Wesley Earl Craven (August 2, 1939 – August 30, 2015) was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and editor. He was primarily known for creating the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise (1984-2010) and directing the first four films in the Scream franchise (1996-2011). He also directed cult classics The Last House on the Left (1972) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977), the horror comedy The People Under the Stairs (1991), and psychological thriller Red Eye (2005). His other notable films include Swamp Thing (1982), The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), Shocker (1989), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), and Music of the Heart (1999).
Craven was known for his pioneering work in the horror genre, particularly slasher films, where he mixed horror cliches with humor and satire. The cultural impact and influence of his work have often led him to be referred to as a “Master of Horror”. In 1995, Craven was awarded the Life Career Award for his accomplishments in the horror genre by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.