Our Favorite Wes Craven Horror Trailers

Seeing as it’s Halloween and all, we got extra spooky here at On Point to celebrate the creepiest American holiday. Our broadcast this Thursday looked at all the many reasons why we turn to horror again and again in films, books and TV shows. It’s a topic that guests director Wes Craven and authors Elizabeth Massie and Michelle Hodkin knew a good deal about.

Craven, that master of scary cinema, has been serving up big bowls of screams since 1971. “The most frightening monster you present to your audience is yourself,” he told us this Halloween, but we think there’s something to be said for the terrifying previews that a good horror film trailer can deliver. It’s the terror of the unknown, and the promise of a good scare waiting on the other side. We’ve collected some of our favorite trailers from some of Wes Craven’s most iconic films here.

“The Last House On the Left” (1972)

Craven’s first big hit, this psychological chiller has more than a few chills. We particularly like the clever rejoinder in the trailer: ‘To Avoid Fainting, Keep Repeating: It’s Only A Movie. Only A Movie.’

“The Hills Have Eyes” (1977)

This environmental / nature terror turn may be remembered for the squeamish scenes of torture, but we think the yelling, smash-cut filled trailer is a work of fright art in itself.

“A Nightmare On Elm Street” (1984)

The creepy-clawed film that launched a thousand spinoffs, the trailer for the original Elm Street thriller is remarkable for how many of the iconic moments it gives away in its less than two minute duration. Suffice it to say, the actual film is really pretty scary.

“The People Under the Stairs” (1991)

Whether it’s plucky young kids or creepy suburban mothers that gets you screaming [A caller on our Halloween show asked why the sound of children laughing is so creepy], this trailer has it all. Plus, an army of hands and unsettling basement dwellers, too, if you’re curious or anything.

“Scream” (1996)

The original “Scream” might be remembered more for its masks than its clever conceit of a horror killer who is deeply familiar with the horror genre [guest Michelle Hodkin pointed out in our conversation on Halloween that modern horror writers have taken that concept on in full force, giving the fictional world a conscious knowledge of the standard horror tropes even as they occur around them], but it’s also ultimately a pretty scary ride.


What’s your favorite Wes Craven movie? What’s your scariest memory at the cinema? Share your thoughts below, or on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 5, 2015
The newest version of the Apple mobile iOS system allows ad-blocking software on mobile browsing for the first time. (Abdullah Syahbal / Flickr)

Are ad–blocking, bots, and mobile gutting economic viability of the internet? We’ll take a close look.

Oct 5, 2015
Singer-songwriter Sara Barielles on the cover of her new memoir, "Sounds Like Me." (Courtesy Simon & Schuster)

Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles goes fully confessional in her new memoir, “Sounds Like Me.” She joins us.

Oct 2, 2015
Max Martin accepts the award for best producer of the year, non-classical at the 57th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, in Los Angeles.  (AP)

The software of hit songs now. We’ll look at the algorithms, computer generated beats and producers making it happen for Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and more.

Oct 2, 2015
Candles spelling UCC for Umpqua Community College, are displayed at a candlelight vigil for those killed during a fatal shooting at the school, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. (AP)

A deadly shooting at an Oregon community college. Putin and Obama at the UN. The capture of Kunduz. Water on Mars. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »
Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Count Me As A Radical’
Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making waves in the 2016 Presidential race, and he joined us today from the US Capitol to explain how his campaign message is connecting with voters around the country.

More »
Our Week In The Web: September 25, 2015
Friday, Sep 25, 2015

But seriously — where ARE our podcasts running off to? Plus, more Jewel.

More »