The world lost a legend on August 30th, 2015 when Wes Craven passed away. The master of horror wrote and directed A Nightmare on Elm Street, still one of the world’s most beloved scary movies. With cult-classics like The Hills Have Eyes and his game-changing Scream, Craven indelibly shaped the genre of horror that we all love. Here we asked a few of our favorites working in the genre today for some words on the passing of the legendary Wes Craven.
"A master storyteller and a craftsman"
Wes Craven was a master storyteller and a craftsman whose films crossed genres to entertain audiences around the world. I was lucky enough to turn the tables on him and direct him one time. I wish he would have stuck around so we could do it again. Wes was a friend to cinema, the genre and to other filmmakers—most of all, he was my friend and I will miss him.
John Carpenter is a director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composer best known for Halloween and The Thing.
Although I only met Wes once - in a Q&A event in NYC - I felt like I’d known him forever through his work. Like most of us, I've been inspired, influenced, and terrified by his groundbreaking work for decades. Specifically, it was Nightmare on Elm Street that so effectively evoked fear by exploring the vulnerability we all share when we're asleep - which I can say was a direct inspiration to me. What struck me the most during my encounter with Wes was what a genuinely nice guy he was. Losing him is a loss for horror for sure, and a loss of one of the good guys.
Oren Peli is a director, producer, and screenwriter best known for his work on the Paranormal Activity and Insidious franchises.
Wes Craven was an icon in the horror genre, but more importantly to me, he broke out and explored other creative pursuits, from comedy to drama. He’s a filmmaker that truly loved making films and there is no way I can avoid being influenced by his body of work, either consciously or subconsciously.
Daniel Myrick is the writer and director of The Blair Witch Project. He just wrapped production on his latest project, Under the Bed.
"A true pioneer"
The horror community suffered a big blow with the passing of Wes Craven. Talk about a true pioneer. All of his movies pushed the genre forward because they had something thoughtful to say, whether it was about the Vietnam war, teenage angst, abuse or class warfare. He gave us movies with meaning and big scares. It is hard to do that once or twice, it's basically impossible to do it as often as Wes did. He constantly re-invented himself and the genre and left an indelible mark on multiple decades of film and multiple generations of horror fans. Thank you for everything and rest in peace.
Jason Blum is a film producer and founder of Blumhouse Productions, working predominantly in horror.
This article was originally posted in the Moviepilot Magazine – Fear Issue.