16 Unmissable Wes Craven Movies You Can Stream Right Now

Thee Wes Craven was born on August 2nd, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio. While he’s no longer with us, his work in the horror genre lives on. Most of us, if not all of us, owe him a debt of gratitude for scaring us when we were younger. He helmed two major blockbuster franchises (A Nightmare On Elm Street and Scream) while continually giving us cool horror movies. While Craven worked in the film industry for years (Google Abe Snake), it wasn’t until he set his sites to feature-length horror projects that he started laying the groundwork for his legacy. Beginning with 1972’s The Last House on the Left and ending with 2011’s Scream 4, Wes became a pillar in the scary movie arena. Most of my generation knows his work better than we know ourselves.

Wes Craven movies were always fun, disturbing, and smart. I have eaten every one I could get my grubby hands on like candy since I was about 5 years old. I could write books about his films and their impact on me. This is why I had to narrow this article down to just movies streaming in time for you to celebrate this important horror holiday. I combed the internet looking for all of the genre movies he directed and came back with 16 movies you can watch today. So, call out of work (because today should be a national holiday anyway) and spend the day watching the work of one of my favorites.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

Where You Can Watch: Max

A teen discovers a town’s secret after a serial killer starts killing her friends in their dreams. Wes Craven introduced us to Petty Freddy. That alone would have given him an impressive legacy. We all saw this movie way too young, and it’s probably part of the reason we’re the way we are now.

Deadly Blessing (1981)

Where You Can Watch: Tubi

A recently widowed woman starts to suspect the religious community next door has something to do with her husband’s murder. This overlooked moment stars Sharon Stone and is hard to catch on the streaming streets. I highly suggest you watch it, while you can if it’s a hole in your Craven bingo card. 

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

Where You Can Watch: Plex, Shudder, and Tubi

A family’s car breaks down in the wrong area causing them to become the victims of savages. This movie has a lot of incest and needs a content warning for rape. However, it is one of the non-Scream or Elm Street movies that people think of first when they hear the name Wes Craven.

The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1985)

Where You Can Watch: Sling TV and Tubi

A group of bikers encounters the cannibal family from hell. Not gonna lie, I always forget this sequel is out there. I should fix that by rewatching it now that I’m an adult. I’ve never seen the series in order, so it might be time to watch them together.

Invitation to Hell (1984)

Where You Can Watch: FreeveePeacockRedboxSling TVTubiVudu, and Youtube

A family moves to the suburbs and gets pressured into joining a weird club. Wes was always making the suburbs terrifying and off-putting. This is not one of his more well-known titles which kind of makes it an underdog on this list. 

Night Visions (1990)

Where You Can Watch: Youtube

A detective and a woman with “telepathic multiple personalities” try to catch the Spread-Eagle Killer in Los Angeles. Craven directed many made-for-TV thrillers in the 80s that are hard to find in the wild. I had all but given up on ever seeing this one, so I am happy I can finally cross it off my list.

Also Read: Wes Craven’s 10 Favorite Horror Movies Of All Time

Red Eye (2005)

Where You Can Watch: Paramount+

A woman meets a charming man on a plane but discovers he’s not looking for romance. This twisty thriller has Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, and Brian Cox. I’m afraid of flying so I was already stressed before the plot could start plotting. The film is fun and reminds us that Wes Craven could make anything scary.

Scream (1996)

Where You Can Watch: Paramount+

A teen finds her friend circle dying during the first anniversary of her mother’s death. Craven fully snapped with this movie and reset the slasher sub-genre. If you didn’t want to make horror movies before this movie, you damn sure wanted to after watching it. There is a reason this franchise is still going almost thirty years later.

Scream 2 (1997)

Where You Can Watch: Paramount+

The Ghostface Saga follows Sidney to college. Scream 2 is hard to put into words, but works well under the Craven aesthetic. It’s fun, it’s extra meta, and it was the last Scream to be a little terrifying. RIP Randy. While nothing will ever make us feel as alive as the first movie did, this one tried her damnedest. 

Scream 3 (2000)

Where You Can Watch: Paramount+

Ghostface was ready for his closeup and brought the trio to Hollywood to unpack some of Maureen Prescott’s secrets. This film is a mess and will forever be my bottom Scream. However, she is a good time, and we will all keep rewatching her. The movie only works on any level because Wes Craven was in the director’s seat and the anchor in the chaos.

Scream 4 (2011)

Where You Can Watch: Starz

10 years after Ghostface’s Hollywood tour, we’re back in the town where it all began. I love this movie despite the weird filter. I think it’s one of the better movies in this franchise that I adore. It does hurt a little now because we had no way of knowing that it would be the last movie Wes Craven directed. What a way to close the book on an iconic legacy though.

Also Read: Mark of the Horny Beast in Wes Craven’s ‘Cursed’

Stranger In Our House (1978)

Where You Can Watch: CracklePlexThe Roku ChannelTubi

A girl’s life gets complicated once her cousin moves in, and she begins to suspect her house guest might be a witch. This made-for-TV movie has Linda Blair and is based on the Lois Duncan novel Summer Of Fear. That’s basically my summoning circle, so I have no idea how I’m just learning about this movie this week!

Swamp Thing (1982)

Where You Can Watch: Tubi

A chemical incident turns a scientist into a swamp monster. I saw this movie at least 8 times as a small child and never knew Wes Craven directed it. That’s what I get for waiting to learn how to read when I was five years old. Now I have to rewatch it as an adult and see all the Cravenisms I missed in my youth. 

Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

Where You Can Watch: Max

A vampire looks for his soulmate in Brooklyn. This horror comedy was another movie I felt Wes Craven made for me. All of the greats were present including, Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett, Kadeem Hardison, and the late John Witherspoon. This movie lived in the VCR the weekend we rented it because I watched it every time I got a hold of the remote. 

Wes Craven’s Chiller (1985)

Where You Can Watch: Pluto TV and The Roku Channel

A man is brought back to life after being frozen for 10 years. This is one of those movies I know I watched as a child but cannot remember. I will definitely be pulling up to Pluto TV to see what this one was about. 80s science is always fun, and I bet it’s even better through the Wes Craven lens. 

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

Where You Can Watch: Max

An evil presence uses Freddy Krueger as a portal to the real world. This movie taught me what meta is. It walked so Scream could run. It’s the best Elm Street sequel, and if I ever write anything half as good, I will close my computer and find a new career. This is cinema, and I will not listen to anyone who doesn’t understand why.

Any of these 16 movies is a good start to honoring the legendary talent that was Wes Craven on his birthday. However, I’m strongly encouraging you to rent The People Under the Stairs and Cursed. The former was the first time I saw my favorite horror director have Black leads, and it still feels like he made it for that little Black girl in Missouri who was already getting tired of not seeing herself in her favorite genre. Never mind he never knew I existed, it was for me, and I won’t hear anything else. The latter movie is a mess of a werewolf film that has my forever crush, Joshua Jackson, and was the first time I saw Maya on the big screen. 

Is your favorite Wes Craven movie streaming? Do you have plans to watch any of his work to celebrate his birthday today? Or do you want to talk about all of his movies we saw way too young? Then definitely find me at @misssharai.



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