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Creator / Wes Craven

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The man at work.


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

Wesley Earl "Wes" Craven (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 A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), but also found great success a decade later with the movie Scream (1996), a deconstruction of the slasher sub-genre that led to a slew of horror films in the late '90s imitating it.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Craven was raised by a Baptist family and was reportedly a target for bullies (including one with 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 The Last House on the Left, followed five years later by The Hills Have Eyes (1977). The success of these movies made him a seminal name in horror cinema.

He additionally directed a number of episodes of The Twilight Zone (1985) as well as the Meryl Streep-starring biopic Music of the Heart (his only PG-rated movie) — from which he joked that he went "from violence to violins" — and wrote one novel, Fountain Society, which deals with scientists doing brain transplants.

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

Craven's personal website is located here.

Films directed by Wes Craven include:

Common tropes in Wes Craven's work include:

The first monster you have to scare the audience with is yourself.