5 Influential Films from Master of Horror Wes Craven



The world of film and fans of genre mourn the passing of one of horror’s greatest influences, Wes Craven. Late Sunday, the influential filmmaker, who introduced the world to the likes of Freddy Krueger and Ghostface, lost a hard fought battle with brain cancer. He was 76. In his honor, BlueCat celebrates his extensive career and lasting influence on popular culture by looking back at five of his most influential films.


5.) The Last House on the Left ­– 1972

Craven’s directorial debut, The Last House on the Left, was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring and follows two teenage girls who are taken into the woods and tortured by a gang of murderous thugs.


4.) The Hills Have Eyes – 1977

Craven wrote and directed this exploitation-horror film about a family whose road trip takes a turn for the terrifying when their car breaks down in the Nevada desert and they are hunted by a family of mutated savages. The Hills Have Eyes is considered a cult classic with a sequel and a remake, released in 2006.


3.) Swamp Thing – 1982

Based on the DC Comics character, Swamp Thing is a science fiction film both written and directed by Craven. A scientist is transformed into the monster, Swamp Thing, after a tragic accident and seeks revenge against the man responsible.


2.) Scream – 1996

Craven directed this slasher film featuring the serial killer known as Ghostface, who has since become a pop culture icon. Scream has gone on to become a classic with multiple sequels, parodies, and even a television show produced by Craven, which currently airs on MTV.


1.) A Nightmare on Elm Street – 1984

A Nightmare on Elm Street is the first in a robust franchise of sequels and spinoffs, including a showdown between the dream-haunting and physically terrifying Freddy Krueger and his classic horror counterpart, the slasher in a hockey mask, Jason. The film follows several teenagers who are stalked and killed in their dreams by Krueger, with his iconic scarred face and clawed gauntlets. A Nightmare on Elm Street was an instant classic and is arguably Craven’s most influential work. It even launched the career of now mega-star, Johnny Depp.

Founded in 1998, The BlueCat Screenplay Competition seeks to develop and discover unknown screenwriters. For 2016 BlueCat Screenplay Competition submission information, click here.