Discover the world of the talented director and writer of Pulse and Red Eye. The undisputed masters of horror cinema. His spine-tingling films include Last House of the Left, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs and The Scream Trilogy.
The modern-day master of the horror genre, Wes Craven, is featured in this installment from the American Film Institute's The Directors series. Craven appears on camera throughout this production, coming across as an intelligent man who refers occasionally to his work as a college teacher before bursting onto the scene with Last House on the Left, a film some critics at the time denounced as revolting. Appearing to speak about their work with Craven are Robert Englund, who tells the story of the interview that got him the part of murderous Freddie Krueger, and Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox Arquette, who appeared in the wildly successful Scream trilogy. Meryl Streep also appears to discuss Music of the Heart, an unlikely Craven film in which Streep plays a music teacher. Clips from some of Craven's films, including The Hills Have Eyes, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, are featured along with Craven's reminiscences of how he came up with particular scenes and stories. For instance, Craven tells how reading about how bears reached around corners in caves to attack ancient humans inspired the chilling concept of the killer's claws in A Nightmare on Elm Street. This is a very positive look at a genial man with the uncanny talent of scaring millions of people out of their wits. --Robert J. McNamara