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In Honor of the Horror Master: Relive Wes Craven's Scariest Movie Moments

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Dimension Films/Everett; Andy Kropa/Getty

On Sunday, we lost one of the film industry’s greatest icons.

Synonymous with the horror film genre, Wes Craven, who passed away at the age of 76 after battling brain cancer, is responsible for creating a memorable (and equally terrifying) string of films that have left many stunned, addicted and ultimately scared to fall asleep – because sleeping means dreaming, which means a visit from Freddy Krueger, obvi.

As Hollywood comes together to pay tribute to the writer-director following the breaking news, we’re taking a look back at Craven’s most memorable movie moments, from Scream to The Hills Have Eyes.

Scream, 1996

Scene We Can’t Ever Forget: The opener that sees an unsuspecting Drew Barrymore become a serial killer’s first victim.
What Makes It So Terrifying: It could happen to anyone. Also, nobody puts Barrymore in a corner – not even in a slasher film. That just felt like a personal attack, which is what made this scene so compelling (a.k.a. just what the master of horror aimed for).

A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984

Scene We Can’t Ever Forget: Okay, so this is kind of unfair since the entire film is packed with scenes that make us want to pull perennial all-nighters. This one, however, might just take the cake because it stars Johnny Depp (then an up-and-comer) who succumbs to his bloody demise, courtesy of Krueger.
What Makes It So Terrifying: Blood. So much blood. Also, the original film spawned a medley of sequels, including a remake in 2010 and killer smash-up with 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason.

The People Under the Stairs, 1991

Scene We Can’t Ever Forget: Forget the scene, let’s talk dialogue: “We can’t get out. No one ever has,” says a character. BRB, cringing.
What Makes It So Terrifying: It’s a premise all kids can relate to: parents forbid their children to even walk near a creepy looking house, said children disobey in the name of curiosity – need we say more? One viewing of the 1991 movie will have you thinking back to season 1 of American Horror Story. Yep, the movie was way before its time.

The Hills Have Eyes, 1977

Scene We Can’t Ever Forget: When the film’s mother figure fights to save her baby. Nothing seems more realistic – or terrifying – than that moment.
What Makes It So Terrifying: Much like Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, both released in the ’70s, The Hills Have Eyes took advantage of its low budget, resulting in a suspense-filled movie that captured audiences for years to come. Need proof? The movie inspired a remake almost 30 years later, as well as a sequel.

Red Eye, 2005

Scene We Can’t Ever Forget: When Cillian Murphy’s character reveals his deadly plans to Rachel McAdams‘ character while on a plane to Miami: “As fate would have it, this is all about you.”
What Makes It So Terrifying: Being on a plane is possibly the most vulnerable position to be in – especially when you’re sitting next to an omniscient terrorist who’s threatening to hurt your family.