Horror aficionados would be quite aware of the name of Wes Craven, a legend in the genre. Having sadly passed away on August 30, 2015, the well-known filmmaker has left quite a legacy, including two very popular horror icons in the nightmarish demon killer Freddy Kruger and the cinema-trope loving serial killer Ghostface. We're Screaming! Neve Campbell Might Return for Scream 5 After New Directors Wrote Her a Touching Letter.
Craven had begun his directorial career with the video nasty, The Last House on the Left in 1972. The movie was banned in several countries for some of its violent scenes. He had also made a couple of porn films in the interim. His biggest success was making A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984, that also marked the acting debut of a certain Johnny Depp (also featuring in the film's best kill scene). Some of his other horror films include Deadly Blessing, The Hills Have Eyes and its sequel, Deadly Friend, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Scream franchise among others.
On the occasion of the director's birth anniversary, we look at the seven best films made by him, ranked as per IMDb score.
The People Under the Stairs (1991)
IMDb Rating: 6.4
"You thought he was white before, you should see that sucker now!"
This horror-comedy serves the tropes of a spooky house, where the spooks don't always come from unearthly beings but more from the living inhabitants there. Two robbers and a young boy find themselves trapped in that house, where the owners have their own dark secrets.
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
IMDb Rating: 6.5
"Don't let them bury me! I'm not dead!"
Craven deals with some grisly zombie horror in this underrated horror film, starring Bill Pullman. The movie is based on a novel by the same name, written by ethnobotanist Wade Davis.
New Nightmare (1994)
IMDb Rating: 6.5
"Just because it's a love story doesn't mean it can't have a decapitation or two."
Giving a fresh of life to the waning franchise of Freddy Krueger, Wes Craven adds a fun meta twist to the saga with New Nightmare. The film has the undead nightmare-haunter return to real -life, creeping out Heather Langenkamp, the actress who played Nancy in the first film. Robert Englund Birthday Special: From A Nightmare On Elm Street To Maniacs, A Look At His Best Horror Movies.
Red Eye (2005)
IMDb Rating: 6.5
"That was very clever, Leese. Taking some stress management courses? When we get out of this, I may have to steal you."
Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy star in this film, that begins off in the style of a meet-cute romcom where two strangers connect at an airport. But before you know it, it soon turns into a relentless thriller, as the girl is trapped and forced to do the bidding of her charming but sinister male companion. Lesson of the day: if someone tries to woo you and he is Cillian Murphy, run to the hills!
Music of the Heart (1999)
IMDb Rating: 6.8
"Well, the good news is the tickets are selling like hotcakes. The bad news is, the kids sound like shit..."
Who would have thought that the master of horror would go on to make a musical drama starring Meryl Streep in the lead? Craven surprised the hell out of his fans with this movie, that also surprisingly wasn't a letdown while scooping an Oscar nomination for her performance. Strangely, that also made Music of the Heart the first Craven film to have an Oscar nom.
IMDb Rating: 7.3
"Do you like scary movies?"
Scream is one of the smartest horror films made in Hollywood, a gripping thriller that plays along with the rules of horror cinema by going meta about it. Ghostface has become an essential part of cinema lore, while the opening sequence featuring Drew Barrymore is easily one of the best first acts in a horror film.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
IMDb Rating: 7.5
"One, two, Freddy's coming for you!"
Wes Craven's breakout success also remains his best movie to date, well according to IMDb anyway. The movie that scared cinegoers with Robert Englund's terrifying child molester turned dream-killer spawned a franchise of diminishing returns, but nothing can beat the interesting, squamish and unexpected kills of the first film.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 02, 2021 09:41 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).