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The Legacy of Wes Craven

Horror movies come in a variety of flavors, and the world never comes short of them, thanks to the talents of directors, writers and producers who work continuously behind the cameras in order to deliver a good scare to everyone. Some of these people have produced good films that testify their prowess on scaring moviegoers, but there are also those who took the bolder step and created more than just movies, but the legacy of an impact to the genre. One of these people is Wes Craven.

Born Wesley Earl Craven, Wes was born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 2, 1939. He was active as director from 1972, having directed The Last House on the Left. From then on, he started to build his name as one of the greatest directors of horror, earning himself the name of “Master of Horror,” until he died of brain cancer on August 30, 2015. His best known works, the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and the Scream series, have been considered a staple of slasher films.

The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise was created by Wes Craven, who directed the first movie on 1984, eventually kickstarting a franchise that would include nine slasher films, a television series, novels and comic books. The franchise focuses on Freddy Krueger, a former child killer who stalks and kills teenagers in their dreams. He is intent on exacting revenge on the people who burned him many years ago, having granted by the demons a power to enter dreams, where he kills his victims. The first film carries the credit of popularizing tropes that will eventually become a staple on horror films, with seven more films to be created by the years to come. The eighth film in the franchise, Freddy vs Jason, was a crossover film of the film series with the main antagonist of another famous horror franchise, Friday the 13th, Jason Voorhees. It was the eleventh installment of the Friday the 13th film series, and was the last of both franchises before having their first films’ reboots.

Another horror franchise that Wes Craven directed was the Scream franchise, which rose to popularity during the 1990s, a period which terribly needed a movie that could revitalize the horror movie genre. The first film of the series remains the highest grossing slasher film in the world, with its combination of the traditional slasher and horror film cliche. The films follow the franchise’s main protagonist, Sidney Prescott, who is constantly taunted and threatened by several killers using the guise of Ghostface throughout the series. She is sought out due to various reasons, and people around or close to her are murdered before she gets to a confrontation and the eventual revelation of the killer’s.

Wes Craven is a director that is loved by horror fans worldwide, and his legacy in the horror movie genre, with his famous franchises The Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream will surely continue to scare horror moviegoers, and might inspire the future Masters of Horror.