Some extremely sad news coming out of Hollywood today: Wes Craven has passed away from brain cancer at the too young age of 76.
A writer, director and horror maestro, he will leave a big hole in our hearts, although his legacy has, and will continue to impact future generations of horror-makers.
He directed 29 movies and has writing credits to the sum of 36. What an amazing body of work to leave behind.
His directing debut was back in 1972 with The Last House on the Left which, despite being banned in many places for the level of violence, was a smash hit, grossing over $3 million at the US box office.
What I remember him most for (and I’m showing my age here) is 1982’s A Nightmare on Elm Street and 1996’s Scream which was an icon of my generation.
Nightmare was pioneering in terms of the special effects and while slasher horror was quite popular it wasn’t in the mainstream until this beauty came onto the scene. It was different to The Last House and The Hills Have Eyes in that it brought the horror out of the remote places and right into your cosy little American suburb. You couldn’t pretend that it couldn’t happen to you now
Nightmare for me sparked my love of horror films, even though I was way too young when it came out, and I only saw it in my teens.
I vividly remember where I was when I first watched it: curled up alone on my parents’ bed on a cold winter night with my cat. I wasn’t supposed to watch things like that because I already had pretty vivid nightmares and I didn’t sleep properly for days but I delighted in the story and the teens who battled the nightmare and survived.
Many stars have paid tribute to him on social media, with such big names as Robert Englund (Freddy himself), Rose Magowan, and Anne Rice, among the many who knew and loved him.
RIP Wes Craven, my director, my friend. A brilliant, kind, gentle and very funny man. A sad day on Elm St and everywhere. I’ll miss him.
— Robert B. Englund (@RobertBEnglund) August 31, 2015
Here are some clips from some of the above mentioned movies.
Rest in peace, Mr Craven. Your legacy lives on.
The original trailer for A Nightmare on Elm Street
Building the tension in the opening of Scream
Rose Magowan’s death scene in Scream
Gorephile. Singer. "Lady".