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Wes Craven
Birth name: Wesley Earl Craven
Gender: Male
Medium(s): Film
Roles: Producer; Director; Writer; Editor
Date of birth: August 2nd, 1939
Place of birth: Cleveland, Ohio
Date of death: August 30th, 2015
Place of death: Los Angeles, California
Notable works: A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Last House on the Left
Scream
1st Horror: The Last House on the Left (1972)

Wes Craven is an American film director and producer born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 2nd, 1939. He is best known for creating the popular 1980s slasher film franchise A Nightmare on Elm Street. As a young man, Craven attended Wheaton College in Illinois where he earned an undergraduate degree in English and Psychology. He later attended Johns Hopkins University where earned a masters degree in Writing and Philosophy.

Career[edit | edit source]

Wes Craven's foray into the world of horror began with the 1972 independent film The Last House on the Left, which he wrote and directed. Due to the graphic violence displayed in the film, the MPAA wanted to give it an X rating, but Craven trimmed more than ten minutes worth of material out of the film so that he could market it with an R rating and get a wider theatrical release. One of the villains from the film had the unusual nickname of Krug. Craven later revisited the name when developing his infamous dream murderer Freddy Krueger.

In 1977, Wes Craven wrote and directed another controversial film called The Hills Have Eyes. Like with The Last House on the Left, Craven was forced to heavily edit the film to avoid an X rating, which would have lowered box office receipts for the film. One of the plot concepts that was eventually dropped involved the murder of an infant. The cast and crew strongly opposed this idea and threatened to quit the film unless Wes changed the script. In the final product the baby survives.

Never one to leave his horror roots behind, Craven then turned his attention towards superhero-themed horror in the 1982 film Swamp Thing. Craven directed and wrote the screenplay for the film, adapting the works of Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson from the Swamp Thing comic book series by DC Comics.

In 1984, Wes Craven put together a film that would that would boost him into horror film icon status - A Nightmare on Elm Street. Craven had actually put together a script treatment in early 1981, but was unable to find a studio willing to develop it until he spoke with the executives from New Line Cinema. With Nightmare, Craven brought to life the immortal villain known as Freddy Krueger, a character whose name was inspired by a bully that used to torment Craven as a child. The filmed proved immensely popular and spawned many sequels as well as novels, comic books, and television spin-offs. Craven himself, was displeased with many of the sequels, indicating that he did not care for the direction that was taken with the Krueger character. He fully returned to the franchise in 1994 to direct Wes Craven's New Nightmare, an innovative reintroduction of the concept which presented a "real world" viewpoint of the previous Nightmare films.

If there was ever a franchise that could compete with A Nightmare on Elm Street in terms of popularity, it is without question the Scream series. Craven directed four films in this series of dark comedies, while also inserting himself as a character for brief cameo appearances. The Scream films followed the journey of young Sidney Prescott - a woman tormented by not only the ghosts of her own past, but also by several deranged maniacs dressed up as the "Ghostface" who seek to settle personal scores with her.

Other genre films directed by Craven include The Serpent and the Rainbow, Shocker, The People Under the Stairs and Vampire in Brooklyn (see below for full body of work).

Wes Craven passed away in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at the age of 76 after having battled brain cancer for some time. He had been working in L.A. at the time of his death, but still divided his time between there and his home in Martha's Vineyard. [1][2]

Body of work[edit | edit source]

Film[edit | edit source]


Television[edit | edit source]

As a character[edit | edit source]

Wes Craven
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Wes Craven
Location: Hollywood, California
1st appearance: New Nightmare (1997)

Wes Craven appeared as a character in his innovative 1997 film New Nightmare. The film is intended to reflect the real world where Craven, as himself, began suffering from nightmares again long after he had distanced himself from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. He began writing a script again and tried to convince actress Heather Langenkamp, who played Nancy Thompson in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street to reprise her role for a new film project.

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]



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A Nightmare on Elm Street Character
This article relates to characters pertaining to the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the A Nightmare on Elm Street characters category.
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A Nightmare on Elm Street Actor or Crew member
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the A Nightmare on Elm Street crew members category.
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The Fear Actor or Crew member
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to The Fear film franchise.
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Gremlins Actor or Crew member
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to the Nightmare Cafe film franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Nightmare Cafe crew members category.
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Scream Actor or Crew member
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to the Scream film franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Scream crew members category.
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The Hills Have Eyes Actor or Crew member
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to The Hills Have Eyes film franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the The Hills Have Eyes crew members category.
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Wishmaster Actor or Crew member
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Swamp Thing Crew Members
Wes Craven is an actor or production crew member involved in the development of the Swamp Thing television and film franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Swamp Thing Crew Members category.
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