Horror Pioneer Wes Craven Dead At 76
Horror director extraordinaire Wes Craven lost a battle with brain cancer and passed away last night. He was 76.
While Craven is known for his gut-wrenching cult classics like The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, as well as his tongue-in-cheek teen slasher movie Scream, it was his creation of Freddy Krueger, the scar-covered blade-handed child murderer of A Nightmare on Elm Street, that cemented his legacy as one of horror cinema’s elite. A surreal fiend who haunted the dreams of the teenager children of his murderers, Freddy embodied the strange and jarring terrors that one can experience in their dreams, as well as the legendary boogeyman present in the spotted history of every small town throughout America.
So many of my childhood memories involve Craven’s work. As a kid, I was obsessed with A Nightmare on Elm Street; it’s combination of slasher gore and bizarre otherworldly evil seemed uniquely terrifying to me. As a preteen, I also found myself constantly watching Scream, amazed by its thrilling and wry take on a genre that too often was a collection of stilted cliches. Throughout, I remember sneaking many of Craven’s stranger movies past my mother, from The Hills Have Eyes to The People Under the Stairs, and enjoying them with wide-eyed awe.
Craven is survived by his wife, Iya Labunka, and his children Jessica and Jonathan. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.