Earlier this week we lost not just a pioneer in the horror genre, but we lost a pioneer in film. Wes Craven's death has caused somewhat of a resurgence with the films he brought to us and it's already caused some argument within the Internet about which Craven films are truly the best ones. I figured I would add my two cents and talk about my top Wes Craven films. The list is small, but bear in mind this list will only include films that Craven directed and not films that he wrote/produced.
If you've never seen any of these four films I would recommend that you should get on it as quickly as possible not just in memory of Wes Craven, but because they are truly great additions to the horror genre and film in general.
4. The Last House on the Left (1972)
Considered to be one of the most violent films in horror history, Craven made his horror debut with a bang. The Last House on the Left received a ban in multiple countries and took multiple edits to avoid receiving an X-rating by the MPAA. Subject matter such as rape, murder, and extreme violence caused a big uproar including the film not even being available in Australia until 2004.
The film received a remake in 2009, but the original still takes the cake.
3. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Another Craven film to receive a modern day remake, the original is still pretty unbeatable. Released in 1977, it got a sequel in 1984 and has since become a cult classic for horror enthusiasts and a staple within the genre. It's a great story with a creepy atmosphere.
2. Scream (1996)
Scream is one of those movies you love or hate, but you should be loving it. Despite the many parodies and sequels, Scream truly is a horror film that is relevant and really good. Craven recognized how the genre was changing and his answer was a teenage story about a group of friends mysteriously being picked off one by one by a masked killer. The twist was great, for what it's worth, and the characters were memorable.
Four films and an MTV series later, Scream remains to be one of the top films of the modern horror genre and a top member of Craven's filmography.
1. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
There's no beating this film. Hands down.
Craven's 1984 story of the man who haunts your dreams not only scared the shit out of audiences then, but Freddy Krueger remains to be one of the most terrifying characters of the horror genre. Elm Street has become one of the most recognizable and successful franchises and a lot of the reasoning is due to the stellar depiction of Krueger by Robert Englund.
The third movie out of four to receive a modern remake, the original and its sequels remain to live strong and resonate over the modern garbage that Michael Bay delivered to us in 2010.
Rest in peace, sir. You'll definitely be missed and I just wanted to say thank you for helping shape me into the horror enthusiast I am today.