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Monday, January 10, 2022

Stay Home, Watch Horror: 5 Wes Craven Horror Movies You Can Stream This Week

One thing that’s been abundantly clear about the new Scream, releasing in theaters this week, is that it’s “For Wes.” Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett credit horror master Wes Craven for shaping them as filmmakers and seek to honor his legacy with the latest entry.

With Scream’s release on the immediate horizon, it feels only fitting to dedicate this week’s streaming picks to Craven’s dedication to horror. The selection this week assumes you’ve likely already revisited the first four Scream movies in preparation for the new release and aims to highlight his range in the genre.

From his gritty debut to modern thrillers, here are five Wes Craven horror movies to stream this week.

The Last House on the Left – Plex, Pluto TV, Tubi

Craven came out swinging hard with his first feature film, a grimy shocker based on The Virgin Spring. Two teens head out into the city to attend a concert but wind up kidnapped and brutalized by escaped convicts instead. Things get even deadlier when the psychopaths cross paths with a vengeful mom and dad. It’s brutal, grim, and one hell of an entrance to the world of horror. Craven also produced the 2009 remake, which is currently available to stream on Starz.

Summer of Fear (Stranger in Our House) – Crackle, Plex, Tubi

This made-for-TV movie premiered on Halloween night in 1978. Based on the best-selling young adult novel by Lois Duncan, Summer of Fear follows teenager Rachel (Linda Blair). Her life is turned dangerously upside down when her cousin Julie (Lee Purcell) moves in following the death of her parents in a car crash. Things get delightfully witchy. Even more interesting is that this is Craven’s first feature after The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House on the Left.

Deadly Blessing – Tubi

Wes Craven

Before Craven’s seminal A Nightmare on Elm Street, he experimented with the supernatural slasher in Deadly Blessing. After becoming a widow, a woman suspects the Amish-like religious community nearby might have it out for her. Things get super weird and deadly. Look for Sharon Stone, Ernest Borgnine, and The Hills Have Eyes’ Michael Berryman.

Red Eye – Hulu, Paramount+

Written by Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia, 2009’s The Last House on the Left), Red Eye stars Rachel McAdams as hotel resort manager Lisa Reisert. She’s taking a red eye flight home to Miami after attending a funeral. She meets fellow traveler Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy), who drops his charming fa├žade to force her into an assassination plot shortly after. At its core, Red Eye is a suspenseful chamber piece that hinges almost entirely on the leads’ performances. Craven knew how to maximize tension and pacing with over three decades of experience under his belt at this point while putting his characters first. 

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – Tubi

Before Scream, Craven demonstrated a knack for meta-horror in this unconventional sequel to the franchise he kickstarted. Original Elm Street star Heather Langenkamp returns, only this time to play herself as the unwitting heroine forced to fight a demonic entity that’s chosen Freddy Krueger as its vessel into the world. Craven also appears as himself to deliver expositional monologues that reflect on the genre and his part in this franchise’s making.


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