The Maestro of Horror, Wes Craven, died Sunday evening in his Los Angeles home after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76.
Craven was best known for his work on horror slasher films. He was best known for creating the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise that introduced audiences to horror icon Freddy Krueger. Originally starting int he pornographic film industry, he moved onto Hollywood with his directorial and screenwriting debut, 1972’s The Last House on the Left. He followed up with The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and its sequels The Hills Have Eyes II (1985) and The Hills Have Eyes III (1995). Both franchises have been remade in the past ten years.
He’s been credited with creating the youth-horror genre, beginning with A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Although it spawned six sequels, he was only involved with A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. He did write and direct Wes Craven’s New Nightmre, but it wasn’t considered as the seventh entry in the franchise, portraying Freddy Krueger as a fictional movie villain who invades the real world and the cast & crew responsible for the movies. Craven made this version of Freddy more menacing and less comedic, more along the lines of his original intent with the character.
He also created the highly successful Scream franchise, directing the first film and its subsequent sequels. The franchise was so successful that it spawned a television series on MTV, which Craven served as producer before his death.