Basic Information About Wes Craven
|Celebrities › Directors
|Film director, Screenwriter, Film Producer, Actor, Television producer, Teacher, Television Director, Film Editor
|Date of birth
|Place of birth
|Date of death
|2015-08-30 (aged 76)
|United States of America
|Curiosities and Trademarks
|On-going in-joke feud with Sam Raimi
Family issues, specifically family breakdown
His characters often use elaborate booby traps, to capture the villain
Often features strong female characters
His unglamorous depictions of sadistic and realistically brutal killers
His protagonists are often ordinary characters caught in extraordinary and Horrific circumstances
Brutal and graphic depiction of violence
Villains are often deformed and monstrous looking
His horror films often contain important social issues (e.g. The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes)
Children in his films are often deformed or brutally murdered, often by the main villain
Often features himself in his own films, even if uncredited
In contrast to the brutal, violent content of most of his films, he was renown for his calm, soft-spoken demeanor
|6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
|↗︎ Wikipedia ↗︎ IMDb
What Movie Awards did Wes Craven win?
Wes Craven awards
|Movie / Series Name
|Top 10 Film Award - Best Film
|Grand Prize -
|Critics Award -
|A Nightmare on Elm Street
|Prize of the International Critics' Jury -
|The Hills Have Eyes
|International Fantasy Film Award - Best Screenplay
|Wes Craven's New Nightmare
|Special Jury Award -
|The People Under the Stairs
|Pegasus Audience Award -
|The People Under the Stairs
|Un Certain Regard Award -
|Paris, je t'aime
|Rondo Statuette - Best Film
|International Fantasy Film Award - Best Film
Wes Craven roles
Wes Craven's Quotes
- I believe the cinema is one of our principal forms of art. It is an incredibly powerful way to tell uplifitng stories that can move people to cry with joy and inspire them to reach for the stars.
- On horror movies: "It's like boot camp for the psyche. In real life, human beings are packaged in the flimsiest of packages, threatened by real and sometimes horrifying dangers, events like Columbine. But the narrative form puts these fears into a manageable series of events. It gives us a way of thinking rationally about our fears."
- Horror films don't create fear. They release it.
- I like to address the fears of my culture. I believe it's good to face the enemy, for the enemy is fear.
- I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.
Wes Craven: A Legendary Pioneer in the Horror Genre
Wes Craven, an American film director, writer, and producer, was a true icon in the horror genre. With his groundbreaking work and revolutionary storytelling techniques, he left an indelible mark on the film industry. Known for his dark imagination and ability to tap into deep-rooted fears, Craven created some of the most memorable and terrifying films in cinematic history. From “A Nightmare on Elm Street” to “Scream,” his works continue to haunt audiences to this day.
Early Life and Education
Born on August 2, 1939, in Cleveland, Ohio, Wes Craven was raised in a strict Baptist household by his parents, Caroline and Paul. As a young adult, he pursued higher education and attended Wheaton College in Illinois. There, he obtained a degree in English and psychology. Craven’s passion for storytelling led him to further his studies and earn a master’s in philosophy and writing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Before his groundbreaking career as a filmmaker, Craven dipped his toes in academia, teaching English at various institutions. While working as a teacher, he discovered his love for filmmaking and began creating short films with a used 16 mm camera. His passion for the craft became unstoppable.
Through a fortunate acquaintance named Steve Chapin, Craven broke into the film industry as a sound editor. This marked the beginning of his journey towards becoming one of the most influential horror directors of all time.
Feature Film Career, 1972-1999
Craven’s feature film directorial debut came in 1972 with the controversial horror film “The Last House on the Left.” It was a bold and visceral exploration of violence, drawing inspiration from Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-winning film “The Virgin Spring.” Although initially damaging to Craven’s career, the film later acquired a cult following and solidified his reputation as a boundary-pushing filmmaker.
Following the success of “The Last House on the Left,” Craven continued his exploration of horror with films like “The Hills Have Eyes” (1977), “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984), and “Scream” (1996). These films not only terrified audiences but also introduced innovative storytelling techniques, unforgettable villains, and psychological depth rarely seen in the horror genre.
Craven’s filmography showcases his deep understanding of human fears, often rooted in dysfunctional family dynamics and the blurring of dreams and reality. Films like “The People Under the Stairs” and “The Hills Have Eyes” delved into these dark themes, appealing to audiences’ deepest anxieties.
Themes and Influences
Craven’s films were heavily influenced by his cinematic idols, including Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Hitchcock, and Luis Buñuel. His works often incorporate self-referential black comedy and explore trauma as well as abusive family relationships. These themes gave his films a unique edge and created rich, multi-layered stories that continue to captivate audiences.
Personal Life and Death
Wes Craven was married three times throughout his life. His first wife was Bonnie Broecker, and he had two children with her. He later married Mimi Craven and Iya Labunka, who remained his wife until his death.
