her two best friends. This is set up in the first few episodes.
Of course, all three of them have seen tourist torture porn like Hostel and Turistas, so they’re on the lookout for creepy strangers and overly-nice Europeans. One of the nice people at their hotel gets so frustrated by their apparent knowledge of his schemes that he decides to resort to Taken and break into their hotel room with a gang of thugs and abduct them.
Once captured, the trio endure endless torment at the hands of some sick Germans. They know how this works, and begin to appeal to their captors’ obviously messed-up childhoods and ruined relationships. Jane is the only one successful at this, and returns home traumatized and unable to live a normal life. In essence, it’s a torture porn TV miniseries.
Cross between: Hostel, Scream, Taken and The Hills Have Eyes.
Likely to bring: Robert Englund is a Craven regular, though only in the Nightmare on Elm Street films as Freddy Krueger. He’d probably love a chance to pair up with the director who gave him his career and play a new evil character as well. As far as leading ladies go, Craven often likes to go with relative unknowns for his lead teen roles. This means someone like Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) would be ideal for his purposes here.
Likeliness of this happening: 6/10. Craven has done a TV series based off of his Nightmare on Elm Street mythology and also tackled a couple episodes of The Twilight Zone in the 80s. The next obvious step for him would be to take the self-reflexivity of the Scream films and apply to something original. Still, though, he may be making more entries in that film if Scream 4 does what it’s supposed to at the box office, so it’s semi-plausible, but still quite unlikely.
Interesting perspective. I’m a pretty big fan of Craven’s work, even the not-so-great ones like My Soul To Take, and I’d have to say this is a very accurate portrayal of how he would approach television at this stage in his career. I’m not sure how prevalent the torture porn aspect would be, though. He’s definitely loaded his films with blood and gore but he’s managed to do it in an almost artistic sort of way like the fountain of blood in A Nightmare on Elm Street or when Drew Barrymore is strung up in the tree at the beginning of Scream. I could be wrong, though. Indeed, there were people who thought The Last House on the Left was pure exploitation whereas I found it to be more art house given that it was inspired by Bergman’s The Virgin Spring.
Great article! I love reading your guys’ opinions about prolific people in the film industry.
Thanks! I actually leaned more your way on Last House on the Left too… the remake exploited his vision to no end though. As for torture porn, I’m sure he could add his artistic flare for gore to it as well, I just thought it’d be interesting to see him tackle that horror sub-genre the same way he did with Scream.
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