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Hollywood's 20 Masters of Horror: The Twisted Talents Raising the Most Hell

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    Kevin Winter/Getty Images
    Wes Craven
    The Godfather

    “Horror is in pretty good shape these days,” says Craven, the venerable director behind two of the biggest franchises in the genre, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. “There are a lot of young filmmakers interested in the genre who are finding good ways to get around studio expenses and making films that are astonishingly low-budget. When I do a low-budget these days, it’s $15 million.”

    Yes, times certainly have changed for Craven, 74, who made his first horror movie, 1972’s controversial The Last House on the Left, for only $90,000 for a bunch of Boston theater owners. These days, the granddaddy of gore is seeing companies remake movies he made decades ago (The Hills Have Eyes, Nightmare on Elm Street, the aforementioned Last House on the Left) or try to squeeze every last ounce of blood from a franchise he co-created (Scream, which is headed to MTV).

    Still, Craven admires the chutzpah of this new generation for blazing the non-studio trail. “It leaves a lot of power in the hands of filmmakers as opposed to being obliged to the people who are giving you millions to make a film.” But Craven isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He just joined Twitter, has a comic book with 30 Days of Night writer Steve Niles titled Coming of Rage releasing at the end of October and is working on his first animated movie (about a little girl who is possessed) as well as his next feature, about environmental horror, global warming and the planetary reaction to that. “The good thing about horror,” says Craven, “is that you can adapt your concept to what’s going on historically around you.”

    Read THR's complete Masters of Horror list here

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