Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Wes Craven Eulogy

Wes Craven
Wes Craven
Horror maven, Wes Craven, passed away on Sunday, August 30th, after a battle with brain cancer. Known best for his magnum opus, A Nightmare on Elm Street, as well as the seminal Scream (written by Kevin Williamson), Craven shocked the scene with his debut, Last House on the Left. A brutal, down and dirty revenge flick, it set the tone for the brunt of his career.

Major success first came to Craven in 1984, with the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy Krueger took his rightful place as one of the premiere new monsters of Hollywood, in the tradition of the Universal Monsters of the 1930s and '40s. Many were "mad slashers" with Supernatural features, such as Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, but Freddy's concept and backstory were darker and more complex - he was more than just another mindless killer. The movie spawned numerous sequels, a syndicated TV series, video games - Freddy even had his own chatline! Freddy Krueger became an icon of 1980s' pop-culture.

He moved away from the Nightmare on Elm St. franchise but continued making mostly horror films, including The People Under the Stairs and The Serpent and the Rainbow. He returned to the Elm Street franchise for a variant take on the characters and concept, but New Nightmare was coolly received. Craven's career, along with the horror genre, was flagging when he first read the script for Scary Movie. The movie was renamed Scream and following its release, the horror film genre was forever changed.

Scream debuted low in the box office its opening weekend but remained on the charts for several weeks, eventually grossing $100mn worldwide. Although he directed all of the movies in the Scream series, Craven also branched-out into more serious, non-genre, films around this time. He returned to his horror roots for his final years of filmmaking.

Wes Craven was 74. Our condolences to his friends and family.

© The Weirding, 2015

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