All Wes Craven Movies Ranked Worst To Best

Wes Craven Films

It was Wes Craven who instilled in you a fear of bedtime,, and if it weren't for him, there would be no Scream franchise. He's done so much to influence horror movies that it can be hard to choose which ones are better than others. 

We've put together a list of all his films ranked from worst to best!

26. The Fireworks Woman (1975)

"Rainy Afternoon" - The Fireworks Woman (1975)

The sexual exploits of a girl who’s fallen in love with her brother, who decides to join the priesthood.

Hardcore porn was Wes Craven's follow-up to THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972). It is marketed to women as both, a free love journey and hardcore porn, but it also emphasises explicit sex. Sadly, the movie has been awkwardly spliced and sliced up, with bizarre comic scenes like a man smacking another man with a fish. However, aside from the violent sequences, these various editing techniques render the movie incomprehensible in several places. Under the name Abe Snake, Craven also makes an appearance in the movie as an enigmatic stranger who might perhaps be the Devil. It’s worth a watch, if you can find it.

25. Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Official Trailer: Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

The antagonists of this eerie film are two horror icons. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured serial murderer who preys on his victims in their nightmares, has lost a lot of his influence as a result of the locals in his town losing their fear of him. Freddy plans a new murdering spree with the aid of fellow violent murderer Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger). However, the two ghouls begin to engage in combat when the hockey-mask-wearing psychopath won't stop hacking up Freddy's intended victims.

Although it may not be a timeless classic, it is preferable to being poked in the eye with a pointed object.

24. Invitation to Hell (1984)

Invitation To Hell (1984) Trailer

In Silicon Valley, the Steaming Springs Country Club's attractive director (Robert Urich) seeks for new members.

Invitation to Hell is just as painful as the name implies, except from serving as a time capsule to a much funnier time or as a source of endless amusement.

23. The Hill Have Eyes Part II (1985)

The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 Original Trailer (Wes Craven, 1984)

Eight years had passed since Bobby (John Laughlin) narrowly escaped being harassed and imprisoned by a gang of cannibals who lived in the desert. His other relatives weren't as fortunate. Together with Ruby (Willard Pugh), one of the cannibals who held Bobby captive before turning on her family, Bobby now owns a Motocross shop. Both have made efforts to ease their suffering. However, when Bobby and Ruby travel to the desert with motorcyclists they're supporting and Ruby's family makes a reappearance to kill once again, the past rages back.

There are a few unsettling moments, just enough to occasionally make things spooky, but ultimately not enough for anyone to even possibly call this a decent horror.

22. Scream 2 (1997)

Scream 2 Trailer

The events of the first "Scream" were survived by Sydney (Neve Campbell) and tabloid reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), but their horror continues. A copycat killer is on the run when two college students are killed at a sneak viewing of "Stab," a movie based on the events of the first film. Before they all perish, Sydney and Gail, as well as other survivors Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) and Randy (Jamie Kennedy), must figure out who is responsible for this latest murder spree.

Clever spoof of the original; once more, we get to see a film make fun of its own rules. It has some hilarious and horrifying moments, but it suffers from being less inventive than the original.

21. Scream (1996)

Official Trailer: Scream (1996)

A year after her mother was killed, a teenage girl is tortured by a new killer who uses horror movies to target the girl and her friends as part of a deadly game.

Before the debut of this movie, can you honestly identify a successful and original horror movie from the 1990s that wasn't a sequel?

20. Scream 3 (2000)

Trailer - Scream 3

In the third and final book of this trilogy, a murderous rampage starts up again, this time aimed against the original Woodsboro survivors and those connected to the movie-within-a-movie called Stab 3. To stop the murderer, Sydney (Neve Campbell) must confront her previous traumas.

The series is rapidly transitioning from being a movie series to more of a quiz game due to the number of internal references and exposition it already has. Still, for those in the know, luck favours the diligent. Everyone else only hears a scream instead.

19. Scream 4 (2011)

Scream 4 - HD Official Trailer - Dimension Films

It has been a long time since the Woodsboro town was terrorised by the Ghostface Killer. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), who experienced those terrible events, has created a self-help book to assist her move past the trauma. Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sheriff Dewey are reunited when she returns to Woodsboro for her book tour (David Arquette). But Sidney's arrival also prompts Ghostface to make a comeback, putting Sidney and everyone she cares about in peril.

Leveraging the technical advancements of the past ten years and society's celebrity-obsessed culture, the series has taken the concepts of the original movie and turned them inside out. Even though this was a relatively good sequel it was lacking in the typical frights that would make you jump out of your seat.

18. Stranger in Our House (1978) (Renamed Summer Of Fear)

SUMMER OF FEAR [Movie] Official Trailer

Backwoods relative of a teenage girl (Linda Blair) moves in with something supernatural (Lee Purcell).

