It is our sad duty to report that Wes Craven died this evening at the age of 76 from complication with brain cancer. The writer and director of countless films is a legend in the genre, and one that will not soon be forgotten.
Born August 2, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio, Craven was an imaginative director unafraid of pushing boundaries. This was apparent in his feature debut with 1972’s The Last House on the Left and again in 1977 with The Hills Have Eyes. Violent and unflinching, Craven forced us to look into environments other filmmakers had avoided until that time.
It was in 1984, however, that he gave us what would become his most iconic character. Freddy Krueger burst onto the screen and into the nightmares of millions in A Nightmare on Elm Street, a film that spawned a franchise of 7 films plus one crossover with the Friday the 13th franchise in Freddy vs. Jason. Not content to be pigeon holed by a character, Craven moved onto other projects after the first film, not returning until New Nightmare when he brought Freddy into the real world – attacking the actors who had starred in the previous films.
This twist was nothing new for Craven. One need only watch an interview with Craven to realize the deep intelligence and his knowledge of world myth and folklore which he brought to his scripts. At one point, he was quoted as saying, “Horror films don’t create fear. They release it.” Craven took it upon himself to release that fear in every way he could imagine, and his imagination ran deep.
After a string of films with median success, including the classic The People Under the Stairs, Craven found himself at the top of the Summer box office game with 1996’s Scream. The self aware horror film that poked fun at the genre while simultaneously reviving it became a huge hit, and this time, the maestro stayed with it, directing all three sequels that would follow.
As we reflect back on a career full of enormous highlights, we recognize the heaviness of our loss here at iHorror. A legend, the likes of which we may never see again, has passed from our lives.