Sweet dreams, Wes Craven. You will be sorely missed.

The master of modern horror pictured here in 2008. Photo from Flickr user Dan Tentler.

The world lost a wonderful filmmaker on August 30th. Here’s to you, Craven!

Those of you who haven’t already heard will be saddened to learn that legendary filmmaker Wes Craven passed away on Sunday, August 30th. The unfortunate cause of death was brain cancer.

The master of modern horror pictured here in 2008. Photo from Flickr user Dan Tentler.
The master of modern horror pictured here in 2008. Photo from Flickr user Dan Tentler.

One of the most astonishing things that could be said about Craven is that even after a career spanning 43 years, he never lost his touch when it came to finding new ways to shock the viewer to their very core. After a Wes Craven film, sleep is simply not an option to consider.

This all started back in 1972 when Craven released his first film, The Last House on the Left, which he directed, wrote, produced and edited. Since then, the name Wes Craven has become synonymous with setting the bar high for horror films and for delivering uniquely imaginative entertainments. With every film, he would set the theme of our newest nightmares, ones we never thought could exist.

Even when you aren’t watching his films, Craven’s scariest creations find a way to manifest themselves each and every single Halloween in the form of Craven’s two most iconic characters, Ghostface from the Scream franchise and Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Their masks have been worn by both kids and adults hoping to achieve the almighty goal of having the scariest costume, the one that will make people question the very reality that they inhabit.

Through his remarkable filmography and iconic characters that you both fear and embrace simultaneously, Craven has achieved legendary status, and will certainly keep inspiring young filmmakers to find new ways of scaring the pants off of an audience. Because hey, let’s face it, there is some fun to be had in getting scared.

To this day, A Nightmare on Elm Street has, in my humble opinion, the scariest scene of all time. I am talking about Freddy Krueger’s first appearance, as a mere silhouette walking towards us in a dark alleyway, which leads to his arms expanding to the length of the alleyway, making it truly impossible for anyone to run away.

To this day, having a vivid imagination, I cannot watch this scene without getting absolutely terrified and feeling trapped. Another trait that made Craven such a unique director is his devotion to the power of suggestion. He always chose suggestion over the impact of simply showing the carnage or destruction that took place, because, at the end of the day, the scariest thing isn’t necessarily something you can see, but rather something you can conjure with your imagination.

Craven always knew how to turn our own minds against us for the sake of entertainment and that is the sign of a truly gifted filmmaker—because there is nothing scarier than the unlimited power of our imagination.

It’s sad knowing that we can no longer expect a new Wes Craven film to scare us in a whole new way, so on behalf of all the fans—thank you.

Thank you, Wes Craven, for sending chills up our spine, for making sleep something we thought we could give up on and for somehow making counting to 10 one of the most terrifying things ever portrayed in film. We will miss you and we are grateful that you allowed us into your nightmares, because they are still gloriously terrifying.

Related Posts