Sunday, August 30, 2015
Remembering Wes Craven
Wes Craven has lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of 76. The man lived a good, long life and was already known as a horror legend before his passing. Looking back on the man's filmography, including just what all he's had his fingers in over the years, really helps in terms of fully appreciating what all Craven lent his talents to.
While claiming to have helmed some pornographic features back in his early days of filmmaking, Craven really burst onto the scene with the infamous "The Last House on the Left" in 1972. Afterwards he brought us the original "The Hills Have Eyes", as well as the underrated "Deadly Blessing" and a hysterical adaptation of "Swamp Thing". But it was in 1984 when he unleashed "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and introduced us to slasher icon Freddy Krueger that really cemented Craven as a true icon of the genre. He would follow that with "The Serpent & The Rainbow", "Shocker", "The People Under the Stairs", "New Nightmare", "Deadly Friend", "Vampire in Brooklyn", and the "Scream" franchise as a director, while serving as a producer on a number of various horror flicks including "Mind Ripper", "They", the "Wishmaster" series, and "Dracula 2000", as well as remakes of "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Last House on the Left".
A lover of classical music, Craven even ventured outside horror to helm the 1999 "Music of the Heart" starring Meryl Streep. Though I was never a fan of the "Scream" films, they have their place in horror history for re-invigorating the slasher genre in the 90s (for better or worse), which wouldn't have been possible without Craven's slick and imaginative direction. The man did more to legitimize the horror genre than anyone else from his era of filmmaking. For that, he will always be beloved.
So sadly, even though Wes Craven has passed on, he leaves behind a body of work that many of his contemporaries can barely rival. He was special as a man, and as a filmmaker, and his work remains iconic all these years later, and always will forever more.
Rest in peace Wes, you've earned it.