[[caption-width-right:250:The man at work.]]

->''"Horror films don't create fear. They release it."''

Wesley Earl 'Wes' [[MeaningfulName Craven]] (born August 2, 1939 - August 30, 2015) was an American film director, producer and writer, and was the creator of many iconic and genre-defining horror films. He was probably best known for his creation of Freddy Krueger, the dream-haunting villain introduced in ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984''. He also found great success a decade later with the movie ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'', a {{deconstruction}} of the [[SlasherMovie slasher sub-genre]] that launched a [[FollowTheLeader slew of late 90's imitation horror films]].

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Craven was raised by a Baptist family and was reportedly a target for bullies (including one with [[NamesTheSame the same name]] as his most famous creation). After leaving home, he gained an education in English Literature, Psychology, and Writing; he then married, and started a family. His marriage ended after five years, and his children left with his ex-wife. He moved to New York, and eventually directed ''Film/TheLastHouseOnTheLeft'', followed five years later by ''Film/TheHillsHaveEyes1977''. The success of these movies made him a seminal name in horror cinema.

Additionally, he directed a number of of episodes of ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' in the 80's and, quite bizarrely, the {{biopic}} ''Film/MusicOfTheHeart'' (his only PG rated movie). Craven joked that he went "from violence to violins" in directing a movie about a music educator played by Creator/MerylStreep.

He has also written one novel, ''Fountain Society'', which deals with scientists doing brain transplants.

His personal website is located [[http://www.wescraven.com/ here]].

He died of brain cancer on August 30, 2015. He was 76.

[[folder: Films Include: ]]

* ''Film/TheLastHouseOnTheLeft'' (1972)
* ''[[Film/TheHillsHaveEyes1977 The Hills Have Eyes]]'' (1977)
* ''Film/DeadlyBlessing'' (1981)
* ''Film/SwampThing'' (1982)
* ''[[Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street]]'' (1984)
* ''Film/TheHillsHaveEyesPartII'' (1984)
* ''Film/DeadlyFriend'' (1986)
* ''Film/TheSerpentAndTheRainbow'' (1988)
* ''Film/{{Shocker}}'' (1989)
* ''Film/ThePeopleUnderTheStairs'' (1991)
* ''Film/WesCravensNewNightmare'' (1994)
* ''Film/VampireInBrooklyn'' (1995)
* ''[[Film/{{Scream 1996}} Scream]]'' (1996)
* ''Film/{{Scream 2}}'' (1997)
* ''Film/MusicOfTheHeart'' (1999)
* ''Film/{{Scream 3}}'' (2000)
* ''Film/{{Cursed|2005}}'' (2005)
* ''Film/RedEye'' (2005)
* ''Film/MySoulToTake'' (2010)
* ''Film/{{Scream 4}}'' (2011)
!!Common Tropes in Craven's Work Include:

* ActionGirl: Nancy Thompson and Sidney Prescott being the most notable examples.
* AdultsAreUseless: Either that, or the adults are a serious part of the problem.
* {{Deconstruction}}: ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'' was so successful that it made [[TheEighties the 80's]] [[SlasherMovie slasher]] [[GenreKiller impossible to take seriously anymore]]. It did however lead to a resurgence of slasher movies in the late 1990s and the 2000s, typically self-aware or at least lampshading several genre tropes.
* DecoyProtagonist: Most of his films start out with a character who is set up to become the protagonist, only to die so that the focus can be shifted to someone else for the remainder of the story.
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence: Virtually all of his movies.
* FinalGirl: In most films, although ''Film/{{Shocker}}'' features a Final Guy.
* {{Gorn}}: ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984'', in particular.
* MeaningfulName: A horror film director named "Craven."
* NowILayMeDownToSleep: On ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984'', ''Film/ThePeopleUnderTheStairs'' and ''Film/MySoulToTake''.
* PoliceAreUseless: Cops are usually incompetent, though well meaning. Oftentimes they're a complete hinderance to the main characters.
* PostModernism: ''Film/WesCravensNewNightmare'' and the ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' movies take this UpToEleven.
* RapeAsDrama: His characters tended to either be raped, are implied to be raped, are raped as a backstory, or are rapists themselves.
* ShoutOut:
** ''Film/TheLastHouseOnTheLeft'' is a loose retelling (with a SettingUpdate) of Creator/IngmarBergman's ''The Virgin Spring''.
** In one scene during ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984'', Creator/SamRaimi's ''[[Film/TheEvilDead1981 The Evil Dead]]'' is playing on a TV in the background, which itself is a ShoutOut to Sam Raimi putting a poster of Craven's ''The Hills Have Eyes'' in the background of ''The Evil Dead''.
* SlasherMovie: Two of the most famous examples, too.
* TakeThat: One of the working titles for ''The Last House on the Left'' was ''Krug & Company.'' That title and the name "Freddy Krueger" were both taken from a bully from Craven's childhood.
* TooSpicyForYogSothoth: He once walked out of ''Film/ReservoirDogs'' because the extreme violence disgusted him. Wrap your brains around THAT.
** Creator/QuentinTarantino argued in an interview with ''Vulture'' that Craven's direction kept ''Scream'' from being better than it was. (Awkwardly, it was only a few days before Craven passed away...)