Nearly five years after his death, horror fans across the world are remembering iconic movie director Wes Craven on what would have been his 81st birthday. Particularly loved by horror fans for helming popular genre movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, Craven passed away in 2015 after a battle with brain cancer at the age of 76. As such a beloved filmmaker widely considered to be among the horror genre’s greatest talents of all time, many fans still feel the sting of his passing and have been paying tribute with posts on social media.
From the very start of his career, Craven had been making fantastic horror movies that would go on to become some of the genre’s most popular offerings. He wrote and directed the gritty revenge movie The Last House on the Left in 1972, following this up with 1977’s The Hills Have Eyes and its 1984 sequel. Craven also notably made the original Swamp Thing movie based on the DC Comics character, which was released in 1982. Some of his other popular horror movies with fans include Shocker, The People Under the Stairs, Deadly Blessing, Vampire in Brooklyn, Red Eye, and The Serpent and the Rainbow.
Craven had a hand in developing multiple horror movie franchises, but he is obviously very well known for creating Freddy Krueger. Writing and directing A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984, Craven had wound up spawning one of the most popular movie franchises ever, turning Robert Englund’s Freddy Krueger into one of pop culture’s most recognizable figures. Although many other sequels were made in the franchise, Craven had only directed two others — A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare — which are among the most popular installments of the series with most fans.
Meanwhile, ’90s kids may better know Craven for directing Scream in 1996. At this point, horror fans had been catching on to many of the overused tropes shown in popular slasher movies, so Craven and writer Kevin Williamson took advantage of this by satirizing horror cliches to make the movie more entertaining. Unlike the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Craven would return to direct all three of the whodunit slasher movie’s sequels as well, concluding with Scream 4 in 2011. The movie would end up serving as Craven’s final work as a director as well.
There’s no doubt that fans would love it best if Craven were able to return for Scream 5, but let’s hope the sequel succeeds in honoring the legendary director’s legacy. With David Arquette and Courteney Cox now attached to reprise the roles, what’s known about the sequel is that it will be directed by Ready or Not helmers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. There’s no word yet on when that movie will be released, although it will reportedly arrive sometime in 2021. In any case, we’ll always have Craven’s amazing library of movies to watch anytime to remember the work of the horror icon. You can check out some of the social media tributes to Craven below.