Who wasn’t afraid of going to bed out of fear of meeting Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street? Who hasn’t fallen off the edge of their seat during a screening of Scream? The mastermind behind these works of art, Wes Craven, lost his battle against brain cancer, passing at the age of 76. The creator of The Hills Have Eyes (film that was banned in several countries at the time) had an impressive portfolio that started decades ago and grew with the years, turning him into a legend.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Craven began his career in 1972 with his first feature film, The Last House on the Left. He earned a degree in philosophy and writing that same year at Hopkins University and went on to a short teaching career.
His first big-budget film came in 1982 with Swamp Thing but it was his 1984 Nightmare on Elm Street that helped launch him to legendary status. The franchise of the twisted antagonist Freddy Krueger quickly became popular, allowing for a series of sequels created and directed by Craven.
During the 1990s, Craven kept on with his status of king of horror with the Scream franchise. This generated a series of sequels of the slashing man in a mask and black cloak.
Known for his characteristic horror style that combined crude humor with unforgettable characters, Craven also worked on films that were a far cry from his style, such as Music of the Heart (1999), with Meryl Streep and Angela Basset. The film was nominated for an Oscar.
Some of Craven´s other productions include the 2005 psychological thriller Red Eye, the 2011 sequel Scream 4. He was developing two series for SyFy, We are Completely Fine and The People under the Stairs.
Craven will always be remembered as a pioneer of a particular style of horror and slash that set the tone for other films and many to come.