My podcastmate, Kathy, saw Last House on the Left when she was a wee one. That's how she got the horror film bug. I, the wimpy kid that was afraid of Herman Munster, didn't experience a Wes Craven film until the original Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. That film had some great scenes, of course. Freddy's arms five feet long on each side scratching the metal fences making those awful screeching sounds. That one scene got me to go back and watch all of Mr. Craven's films before and watch all of the subsequent ones. Although that was my personal favorite, he was so much more than a "horror" guy. Sure, you had the mega-hit Scream and it's sequels, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The Hills Have Eyes, etc. - but you had cool genre flicks like Red Eye (worth a look for sure!), Swamp Thing (sweetly fun) and The People Under the Stairs (just weird).
I never met the man, but I followed him on Twitter, and he seemed like a great guy; and that's all I heard from people that worked with him. Knowledgable, approachable, cool.
Happy Birthday, Wes Craven! You're gentle soul and your scary, fun films are sorely missed these days.