Born: August 2, 1939
Most Frightening Movies: The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Swamp Thing (1982), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The People Under the Stairs (1991), Scream (1996)
Why He Scares Us: A former college professor and taxi driver, Craven broke out and achieved great success with his first movie, The Last House on the Left, in 1972. Years later he received critical acclaim for A Nightmare on Elm Street, which became one of the most influential and famous horror movies of all time and began the career of then-unknown Johnny Depp. Craven’s meticulous eye for the genre and satirical nature have won him several film festival awards over the years. But this horror mastermind has also directed movies in other genres, proving he’s no one-trick pony. Keep your eyes open this Halloween and you’re sure to see at least one trick-or-treater in a Freddy Krueger mask, an impressive 24 years after Craven first brought him to life on the silver screen.