The Sounds of Wes Craven

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A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984

We remember the iconic director with a mixtape of standout musical moments from his greatest movies

Last Sunday marked the passing of legendary Hollywood director and writer, Wes Craven, who died of cancer at the age of 76. Craven was, of course, most famous for his horror offerings – from his macabre debut The Last House on the Left (the object of huge controversy) to A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. His pioneering approach – explicit and penetrating, fantastical and suspenseful – completely redefined the genre.

Like many other horror directors, Craven relied heavily on music to build suspense and manipulate audience reactions, and over the years he turned to some of Hollywood's most revered composers to dream up suitably spine chilling scores for his films (think Charles Bernstein's synth-heavy sounds for Nightmare on Elm Street and Marco Beltrami iconic tracks for Scream). 

Equally, he enjoyed tapping into the various musical subcultures of each era, imagining the sorts of music his all-American teen protagonists would genuinely be listening to. As a result, we see many of his soundtracks punctuated by the likes of Salt-n-Pepa, Nick Cave and Foo Fighters (unless we're talking about Music of the Heart, Craven's foray into sentimental drama, which throws into the mix names like N-Sync and Macy Gray). Here, in commemoration of the great man himself, we bring you AnOther's Wes Craven Playlist: musical highs from the fear monger's oeuvre.