Wes Craven: Master of Horror

Adam White

Wes Craven: 1939-2015
Remembering a Horror Maestro

It took Groundskeeper Willie to make me truly appreciate Wes Craven. The Simpsons‘ 1995 Treehouse of Horror segment Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace stripped back the Freddy Krueger mythos to its fundamentals – a man burned alive and swearing vengeance on the residents of a sunny suburban town, haunting the dreams of their innocent children. It is uncompromisingly terrifying, reflective of enough real-life horror to be believable, buoyed by a strange sliver of the supernatural to leave a permanent mark. Craven took the old adage of ‘just close your eyes and it’ll go away’ and reduced it to total bullshit, creating a murderer with knives for fingers and a face for radio that morphed suburbia into a place where the most stupid, dangerous thing you could do was fall asleep.

The power of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) itself grew a little diluted…

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