Wes Craven's top eight movies ranked: From 'Scream' to 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'


Written By: Kshitij Mohan Rawat | Updated: Sep 02, 2022, 03:49 PM IST

For many, Wes Craven is synonymous with the slasher sub-genre within horror. The late legendary film director would have been 83 today. In over four decades of his career, Craven gave cinema some of the finest slasher movies. He kicked off two venerable horror franchises -- 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and 'Scream'. His movies have influences countless filmmakers working in the same genre and beyond. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1939, Wes Craven began his professional career as an English teacher at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. Filmmaking for him began as a hobby when he began making short films using a 16 mm film camera. Once he became sure of his talent he left academia for Hollywood. The rest, as they say, is history.

Here are the top 8 films of Wes Craven you need to see ranked from worst to best:

Hills Have Eyes

Only the second film by Wes Craven, this film released at a time when he was still developing his style and skillset. Thus, the film feels more raw, but is still pretty good to watch. It was this film that began the trend of movies featuring isolated, cannibalistic people terrorising wayward travellers in remote regions of the US. Susan Lanier, Michael Berryman and Dee Wallace starred in 'The Hills Have Eyes'.


Serpent and the Rainbow

Zombies are common in today's movies and TV shows but this movie by Craven was about an allegedly real account of a zombie in the book of the same name. The book featured a certain Clairvius Narcisse who was killed and buried but was later revived using a herbal potion. The 1988 film still remains scary.


Swamp Thing

Back in the 1980s, comic-book movies were incredibly rare. Nowadays, studios knows these movies can bring untold profits to them but back then barely any comic-book movie was greenlit. And mostly it was either on Batman or Superman. With 'Swamp Thing' Craven brought before his adoring fans the story of a lesser known DC character, a tree-like humanoid whose stories are more frightening than your typical comic-book.



Craven could scare the hell out of you, but he still knew how to parody his own genre. In funny and scary 'Scream', which launched a  successful franchise, he poked fun at the slasher tropes and at the same time created a thrilling movie.


Red Eye'

A brilliant psychological thriler, 'Red Eye' proves Craven could do pretty much anything, in any genre. The film, which had a relatively short runtime, was featured Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Jayma Mays, and Brian Cox.


Wes Craven's New Nightmare

A meta slasher film, this film as Craven's one of the greatest creations Freddy Krueger being a fictional movie villain (in the movie) who becomes a real villain who terrorises the cast and crew of the movie.


Scream 2

Better than even the first film, 'Scream 2' perfectly balanced the horror and the thrills with the comedy. 


Nightmare on Elm Street'

The crowning achievement of Wes Craven, 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' is up there with 'Halloween' and 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' as the best among with the slasher genre.