Wes Craven Dies at 76

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail 0

RIP Wes Craven.

Wes Craven, director of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street and all four Scream movies, died of brain cancer in his Los Angeles home on August 31st. He was 76-years-old. Craven survived by his wife of eleven years, Iya Labunka, who acted as a producer on Scream 4 and My Soul to Take. He left her behind, in addition to two children and one of the most prominent careers in horror filmmaking.

Horror rarely gets much respect or accolades. That’s primarily because so many entries to the genre rely on cheap scares. What made Wes Craven stand out was his ambition, creativity, and sense of humor. Although he primarily restricted himself to horror, Craven was always trying new things with the genre while also staying true to the genre’s roots.

After years of working on X-rated productions and struggling to break out into the film business, Craven was given an opportunity direct his first feature in 1972’s The Last House on the Left. He further cemented his place as a horror legend with The Hills Have Eyes in 1977. Of course the film Craven will always be best remembered for is 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. Craven crafted a slasher classic with a legitimately scary premise, inventive special effects, and a timeless horror icon in Freddy Krueger. Plus, the film introduced a young actor by the name of Johnny Depp.

Aside from A Nightmare on Elm Street and 1994’s New Nightmare, Craven’s finest achievement was Scream in 1996. Arguably the greatest meta movie ever made, Scream poked fun at many of the horror tropes Craven and other filmmakers exhausted over the years. The film didn’t condemn horror cliches, however. It embraced horror cliches and had a ton of fun with them in the process. That was the key to Craven’s best projects. He was self-aware, but still took his craft seriously and strived to give his audience an entertaining experience.

Craven further demonstrated his range with the Hitchcockian Red Eye in 2005 and a ghostly segment of Paris, je t’aime in 2006. Even in some of the most panned outings of his career, like 2005’s Cursed, you could see Craven was having a good time behind the camera and his actors were having a good time in front of the camera too. Craven will always be remembered as a true master of horror. If you haven’t seen any of his films, be sure to check them out over the next two months. It’s the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail 0
This entry was posted in News on by .

About Nick Spake

Nick Spake has been working as an entertainment writer for the past ten years, but he's been a lover of film ever since seeing the opening sequence of The Lion King. Movies are more than just escapism to Nick, they're a crucial part of our society that shape who we are. He now serves as the Features Editor at Flickreel and author of its regular column, 'Nick Flicks'.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.