Wes Craven's final production to be screened at Sitges 2015
The master of horror films has died at the age of 76 after a battle with brain cancer
The creator of Freddy Krueger, the legendary horror movie figure, left behind a legion of orphaned genre fans this morning. Wes Craven, director the emblematic horror sagas A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, has died at the age of 76 due to brain cancer. The film The Girl in the Photographs, produced by Craven, will be coming to Sitges 2015 following its premiere at the Toronto Festival.
The Girl in the Photographs, directed by Nick Simon, is a slasher movie set in the fashion world, and focusing on the story of a celebrity photographer and his entourage, who leave behind the luxury of big city life to travel to a small town and investigate the bloody crimes being committed by a serial killer.
Wes Craven was born in 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1972 he left his job as a humanities teacher to make his film career debut with The Last House on the Left (1972), a violent story of some young people abducted by psychos. Craven managed to make a name for himself in the industry by giving horror cinema a distinctive signature based on combining different genres in his projects, like in The Hills Have Eyes (1977), a story with touches of humor that won the Jury’s International Critic’s Award at the Sitges Film Festival de Sitges in 1977 and that was remade in 2006.
He was also one of the first to draw inspiration from comics for his creations, as in the case of Swamp Thing (1982), based on Len Wein’s comic book. It wasn’t until 1984 that Craven would manage to terrorize huge audiences with serial killer Freddy Krueger, played by Robert Englund, who would later pick up the Time Machine Award at the 2007 Sitges Film Festival.
The director also moved in other fields, as in the case of Music of the Heart (1999), for which Meryl Streep was nominated for an Academy Award, but even so, it wasn’t a wager that achieved the success that the horror language enjoyed. He received widespread recognition again in 1996 when he premiered Scream, starring a young Neve Campbell and with an emblematic nineties cinema cast with names like David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Rose McGowan or Drew Barrymore, and some perturbed killers played by Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard, both just beginning their careers. The film reinvigorated the genre scenario and was an enormous box office hit in the United States, a fact that led it to becoming the first of a famous tetralogy.
Other outstanding films by the director are The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), Night Visions (1990), The People Under the Stairs (1992 and presented in Sitges), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) or Red Eye (2005). The final film directed by him was the fourth in the Scream saga (2011) that MTV made TV adaptation of, premiering in its first season this past month of June.