Wes Craven

Birthday: Aug 2, 1939
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
One of the horror genre's best-known and most celebrated directors, Wes Craven was widely credited with reinventing the teen horror movie. Initially gaining fame and notoriety for his Nightmare on Elm Street series in the 1980s, Craven enjoyed a second wave of popularity in the 1990s with his phenomenally successful Scream series, which spoofed the teen horror genre even as they revived it. The films kicked off a trend in teen horror films, inspiring any number of imitators that, for the most part, failed to live up to Craven's own work. A product of a strict Baptist upbringing in Cleveland, OH, Craven received a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Wheaton College and earned an M.A. in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University. After teaching humanities for awhile, Craven plunged into filmmaking as a production assistant and editor for several "B" companies. He made his directorial debut with Last House on the Left (1972), a gruesome little effort that, to put it mildly, affected different people in different ways. Some viewers found this repellently staged "revenge for rape" story profound, citing the fact that Craven based the movie on Ingmar Bergman's Virgin Spring; others, including such mainstream commentators as Leonard Maltin, have condemned Last House on the Left as utter excrement. No matter how one felt about Craven, however, one could not deny his power to manipulate his audience. This power was further evidenced with The Hills Have Eyes (1977), which again met with radically divided opinions -- and made a fortune.With Swamp Thing (1982), Craven graduated to big budgets, and also revealed a gift for comedy. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) was an equally effective blend of gore and grim humor which spawned several sequels and served to introduce the world to Freddy Krueger, vengeful specter par excellence. The popularity of the film and its sequels established Craven as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood, although he was only directly involved with two of the six sequels. In 1994, he directed Wes Craven's New Nightmare, a Pirandellian affair in which he and Nightmare cast regulars Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, and John Saxon played "themselves" -- as did Freddy Kruger! Two years later, Craven experienced another milestone in his career with Scream. The success of the film and its numerous imitators effectively established Craven as a hot mainstream commodity, and he followed the film with the equally successful (though not as critically praised) Scream 2 the following year. In 1999, he effected a radical departure from the genre with The Music of the Heart, a sentimental drama that starred Meryl Streep as a violin teacher who brings music to the lives of children in Spanish Harlem. The film was quickly dismissed by audiences and critics alike, and, in 2000, Craven returned to more familiar territory with Scream 3, the latest in his in saga of hip, ironic terror. When production difficulties and poor audience reaction resulted in Cursed failing to do for werewolf films what the Scream franchise did for slashers, Craven quickly switched gears to Hitchcockian suspense for the airborne thriller Red Eye. Lean, mean, and ultimately fairly forgettable, Red Eye did manage to keep viewers on the edge of their seats for (a scant) 85 minutes even if it didn't exactly have the legs to leave a lasting impression. Nevertheless, Red Eye did hold a special place in Craven's heart as during filming the director was wed to film producer Iya Labunka. Back on the writing block, Craven would adapt Kiyoshi Kurosawa's apocalyptic 2001 shocker Pulse for American consumption before allowing his 1977 screenplay for The Hills Have Eyes to be updated by High Tension screenwriting duo Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur. The updated version was such a success that it gave birth to a sequel, The Hills Have Eyes 2, which was released in 2007. Later returning to the director's chair for a segment of Paris, je t'aime (2006) and the high-


Highest Rated Movies



14% The Girl In The Photographs Executive Producer 2016
No Score Yet I Am Nancy Actor 2014
No Score Yet Trespassing Bergman Actor 2013
60% Scream 4 Director Producer $38.2M 2011
10% My Soul to Take Screenwriter Director Producer $14.7M 2010
100% Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Actor 2010
41% The Last House on the Left Producer $32.8M 2009
No Score Yet Fantastic Flesh Actor 2008
61% Diary of the Dead Actor $0.7M 2007
87% Paris Je T'aime Director $4.9M 2007
12% The Hills Have Eyes 2 Screenwriter Producer $20.8M 2007
No Score Yet Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film Actor 2006
57% Feast Executive Producer 2006
11% Pulse Screenwriter $20.3M 2006
15% The Breed Producer Executive Producer 2006
51% The Hills Have Eyes Producer $41.7M 2006
No Score Yet The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing Actor 2006
79% Red Eye Director $57.9M 2005
17% Cursed Director 2005
83% Inside Deep Throat Actor $0.5M 2005
0% Dracula II: Ascension Producer 2003
No Score Yet Masters of Horror Actor 2002
No Score Yet They Shoot Divas, Don't They? Executive Producer 2002
52% Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Himself $29.9M 2001
67% The American Nightmare Actor 2001
18% Dracula 2000 Executive Producer $32.7M 2000
39% Scream 3 Director 2000
63% Music of the Heart Director 1999
No Score Yet Don't Look Down Executive Producer 1998
20% Wes Craven Presents: Carnival of Souls Executive Producer Producer 1998
82% Scream 2 Director 1997
23% Wishmaster Producer Executive Producer 1997
79% Scream Actor Director 1996
No Score Yet Shadow Zone: The Undead Express The Counselor 1996
No Score Yet The Fear Dr. Arnold 1995
10% Vampire in Brooklyn Director 1995
No Score Yet Wes Craven Presents Mind Ripper Executive Producer 1995
78% Wes Craven's New Nightmare Director Wes Craven 1994
73% Body Bags Actor 1993
63% The People Under The Stairs Executive Producer Screenwriter Director 1991
24% Shocker Executive Producer Neighbor Man Neighbor Director Screenwriter 1989
13% Flowers in the Attic Screenwriter 1987
63% The Serpent and the Rainbow Director Screenwriter 1987
74% A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Screenwriter Producer Executive Producer 1987
11% Deadly Friend Director 1986
No Score Yet Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors Actor 1986
No Score Yet Stephen King's World of Horror Actor 1986
0% The Hills Have Eyes, Part 2 Director Screenwriter 1985
No Score Yet Chiller Director 1985
94% A Nightmare on Elm Street Screenwriter Director 1984
No Score Yet Invitation to Hell Director 1984
17% Deadly Blessing Director Screenwriter 1982
67% Swamp Thing Director 1982
No Score Yet Psychotic Connections Director 1980
No Score Yet The Evolution of Snuff (Confessions of a Blue Movie Star)(Snuff) Director 1978
No Score Yet Stranger in Our House Director 1978
67% The Hills Have Eyes Director Screenwriter 1977
61% The Last House on the Left Screenwriter Director 1972


58% Scream
Producer Executive Producer
  • 2019
  • 2016
  • 2015
80% Castle
  • 2013
No Score Yet Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • 2013
No Score Yet Project Greenlight
  • 2005
  • 2001
0% Stark Raving Mad
Terrance Sterling
  • 2000
No Score Yet Freddy's Nightmares
  • 1989
  • 1988
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
  • 1986
  • 1985
30% Nightmare Cafe