Wes Craven, engineer of the longstanding Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and more night terrors than we care to admit, has passed away aged 76.
Craven’s family released an official statement confirming the sad news on Sunday, revealing that the horror maestro had been suffering with brain cancer and died at his family home in Los Angeles yesterday evening. He is survived his wife and former Disney Studios vice president, Iya Labunka.
Writing and directing the 1984 slasher hit, Craven is widely considered to be a pioneer of the horror genre, dragging the teenage drama back into the limelight in the mid-to-late 80s before striking gold with his subversive Scream series, grossing a remarkable $300 domestically across its genre-bending timeline. Having introduced moviegoers to the indelible Freddy Krueger, Craven’s impact on the genre cannot be overstated, and his legacy will remain a cornerstone of the horror genre itself.
Breaking into the limelight with his directorial debut The Last House on the Left in 1972, Craven would then go on to write and helm The Hills Have Eyes, two projects that have been given the reboot treatment in recent years.
As for his more recent projects, Wes Craven had his hand in numerous television projects, including MTV’s gestating Scream reboot, while it’s also understood that the esteemed filmmaker had been crafting a graphic novel series prior to his passing away.
In the words of the man himself: “I tried to make movies where I can honestly say I haven’t seen that before and to follow my deepest intuitions and in some cases literally my dreams. Horror films don’t create fear. They release it.”
Rest in peace, Wes Craven.