Tragically, Wes Craven passed away on August 30, 2015, at the age of 76 after battling brain cancer. His death marked the end of an era for horror fans worldwide. Despite his passing, Craven’s films and contributions to the genre continue to live on, inspiring new generations of filmmakers.
Achievements and Legacy
Throughout his career, Wes Craven received numerous accolades and left an indelible mark on the film industry. His unique vision and ability to tap into primal fears transformed the horror genre. Whether it was the spine-chilling nightmares of Freddy Krueger in “A Nightmare on Elm Street” or the satirical brilliance of “Scream,” Craven’s films captivated audiences and spawned a multitude of imitators.
Some of Craven’s most notable achievements include the creation of two iconic horror franchises: “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream.” These franchises not only generated sequels but also inspired a wave of imitators, establishing Craven as one of the most influential filmmakers of his time.
On August 30, 2015, the film community lost a visionary genius, but Wes Craven’s legacy lives on through his unforgettable films. His contributions to the horror genre continue to be celebrated and appreciated by fans worldwide. Craven’s ability to tap into universal fears and deliver spine-chilling experiences is a testament to his enduring impact on the world of cinema.
Disclaimer: Some of the above information might not be directly related to Wes Craven’s context, as it exceeds the provided CONTEXT section.
Interesting Facts about Wes Craven
- Father of Jonathan Craven and Jessica Craven.
- "The" Elm Street is located in Potsdam, NY (a small town just south of the Canadian border). Craven was a Humanities Professor at Clarkson College, also in Potsdam.
- Rumoured to have named his onscreen horror creation Freddy Kruger for a boy who used to bully him in high school.
- In 1976 he acted in "Tales That Will Tear Your Heart Out," a project being made under the supervision of friend Roy Frumkes, who was teaching at a state university at that time. Shortly after the filming, the raw stock was mistakingly re-exposed by another student, so both days' shooting were lost.
- Donated to the Planned Parenthood/Dream Catchers Foundation charity a auction ten-minute personal phone call and two premiere tickets to his next motion picture, Pulse (2006). He has also donated the original mask from his movie Scream (1996) along with other original props. The auction started June 19, 2002, and the props auction started June 29, 2002.
- He was an avid birdwatcher.
- His father died when he was four years old.
- He was the disc jockey for the campus radio station at Clarkson College, where he was a humanities professor.
- He nearly turned down the option to direct the hit Scream (1996) because the first scene with Drew Barrymore reminded him too vividly of the climax sequence of The Last House on the Left (1972), his first film.
- Directed a documentary about former president Bill Clinton. Craven and the film crew followed Clinton for three hours into the White House a few days before his departure. (January 2001)
- Former son-in-law, composer Michael Maccini.
- When actor-producer Robert Evans suffered a stroke May 6, 1998, Craven was having a drink with him in Evans' screening room when he collapsed in front of him. Evans later quipped, "I really scared the shit out of the king of horror."
- Co-wrote the screenplay for Pulse (2006) with Vince Gilligan. The script was based on Kiyoshi Kurosawa's original Japanese horror film. Craven and Gilligan scripted the final draft in the fall of 2002 for Miramax's Dimension Films. The production for this film should have started on October 1, 2002, in Los Angeles. In July 2003, Dimension's chairman Bob Weinstein announced that Pulse (2006) would never be produced because it was too similar to The Ring (2002).
- Developed the "evil house" premise for the computer game "Wes Craven's Principles of Fear." Although the game won About Game's Bronze Medal award for Interactive Fiction when the prototype was demonstrated at the 1997 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Atlanta, the game was never completed, due to the financial failure of the game's publisher.
- Was set to direct Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) but was replaced after creative differences with star Christopher Reeve.
- His vision of Freddy Kruger came from a childhood memory. When he was 10 years old, he looked out the window of the apartment he lived in and a drunk man dressed similar to Freddy was looking directly at him and continued to stay there looking at the window for several minutes. This scared him, so, later on, he decided this will be the look for Freddy.
- Profiled in "Hollywood Horror from the Director's Chair: Six Filmmakers in the Franchise of Fear" by Simon Wilkinson (McFarland, 2008).
- Directed one Oscar-nominated performance: 'Meryl Streep' in Music of the Heart (1999).
- He had a highly dysfunctional relationship with his parents, mainly having been raised by his severe, hyper-religious mother, whom he never allowed to watch his films, and never having a close relationship with his distant, violent-tempered father. His mother's judgmental influence caused him to be too terrified to talk to a girl until he was at college and lead him to marry, in his opinion, too young, and arguably contributed to the angry, bleak themes of his early films.
- Authored newspaper article about his current, off-the-set downtime entitled "Retirement: Scarier Than Freddy Krueger" in NYTimes. [February 2013]