Wes Craven

Like Carpenter, Wes Craven is responsible for creating one of the essential cinematic screen villains. Compared to many post-“Halloween” films that simply tried to replicate Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger was a unique character. The concept of a killer that could invade dreams stole any sense of security, and gave Craven a unique way to execute his kills. Like “Halloween,” the tension in the original 1984 “A Nightmare on Elm Street” doesn’t falter for its entire 91 minutes.

Craven returned to the character with his 1994 sequel “New Nightmare,” which commented on the way horror films had changed over the decade. Freddy had grown sillier in later installments in the “Nightmare” series, and Craven made him scary once more. Freddy broke out from the confinements of the silver screen, and begins haunting the actors from the original film.

Although “New Nightmare” wasn’t immediately celebrated for its subversiveness, it led Craven to create another satirical masterwork. 1996’s “Scream” introduced a universe where characters were aware of the genre’s clichés; they reference what illogical decisions standard slasher victims would make. “Scream” gave Craven a new franchise, and he directed the next three installments.

Outside of those two franchises, Craven explored different elements of horror with his other beloved classics. He helmed exploitation films “The Last House on the Left” and “The Hills Have Eyes,” and examined family strife with “The People Under The Stairs.”


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Rondo Hatton

Don Coscarelli