Wes Craven, a man widely known for his nightmare inducing franchises Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, passed away on Sunday, August 30th, 2015. His ferocious battle with brain cancer, a reality far scarier than any movie even he could create, reached the credits of his own life’s production. His legacy however, will live on and touch millions of lives for years to come.
His family announced that Craven, the iconic creator of characters such as the terrifying Freddy Krueger, was at his Los Angeles home at the time of his death. Craven is survived by his wife, as well as producer and former Disney Studios’ Vice President, Iya Labunka.
As someone raised on horror movies, this is truly terrible news to hear. I was always a big fan of his movies, even the ones that didn’t do as well, and respected his creativity. Imagining a world of scary movies without his unique influence is terribly disheartening.
Thank you, Wes Craven, for the many memories, the jumps, the scares, the screams, and most importantly, thank you for bringing people together. The movies you created did not just give millions a good scare, they gave people something to unite for. Think of the millions of people getting together with friends and holding loved ones closer while they waited anxiously for Freddy Krueger to come through a wall. Imagine the marriages that exist now as a result of the scary movie giving nervous young men the opportunity and the courage to put an arm around their date for the first time. No other kind of movie truly removes people from their reality like a good scary movie. From the moment the lights go out in the theater or the intro comes on in your living room, you are pulled into another world. In an instant, you no longer care about you job worries or the scratch you found on your car. Instead, you are united with your companions against a common fear that is lurking in the shadows of your imagination. We all can only hope for the opportunity to escape our own reality in such a harmless and satisfying way more often.
So go home, grab your friends, grab your lover, put in an old school Nightmare on Elm Street movie, and hold each other close. After it’s done and the terror induced endorphins are flowing, remember to thank Wes Craven, just as I do.
RIP Wes Craven
The True Master of Horror