ByMelissa Thomas, writer at
Horror blogger. Find more of my work at Email me at [email protected]
Melissa Thomas

2015 has seen the passing of several icons, like Rowdy Roddy Piper and Sir Christopher Lee - even hoaxes of several others like Willie Nelson and James Earl Jones popped up on Google searches. The latest icon taken from us, unfortunately, is horror maestro Wes Craven. At the age of 76 after a battle with brain cancer, the legendary fright-man passed away.

Wes Craven has been the inspiration to many horror writers and directors over the decades and has created some of the most memorable genre franchises. Even if you are not a horror fan, you know who he is, or have at least heard his name in passing. Craven was not just a genius of his genre either. He saw success in other fields, even directing Meryl Streep into an Oscar nomination with 1999's Music of the Heart.

Streep in Music of the Heart
Streep in Music of the Heart

Craven was the Father of Nightmares, the Maestro of Fright and the King of the Slashers. His work has haunted the dreams of horror fans for generations. Best known for his terrifying A Nightmare on Elm Street films, Craven was without a doubt in the top two of horrors greatest writers and directors.

Legions of '90s horror nerds fondly remember the jump-scares and the mystery of Scream. Craven was the father of some of horror's most terrifying characters. If you say you have never prank called your friend and asked, "What's your favorite scary movie?" I'm going to have to say you're lying.

Craven has been a part of pretty much all of my favorite horror films. He wrote and directed The Last House on the Left and the original The Hills Have Eyes. He directed Swamp Thing, Deadly Friend and The People Under the Stairs. He even produced remakes of The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, so next time you complain about a remake, just remember, even greats like Wes Craven support new takes on their classics.

He also had a spectacular eye for talent. Craven introduced us to some of Hollywood's biggest names. Johnny Depp, Sharon Stone and Bruce Willis all being on that long list.

Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street
Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street

As previously mentioned, Wes Craven was not just a horror genius, his work in other genres are nothing short of phenomenal. He directed a 2005 psychological thriller called Red Eye, and in 2006, he wrote and directed a romantic comedy segment for the French ensemble production Paris Je T'aime.

Craven is also a published author. His novel The Fountain Society can be found at your local bookstore or at any of the various online retailers.

In 2010, he co-wrote the film My Soul to Take with his wife, former Disney Studios Vice President, Iya Labunka.

Craven has signed numerous television deals for his past work. The Craven classics that will be gracing our TV sets include The People Under the Stairs, Disciples, We Are All Completely Fine and Sleepers.

He also served as the Executive Producer of the MTV television adaption of Scream.

Craven was the perfect nightmare writer with a heart of gold. He was a bird conservationist as a longtime member of the Audubon California Board of Directors. He also wrote a monthly column called 'Wes Craven's The Birds' for Martha's Vineyard Magazine. He was a real nature-lover and all-around great person.

Thank you for the decades of scares and the inspiration you have provided for countless talents in horror and beyond. Your name will continue to live on through your work. You will be missed by man, Maestro, you have touched the lives of more than you know. Rest in peace Mr. Wes Craven 1939-2015


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