“Jordan’s Take” – Movies are coming to Planet Stereo

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To whomever stopped searching the vastness of the internet, the glorious thing that holds endless entertainment possibilities, to lay your eyes on these words, my God, thank you!
My name’s Jordan, and what you’re currently reading is the first article to come out of “Jordan’s Take”; A new part of Planet Stereo that will have me tackling movie reviews, recommendations, opinion pieces, and various other things related to cinema.
I wanted to let everyone know a little bit about me and my love of movies, but I wanted to do something a little more than make a list of my favorite films, or just write some paragraphs on my life story. As great as my diaper years were, I wanted to tell you strictly about my experience with movies, which involves a bit of tragedy that has happened recently.
On August 30th, 2015, Wes Craven passed away.
I was informed by a friend of mine on Facebook.

dude did you hear? Wes Craven just passed away.”

I felt so strange about it. And sad.
Wes felt like that awesome family member that you only see during the holidays, who always gave you the best presents and the warmest hugs. And I had never even met the guy. Since I felt so fondly of him, the Facebook post seemed so casual.

“dude did you hear? one of the coolest people you never knew just passed away.”

I googled his name, and sure enough, news articles were starting to trickle in about his passing. He had lost his battle with brain cancer. I never even knew he had cancer, let alone how serious it had gotten.


The attachment to a stranger might sound odd to you, so let me go back a couple of years and tell you why I feel as I do.
When I was younger, my Mom never allowed me to watch R rated films. My Dad would make exceptions for films like Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, as he held them in high regard, and wanted to share them with his son. Eventually, his leniency was ended by the understandable idea that he shouldn’t show his son violent and gory films, and I wound up completely restricted from the restricted rating.
I grew up watching Disney films, Star Wars (which are now one and the same), and everything else other kids did. I would watch The Phantom Menace with a foam baseball bat in hand, ready to reenact every light-saber battle. Not like every child my age, however, I had a side of myself that loved horror.
Aliens had given me a taste. I consider it mostly an action flick, and a kick-ass one at that, but it no doubt shows you some horrifying things. The most credit goes to the Goosebumps book series by R.L. Stine, which really kicked it off. That’s not a movie, I know, but Stine’s work was an important component to my upbringing. His writing style involved setting up tiny cliffhangers at the end of every chapter, so you’d never want to put the book down, in fear of the character’s fates. His stories were more classic horror, but like Aliens, he showed me that having characters you care about really makes a story the most suspenseful.
That constant tension was something I had never experienced with movies outside of the one xenomorph filled adventure, but I knew others existed.
My friends at school had watched films like Child’s Play and Hellraiser. I would ask them so many questions about these movies, and they answered them all. The stories they described were exactly what I was wanting in a movie, and yet, that R rating was there.
It was when I spent some weekends with my great-grandmother that everything changed for me. This is when I discovered Wes Craven.
Scream 3 was playing on TV. I knew it was rated R, and I was going to be a good kid who obeyed his parents and change it, but then something extraordinary happened. A character uttered an explicit term, and I couldn’t hear it. It was edited. The movie was edited!
This was my in. Almost like a loop-hole! And I was excited to exploit the hell out of it.
I continued watching the movie, and something was so different about it. The movie was thrilling, it had moments that made me jump, and it was funny! How could a filmmaker make a movie scary AND funny? Who does that? I never would have thought that the peanut butter and jelly of genres would have been horror and comedy. But it was. They might even be the peanut butter and chocolate. Yes, Scream 3 was the delicious Reese’s of cinema that I didn’t know I wanted.
I eventually felt guilty and told my Dad about watching the movie, but he didn’t mind if I watched movies on TV. He told me anything too foul would be edited out.
My guilt was stabbed in the face. Investigators later identified the killer as joy.
I looked at the channel guide over the next few weeks and learned when the other Scream films were playing. It took a while, but eventually I had watched all of them.
And I was blown away.
I loved the characters, I loved the suspense, I loved the mystery, I loved the idea of killers inspired by films. I thought it was genius, and I now see many critics thought the same. It was such an enlightening experience. I knew what films could do now. And I wanted to write films just like the Scream series.
I discovered later on Wes Craven was the creator and director, and I knew I wanted to follow this guy. I wanted to do what he did. I wanted to write, and I wanted to scare people with my writing. I wanted their knuckles to turn white and wanted them to feel frightened by something I had created. I wanted to tell people a good story that they would react to.
Wes became an inspiration, whether I realized it at the time or not.
When I got older, I discovered A Nightmare on Elm Street, and it solidified my love of Craven’s work. When are you more vulnerable than when you’re sleeping? You can’t escape sleep! It comes eventually, and Craven creating this monster, this horror icon, that can kill you when you sleep…
I own every Nightmare and Scream film. I’ve watched them all countless times and I will continue to watch them for inspiration,and to keep his memory alive.

My guilt was stabbed in the face. Investigators later identified the killer as joy.

The death of Wes Craven hit me so hard because he was an essential piece of my childhood. My adult life would not be the same without him. His work has shaped who I am, so I can’t help but feel sad that he’s gone. He’s a piece of me, and a piece of many, that will be missed.
It sounds like Wes just gave me a love for horror films, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He gave me a love for quality and creativity. He gave me a standard that I judge movies on. He gave me my first taste of good cinema, and that translates to every genre.
May he rest in peace.

Hopefully that gave you an idea of what I’m like when it comes to movies, and hopefully I gave a fitting tribute to one of the best filmmakers. I’m a big horror fan, but I love pretty much every genre, as you’ll see when I start doing some reviews, and I’m super excited about doing those reviews! I’m super excited to write for you all.


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