Master of Horror Wes Craven, Dead at 76


Master of Horror Wes Craven, Dead at 76

Horror master Wes Craven has passed away at age 76

While we thought we might be able to get through the summer without losing another filmmaking great, it’s being reported that one of horror’s finest filmmakers and the man responsible for some of the biggest horror hits of all time, Mr. Wes Craven, is dead at the age of 76.

Not a lot has been reported about Craven’s passing, except that he had been fighting brain cancer in recent months.

Craven, of course, is best known for the hit horror franchise that began with 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, which introduced Freddy Krueger to the world (as well as a 21-year-old Johnny Depp), but the filmmaker had already been making edgy horror films for over a decade before that, most notably 1972’s The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes in 1977. 

A Nightmare on Elm Street was a huge breakout, leading to multiple sequels, but Craven was only also involved with A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, which he wrote and produced. In 1994, he’d return to that world in a more meta way with Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, but two years later, he decided to spoof the slasher subgenre of horror he helped create with 1994’s Scream, which would kick off an even more successful horror franchise with two huge sequels in 1997 and 2000.

While Craven directed a number of movies in the past ten years, including the aptly-titled Cursed and the hit thriller Red Eye, he became more focused on producing remakes of his earlier films The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House on the Left. 

In recent years, Craven has been involved with bringing Scream to television with the hit MTV show, but 2011’s Scream 4 would be his last feature film as director.

Craven’s most recent production, The Girl in the Photographs, starring Kal Penn, will premiere as part of “Midnight Madness” at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

It’s a sad day for horror fans who know Craven for all of the films he wrote, directed and produced.

(Photo Credit: ER/FameFlynet Pictures)