In addition to the little pleasure of squandering a few minutes watching television history, the ridiculous, pulpy nature of the events also provides some small satisfaction.

17. Wes Craven’s Chiller (1985)

Chiller's Trailer

Miles Creighton, a corporate executive who passes away, is cryogenically stored in the hopes that he would be resurrected. After the treatment is successful, Miles returns ten years later, but without his soul.

I enjoyed this made-for-TV film about a body being revived after being cryogenically preserved. Wes Craven, the director of this effort, is unlikely to win over many fans of his past movies, the most of which feature a lot of blood and violence.

16. Music of the Heart (1999)

Music of the Heart (1999) Official Trailer 1 - Meryl Streep Movie

Roberta (Meryl Streep), a melancholy music instructor, finds work teaching violin to poor kids in Harlem, New York, after being dumped by her husband. Even though there is initially tension between school head Janet Williams (Angela Bassett) and the pupils, the programme is successful and gains attention from the public. After ten years, however, the programme is abruptly terminated due to budget constraints; as a result, Roberta, Williams, and her former students strive to organise a fundraising performance.

Meryl controls the narrative. Despite its educational intentions, the movie simply becomes about seeing her perform as she effortlessly vanishes into the part.

15. Swamp Thing (1982)

Wes Craven's Swamp Thing (1982) - Official Trailer

Altruistic botanist Dr. Alec Holland (Ray Wise) is placed under the protection of special government agent Alice Cable as he approaches a breakthrough in his mission to end world hunger (Adrienne Barbeau). While trying to take Holland's findings for his own evil purposes, mad scientist Anton Arcane (Louis Jourdan) accidentally transforms Holland into the Swamp Thing, a massive plant-like creature who fights back against Arcane's goons in order to save Cable.

Craven tries to adapt this "veggie-man" horror to fit the DC Comics aesthetic, and with Adrienne Barbeau (Mrs. John Carpenter) playing the Thing's object of desire and Louis Jourdan playing the arch-villain "Arcane," he's obviously on the right track.

14. Night Visions (1990)

Night Visions(1990) TV Movie Review

To locate a serial killer, a police officer works with a psychic.

Wes Craven, the master of horror, is the director of the obscure made-for-TV film Night Visions. It appears to have been a pilot for a potential TV series, which unsurprisingly never transpired, and has since been forgotten. Night Visions is in fact a forgettable snooze and is dull in the sense that only US-made television programming can be.

13. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) - Trailer

Cult film by Wes Craven about cannibalistic mountain people hunting down stranded tourists in the desert Southwest.

Here, Craven's repressed nasty side is fully unleashed, and the rudest shocks seem to be focused on the parents of the "nice" family.

12. Red Eye (2005)

Red Eye (2005) - Trailer

Hotel manager Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams), who had attended her grandmother's funeral, is waiting to board a flight back home when she encounters handsome Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy) at check-in. They are sitting next to each other by coincidence, she believes, but she quickly discovers differently. Jackson wants to kill the Homeland Security chief, but to do so, Lisa must change the official's room number at her hotel. Jackson has taken Lisa's father as security (Brian Cox).

The 85-minute flight is gratifyingly short, the psychological mind games are performed to the hilt, and the pressurised cabin air heightens the edge-of-your-seat stress. Definitely worth a watch.

11. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) - Official Trailer

Anthropologist Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman) journeys to Haiti at a period of social and political instability to investigate a Voodoo poison that is used in rituals to transform victims into living zombies. Dennis solves the dangerous puzzle with the aid of a witch doctor (Brent Jennings) and a colleague researcher (Cathy Tyson). Dennis must avoid the Haitian authorities, who see his research as a potential threat, as he unravels the mysteries of the enigmatic powder.

We become entangled in Pullman's battle in this psychological thriller/horror hybrid, and as things get worse for him, the audience remains committed and confident he will triumph against the horrors around him.

10. Last House on the Left (1972)

The Last House on the Left (1972) ORIGINAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]

Mari (Sandra Cassel) and Phyllis (Lucy Grantham), two teenagers, travel to the city for a performance before hunting for drugs later. Instead, they come across a group of escaped prisoners who rape and torment them for the duration of the night. Then, not understanding the girls were close to Mari's house, the gang murders them in the woods. They fool Mari's mother (Cynthia Carr) and father (Gaylord St. James) into believing they are salesmen, but it doesn't take long for the parents to figure out their true identities and hatch a plan of retaliation.

A stern, sour little snooze that's approximately four times better than you'd anticipate.

