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Wes Craven

From Academic Kids

Wesley Earl Craven (born August 2, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American film director and writer best known as the creator of many horror films, including the Nightmare on Elm Street & Scream feature film series.

Wes Craven is a veteran of over thirty films, and has invented some of the most memorable horror films ever to grace theatres. But he hasn't always worked on cinematic projects - he often does television work, and even makes cameos in his own or other director's films. He is an experienced film writer, director, editor, and producer, and he never has a shortage of work. He started in the film industry as an editor, and his first movie as director was the 1972 splatter movie Last House on the Left. He also wrote and edited the movie. Most critics, and loyal fans, consider "Last House on the Left" to be Craven's most shocking work - the only film where he really scares the audience. But with a film making history that includes "The Hills Have Eyes," "A Nightmare on Elm Street," and the "Scream" Trilogy, Craven's other projects cannot be overlooked. Wes has also written his own novel - the hugely successful thriller "Fountain Society".

Wesley Earl Craven was born on 2nd August 1939, in Cleveland, Ohio. He was part of a very religious family, and he was taught accordingly. It is quite an interesting fact that Wes never saw a film until the start of his college years. His religious upbringing stopped him from watching films - and the only ones he could watch were of the Disney variety. His early life wasn't the easiest, and most of Craven's movies have incorporated the fears he felt as a young boy. They almost always contain a suburban feel - or more specifically troubles with family life.

Craven got off on a shaky start with the film industry. He was a highly educated Humanities Professor, when he decided to pursue his interest in movies. Becoming friends with colleague Sean S. Cunningham, Craven worked as an editor on the explicit film "Together". Wes worked as an editor for a while, but his big break came when Cunningham collaborated with him on "Last House on the Left". Craven wrote the shocking script, and was catapulted into the director's chair. His experience as an editor also came into play. Without a doubt, the controversy of "Last House on the Left" allowed him to carry on with other films. His debut venture had got his name noticed - and there were calls for a successor. Luckily for his new cult followers, Craven made the equally shocking "The Hills Have Eyes," which has become a major horror classic with Wes' fame. It contained the visceral gore of "Last House on the Left," but Craven's second film drove more into the realms of the supernatural. "The Hills Have Eyes" is a harrowing tale of 'mutants' roaming the open land of a bleak American future. The premise might sound dumb at first glance, but Craven directed it with the realism and nerve-shredding intensity that made his first film so infamous. In most respects, "The Hills Have Eyes" gives out a very authentic feel, and helped to add to Craven's cult status.

Over the next few years, Craven continued his success in the horror genre, mainly because "Last House on the Left" pigeon-holed him as a director for all things macabre. In the early 80s Wes made one of the biggest and most successful horror ventures of all time - the legendary "A Nightmare on Elm Street". The suspenseful (and very gory) shocker put Craven well and truly on the Hollywood map, and the first film to feature Craven's dream demon Freddy Krueger, inspired a slew of sequels and spin-offs. Wes went on the seventh and most innovative since the original instalment, "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" in 1994, in which he also stars as himself in an extended cameo.

One of the biggest accomplishments by Craven so far, is the famous "Scream" Trilogy. Not only is the series a break-through in terms of the slasher epic, but the films have resurrected peoples interest in horror. It is, after all, garnered as being the definitive teen horror of the 90s. The success of the three films has even made Wes more famous than he previously was, although his hardcore fans will always remember him for his earlier efforts.

Selected filmography as director

External links

de:Wes Craven

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