We horror fans are a weird breed: we actually enjoy watching people get attacked by angry ghosts, or sometimes murderous dream demons! We also tend to remember the first time we watched a horror film; either by date, or by film. We also tend to favor a certain Movie Director or two as well. In my case, it’s Mr. Wes Craven; who fans will know as the man behind such classics like Scream, and my personal favorite, A Nightmare On Elm Street. I remember the first time I saw both of these films: Scream was at a friend’s place and I had to hide under the blankets during the opening death sequence, and Nightmare was late at night [in my room] when I was about 13 years old. Back then, I was terrified by the film, I feared for the night because; what could be scarier than someone attacking you when you’re most vulnerable? When you’re asleep? Although scared, I was curious, so as I got older, I began watching the sequels..quickly making the Nightmare film series [as cheesy as they got] my all time favorite horror film franchise.
Besides being known far and wide for creating the iconic Freddy Krueger and Ghostface, Craven also wrote and produced film features for television and occasionally, wrote novels. Wes Craven was a humanities professor before leaving academia to work in post production. As most horror fans can tell you, his first official credited film was the controversial film The Last House On The Left:which he wrote, directed and edited back in 1972! Naturally, he followed it up with the blackly comic The Hills Have Eyes and Swamp Thing, which – if you know your comic books – was an early entry in the comic book to film adaptation genre! I only started to notice Wes during Nightmare though, Where the surreal slasher film is credited with having started something called the “dream reality” style of 1980s horror filmmakers and in turn; helped launch independent film studio New Line Cinema, which is sometimes referred to as “the house that Freddy built.”
However, as I’m sure you saw all over the internet: Wes Craven had been struggling with brain cancer for a long time.. and last night, it caught up to him; passing away [in his LA home] at the age of 76.. a true master of horror – has left us. One of the last projects Craven was working on was MTV’s TV series adaptation of Scream, on which he worked as an executive producer. The series was recently renewed for a second season, back on July 29th. [I still have to start the series..now more than ever!] “Wes Craven was a tremendous visionary whose sensibility for scares has connected with generations of MTV fans,” MTV has said in a statement. “We are honored to have worked with him and proud to carry on his legacy with Scream: Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”
It’s a truly sad day for us horror fans, we lost one of the greats.. From Ghostface to Krueger, horror won’t be the anywhere near the same without someone who helped push the envelope in the genre. Although horror will last without him, it won’t ‘feel’ right without Craven, who made us feel fear when we’re arguably, the most vulnerable..
So this post is for you Wes, you started scaring me at a fairly young age; and I wouldn’t have it any other way! You’ve inspired so many horror directors with your stylized cinematography, but you can’t replace an original. From everyone who loves the horror genre as much as you did; this is us saying “thanks”. Fun Fact: Craven actually told The Los Angeles Times in an interview: “My goal is to die in my 90s on the set, say, `That’s a wrap,’ after the last shot, fall over dead and have the grips go out and raise a beer to me.” and raise a beer we did, Wes, this one’s for you!
THANKS FOR READING.