9. The People Under the Stairs (1991)

The People Under the Stairs Official Trailer #1 - Ving Rhames Movie (1991) HD

Young Fool (Brandon Adams) discovers a distressing situation where incestuous adult siblings have tortured and kept several boys captive under stairs in their vast, unsettling house when he breaks into the home of his family's greedy and callous landlords. Fool encounters the psychopaths' daughter, Alice (A.J. Langer), who has been spared any harsh punishment by her insane parents, as he tries to flee before the psychopaths can find him. Will Fool and Alice be able to flee in time?

Although there is some blood and gore in the new film, it is largely spooky and, given the unusual circumstances, surprisingly hilarious.

8. Cursed (2005)

Cursed (2005) Official Trailer 1 - Christina Ricci Movie

Three young adult’s lives are forever altered when a werewolf on the loose in Los Angeles mauls one of them, teaching them that they must kill the werewolf to prevent turning into werewolves themselves.

Hollywood history will forever remember "Cursed" for its horrific production issues. Over a year of delays, extensive reshoots, recasting, rewrites, and essentially anything else that could go wrong did. Consider the fact that Craven and Williamson were still able to make an enjoyable movie a testament to their abilities as a filmmaker and a writer.

7. Shocker (1989)

Shocker Official Trailer #1 (1989) Wes Craven

Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi), a television repairman who has been apprehended for a string of horrific murders, is sentenced to death via electric chair, but thanks to a deal with the devil, he can return as electricity. When he assumes his new shape, Pinker pursues both Lt. Don Parker (Michael Murphy), the detective who brought him down, and Jonathan, Parker's adopted son (Peter Berg). However, Jonathan's enigmatic dream link with Pinker could shed light on the assailant's movements.

Wes Craven's Shocker, a mix of his most ambitious concepts & a ferociously crazy visual style, is undoubtedly one of his more eccentric cult favourites. It feels like a frenetic fever dream powered by the might of righteous heavy metal.

6. Deadly Friend (1986)

Deadly Friend (1986) - Official Trailer

A young genius (Matthew Laborteaux) implants the mechanical brain into the head of a girl who is on the verge of death (Kristy Swanson).

A terrifyingly entertaining scare fest from the horror master himself.

5. Deadly Blessing (1981)

Deadly Blessing (1981) Official Trailer

Friends visit a recently widowed woman (Maren Jensen), who is terrified by the sect's leader (Ernest Borgnine).

One of Wes Craven's best works, this unusual but frequently terrifying thriller combines elements from monster, slasher, snake, and spider movies with religious themes.

4. Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

Vampire In Brooklyn (1995) - Trailer

Detective Rita Veder (Angela Bassett) is given the case of a puzzling serial murder after the death of her mother in a mental hospital. Rita encounters Maximilian (Eddie Murphy), a smooth-talking Caribbean playboy out to woo her, after investigating the murder scene—a corpse-filled ship discovered drifting at sea. Rita seeks the assistance of Dr. Zeko (Zakes Mokae), an occultist who believes a vampire is loose after she starts experiencing debilitating hallucinations.

I thought this movie was funny. Not frightening at all.. The plot wasn't too bad either..

3. My Soul to Take (2010)

My Soul to Take Official Trailer #1 - (2010) HD

A local tale in Riverton, a tiny hamlet, describes a serial killer swearing to return and murder the seven children born on the night he allegedly died. Residents of Riverton are disappearing once more 16 years later, leading some people to question whether the legend is real. One of the so-called Riverton Seven, Bug (Max Thieriot), has suffered from nightmares his entire life. It is his responsibility to protect his pals from an evil that will not go away.

My Soul to Take is a bit erratic, but when it works, it's very effective.

2. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

Wes Craven's New Nightmare Trailer 1994

In this edition of the well-known horror series, Wes Craven, Heather Langenkamp, and Robert Englund, all play themselves, creating an unsettling collision of reality and fantasy. Dylan (Miko Hughes), Heather's kid, becomes enchanted by the iconic disfigured antagonist Freddy Krueger as Heather (Heather Langenkamp) considers working on another movie with Wes Craven (Robert Englund). To save Dylan's soul, Langenkamp ultimately must confront Freddy's evil spirit

As Freddy, Englund exhibits brilliance once more, playing for both gruesome laughter and unsettling shocks.

1. Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) • Modernised HD Trailer

Several Midwestern kids succumb to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a deformed nocturnal mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams before killing them, in Wes Craven's famous slasher movie. After looking into the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) starts to wonder if a sinister family secret may hold the key to solving the riddle. However, time is running out for Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp).

A Nightmare on Elm Street will undoubtedly maintain its cherished position in the annals of horror. It's a film that can't be duplicated, with a unique blend of entertainment and genuine dread.

Craven has had a remarkable career in the horror genre, and he’s an  absolute legend in the industry. He’s made some of the most iconic films of all time, but also some disappointments too. Overall, Craven's movies are what define him as one of Hollywood's most important directors. And I for one can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

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