Legacy of fear

Wes Craven re-vamped horror films

BY COLIN HICKSON 
STAFF WRITER

Image from palmbeachpost.com One of Hollywood’s most influential directors, Wes Craven, recently passed away.

Image from palmbeachpost.com
One of Hollywood’s most influential directors, Wes Craven, recently passed away.

Last month, Hollywood lost a legend in the horror industry when Wes Craven died of brain cancer. Known for such films as “Scream,” “The Last House on the Left,” “The Hills Have Eyes” and possibly the highlight of his career, “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” Craven was arguably one of the most celebrated horror directors in cinema history, famous for movies that explore the nature of reality. His first film, “The Last House on the Left,” was filled with such shocking content that it was banned in several countries. Craven showed that real life could be just as horrifying as any movie. The film features no monster of magical or scientific origin; instead, it is packed with blood and gore and features all too real monsters in the form of a group of sadistic rapists. It is also the movie that launched Craven’s career, as he went on to do bigger and better films. Then, in 1984, Craven created another lasting impact on moviegoers with “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” which introduced the world to the nightmarish Freddy Krueger. Aside from creating the first supernatural slasher in horror history, Craven also created New Line Cinema, the company behind the film. The film also launched the careers of several actors, most notably Johnny Depp. Ironically, Craven intended for “Elm Street” to be a one-film only story, with no plans for it to become the franchise it is today. With the first “Scream” movie, Craven cleverly lampooned the so called “horror movie rules.” This horror-comedy satirized slasher movies, bringing the genre’s clichés to the forefront, and it spawned three sequels, all directed by Craven. “Scream” helped revitalize the horror movie genre as a whole, which was almost dead in the nineties. MTV even recently launched a TV series for the historic franchise. In a world where directors like Michael Bay and Uwe Boll care more about taking liberties with their films and trying to create massive blockbusters than telling good stories, directors like Craven are greatly appreciated. Craven may be physically gone, but his legacy and work will last forever. Like any good director, Craven’s films serve as a reminder of how talented a man he was and what kind of visionary he was. His movies are still considered to be masterpieces of horror, and they turned many actors into household names. A great filmmaker is never forgotten, and Wes Craven was one of the greatest.