Wes Craven - Rotten Tomatoes

Wes Craven

Lowest Rated:   0% Dracula II: Ascension (2003)
Birthday:  
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-

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
15% The Girl In The Photographs
  • Executive Producer
2016
No Score Yet I Am Nancy
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Trespassing Bergman
  • Actor
2013
59% Scream 4
  • Director
  • Producer
$38.2M 2011
9% My Soul to Take
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
$14.7M 2010
100% Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
  • Actor
2010
42% The Last House on the Left
  • Producer
$32.8M 2009
No Score Yet Fantastic Flesh
  • Actor
2008
62% Diary of the Dead
  • Actor
$0.7M 2007
87% Paris Je T'aime
  • Director
$4.9M 2007
11% 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
10% Pulse
  • Screenwriter
$20.3M 2006
15% The Breed
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
2006
49% 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
16% 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
53% Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
  • Himself
$29.9M 2001
67% The American Nightmare
  • Actor
2001
17% Dracula 2000
  • Executive Producer
$32.7M 2000
36% 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
81% Scream 2
  • Director
1997
21% 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
70% Body Bags
  • Actor
1993
61% The People Under The Stairs
  • Executive Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1991
20% Shocker
  • Executive Producer
  • NeighborMan Neighbor
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1989
14% Flowers in the Attic
  • Screenwriter
1987
60% The Serpent and the Rainbow
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1987
74% A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
1987
0% 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
20% Deadly Blessing
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1982
64% 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
64% The Hills Have Eyes
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1977
61% The Last House on the Left
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1972

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
47% Scream
2015
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • 2016
  • 2015
73% Castle
2009-2016
  • Himself
  • 2013
No Score Yet Jimmy Kimmel Live
2003
  • Guest
  • 2011
No Score Yet Project Greenlight
2001-2015
  • Appearing
  • 2005
  • 2001
No Score Yet Freddy's Nightmares
1988-1990
  • Director
  • 1989
  • 1988
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1985-1989
  • Director
  • 1986
  • 1985

Quotes from Wes Craven's Characters