Horror maestro Wes Craven's 5 scariest movies


Hollywood is in mourning for legendary horror director Wes Craven who sadly passed away this weekend at the age of 76.

In a career spanning over 40 years, Craven was responsible for some of cinema's most iconic horror movies and was an expert in scaring the pants off us, whilst also offering something decidedly more intelligent than standard slasher movie fare.

So join us as we remember Craven's remarkable career and select his five scariest movies. Just remember to check the front door's locked before reading...

1) The Last House on the Left (1972)

One of the most notorious movies ever made, this memorably nasty cheapo put the young Wes Craven on the map. A story of a vicious sexual assault and the violent revenge carnage that subsequently ensues, it remains one of cinema's all-time great endurance tests. Little wonder the tagline read: "To avoid fainting, just keep repeating it's only a movie..."

2) The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

Wes Craven, mere peddler of gore-splattered mayhem? Not on your life. One of his characteristic touches was intelligence, and nowhere was that more apparent than in this chilling tale of out-of-towners who come into contact with desert-dwelling, mutated cannibals. A damning statement of America's nuclear past and one of the most twisted family stories imaginable, it ain't just a horror movie – it also has important things to say about the world. 

3) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

"One, two, Freddie's coming for you..." A brilliant combination of psychology, fairy tale and plain old-fashioned slasher movie terror, this classic horror introduced us to one of cinema's all-time great boogeyman, Freddie Krueger. As played by Robert Englund, Freddie went to appear in six additional films and a Friday the 13th crossover. However, his screen time in the original is relatively minimal: this is a movie that primarily plays on that universal struggle of trying not to fall asleep...

4) Scream (1996)

After a few lean years, Craven was back with a bang with this sly funny serial killer shocker, one that rejuvenated 1990s horror movies and paved the way for three sequels, plus a host of inferior imitations. As usual with Craven, the scenario is witty and imaginative, as a group of teens find themselves being bumped off by a twisted psycho with an in-depth knowledge of horror movies. That the movie can make us laugh and indeed scream at the same time is testament to the director's brilliance.

5) Red Eye (2005)

Although the last few years of Craven's career were perhaps not the most auspicious, he still turned out the odd gem, such as this airborne tale of terror. Actor Cillian Murphy's striking baby blues are put to excellent use as he plays psycho Jackson Rippner, who kidnaps passenger Lisa (Rachel McAdams) on a nighttime flight with the aim of drawing her into an assassination plot. Claustrophobic and tense, it remains one of Craven's most enjoyable movies.

What's your favourite Wes Craven movie? Tweet your suggestions @Cineworld.