Master horror movie director dies at 76

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By Derek Munyon
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Wes Craven, the horror movie icon, died Aug. 30 of brain cancer at the age of 76. Craven was best known for his classic horror films like “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “The Hills Have Eyes,” “Scream,” and the movie adaptation of DC Comics’ and “Swamp Thing.”

Craven gained quite a following in the horror scene in his 40 years of filmmaking. He created some of the most classic characters in the slasher genre, such as Freddy Kruger and Ghostface.

“Not every movie knocks it out of the park,” said Daniel Rylee, an avid horror movie fan, “but what I like about Wes Craven is that, he always seemed to have some thought behind is movies.”

Craven grew up in a strict Baptist home and earned an undergraduate degree in English and psychology from Wheaton College and a master’s degree in philosophy and writing from Johns Hopkins University. He then went onto a job directing pornographic films before starting his final career in horror.

“He takes a different approach to horror, probably because of his background in psychology,” Rylee said.

While most of his slasher contemporaries strayed from the supernatural at first, Craven embraced it with films like “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” where children are terrorized by a killer in their dreams, and “The Serpent and the Rainbow,” where a man who had gone to Haiti gets turned into a zombie.

Craven wasn’t afraid to poke fun at the genre that made him famous either, even when providing scares, such as with the “Scream” series.

Rylee said his personal favorite Craven film is the 1984 “A Nightmare on Elm Street”

One thing is for sure; there won’t ever be another director in any genre quite like Wes Craven.

Wes Craven

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