Monday, August 31, 2015

Horror director Wes Craven dies at 76

In the world of horror films, when you talk about directors, there are usually three names that come to mind- William Friedkin, John Carpenter, and Wes Craven. Unfortunately, Craven is with us no more. The horror director who helmed iconic classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream died yesterday at the age of 76 after a long battle with brain cancer. With 29 directorial credits to his name on IMDb, Craven began his career in Hollywood in 1972, tackling projects like The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, and Swamp Thing before hitting the big time with A Nightmare on Elm Street. The classic chiller introduced us to famed slasher Freddy Krueger, and the dream-based flick was a huge success with critics and fans. Craven's career ran into a bit of a snag before Scream debuted in 1996, which was the birth of another modern horror hit. He directed all four installments of the franchise, with 2011's Scream 4 standing as his final credit. As The Exorcist director William Friedkin said on Twitter- "To be clear, film for film, Wes Craven was the best horror director. Ever. And he did it with a sense of humor."

I think that the most powerful thing about Craven's legacy is that he created characters that will live on beyond the films that they starred in. Freddy Krueger and Ghostface are two of the most instantly recognizable killers in movie history, and they have always succeeded in scaring a new generation. Krueger was even voted #40 on the American Film Institute's list of the Greatest Film Villains of all time. And while I can't say that I'm overly familiar with his filmography, Wes Craven is simply one of those names that you knew if you were a fan of movies, horror aficionado or not. The impact was widespread and the cultural influence was profound. Craven was a huge voice in the cinematic world and he will be missed.

Image Credits: AICN

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