Music of the Heart - Director Wes Craven on set with Angela Bassett who plays Principal Janet Williams ©1999 Miramax Films

Horror film director Wes Craven, creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream films, has died aged 76 from brain cancer.

His family made the announcement yesterday, Sunday August 30th 2015.

Wes work life started as a professor in New York state and made the leap into movies with his first job a basic messenger for a post production company.

A Nightmare on Elm Street – Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) ©1994 New Line

The Cleveland-born writer, director and producer’s first feature film was The Last House on the Left (1972) but it was Swamp Thing (1982) with a larger budget that he made his mark. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) followed two years later and many Nightmare on Elm Streets followed.

The Vampire in Brooklyn – Director Wes Craven and Eddie Murphy in prosthetic make-up ©1995 Paramount

In 1996 he came up with Scream, which also successful, and three other Screams followed. The magic of his horror films was the way he combined them with humor.

Wes directed a few non horror films including the moving Music of the Heart (1999) which starred Meryl Streep. However it was Scream 4 that was to be his last movie he directed.

Wes was credited as executive producer on the television series Scream although it was really a honorary title. The first 10 episode series has just aired with the tenth tomorrow, September 1st 2015. Although he was critical of the producers dropping the trade-mark mask it has been successful enough for a second series to be in the works.

Wes Craven’s Scream 4 – Deputy Perkins (Anthony Anderson) © 2011 Weinstein Company

Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online