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Eddie Murphy

Wes Craven's horror legacy: The intelligent slasher

He created a new boogeyman worthy of the Grimm Brothers in Freddy Krueger and dragged the horror film screaming into the postmodern age with ironic, self-referential films that mocked the conventions of their own genre. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Scream" director Wes Craven, who died Sunday at 76, redefined the slasher film, adding nuance, thematic depth, and meaning to a type of film often accused of trading in mindless violence. While his friend and contemporary John Carpenter gave us straightforward chills with the nefarious actings out of a knife-wielding nemesis in "Halloween," Craven enriched the slasher with social critique, as in "The Hills...

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