The man was practically a brand name all by himself, and one of the most influential voices to ever come to a single cinematic genre. Wesley Earl Craven gave the world such films as the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Swamp Thing, The Hills Have Eyes, and all four Scream films. The legendary director and writer has left us, according to reports that broke last night.
Craven succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 76.
Craven is perhaps best known for bookending his career by helping to make horror incredibly mainstream during the first half and then turning the genre on its head in the latter half. With films like The Last House on The Left and the creation of Hollywood icon Freddy Krueger in his Elm Street films, Craven helped create many of the tropes and characteristics that fans have come to expect from the horror genre. Then in the late 90s with Scream, the writer-director took a sledgehammer to those tropes by making a film that mocked all of those clichÃ©s and found a way to make horror fresh again.
Craven’s final directorial effort was 2011’s Scream 4.
His legacy lives on today, as Scream is now a TV series on MTV and the web has been rife with casting rumors for a new version of Freddy Krueger for an all-new take on A Nightmare on Elm Street that is currently in development.
Craven passed away at his home in Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife Iya Labunka, his sister Carol, children Jonathan and Jessica, grandchildren Miles, Max and Myra-Jean and stepdaughter Nina.
Do we like scary movies? Yes, Wes, we do. Because of you.