Chances are if you’re a human with a heartbeat that, at some point during your life, you’ve had the crap scared out of you by something that Wes Craven had a hand in.
The horror film maestro passed away earlier today at his Los Angeles home, following a bout with brain cancer. He was 76 years old.
Craven’s career is largely unparalleled in the modern history of the genre, with his creation of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise spawning one of the all-time great horror antagonists in the demonic Freddy Krueger.
Craven also directed the entire Scream series, which brought the world Ghostface and blurred the fourth wall, utilising satire and self-referential humour to lampoon horror cliche whilst maintaining a loving affection towards traditionally gory slasher film tropes.
Occasionally, Craven stepped outside of the horror genre – most notably for the 1999 film Music of the Heart, which netted Meryl Streep one of her many nominations for the Best Actress Oscar.
Craven’s last directorial work was the fourth instalment in the Scream franchise, whilst he is credited as an Executive Producer on the MTV small screen adaptation of the films that premiered in June of this year.
In addition, Craven’s eye for acting talent was particularly legendary – he had a direct role in giving Johnny Depp, Sharon Stone, and Bruce Willis their first breaks in the film industry.
An absolute master of the genre with an unparalleled body of work. A true hero of nightmares.
RIP, Wes Craven.
Photo: Frazer Harrison via Getty Images.