Craven was born in Cleveland in 1939 and after a brief stint in academia he started his film career with a sound editing job in New York. His first film as a director was the powerful horror The Last House on the Left released in 1972. The film was a controversial one and heavily criticised for it's graphic and realistic portrayal of violence. Sean S. Cunningham was the producer on the film and he went on to direct Friday the 13th.
His next release in 1977 was The Hills Have Eyes, the story of an unfortunate American family who fall victim to a bunch of inbred hillbilly cannibals. Craven had established himself as a talented director and the work began to flood in. He directed another 5 films before his most famous creation in 1984, A Nightmare on Elm Street introduced the razor fingered Freddy Krueger to a hungry public. The film was a smash hit making back it's $1.5 million budget in the first week and grossing $25.5 million in total at the US box office.
Over the next few years Craven kept up the pace outputting films such as The Hills Have Eyes 2, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Shocker and The People Under the Stairs. Ten years after the original Nightmare film, during which time there had been 5 disappointing sequels Craven returned to Freddy with Wes Craven's New Nightmare. This interesting twist on the usual slasher film blurred the lines between fiction and reality and paved the way for Craven to satirise the slasher genre in 1996 with the outrageously successful Scream. A couple of sequels followed and then Craven took his longest break since his career in direction started with 5 years between Scream 3 and the werewolf movie Cursed which was released in 2005.
Craven's last couple of efforts have been outside of the horror genre, the thriller Red Eye was released in 2005 and followed by a segment in the film Paris je t'aime in 2006 although the project he is currently working on is apparently a new horror featuring a serial killer.
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