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Wes Craven's 5 most terrifying scenes

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David M. Moir

The filmography of Wes Craven is filled with dread and terror. As we look back on the life of the late Master of Horror, who died on Sunday at age 76, here are five shocking moments that left us wondering, “Did that just happen?”

1. The Hills Have Eyes (1977): Trailer trashed

Craven’s penchant for showing the fragility of the nuclear family is fully on display in a sequence that finds the desert-dwelling maniac Jupiter (James Whitworth) shooting two female members of the vacationing Carter clan while Pluto (Michael Berryman) kidnaps a baby.

2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): Never sleep again

Tina (Amanda Wyss) gets the full Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) treatment as the dream-stalker extends

his arms to a nightmarish length, declares his lethal glove to be God, cuts off his own fingers for a gas, and then throws

her around her own bedroom until she expires. See also: Johnny Depp’s death-by-mattress, Heather Langenkamp’s phone turning into a tongue, and pretty much everything else in Craven’s horror classic.

3. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988): Buried with spider

In this voodoo-themed terror tale, anthropologist Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman) travels to Haiti in search of a drug that makes people appear dead. For his troubles, he has his scrotum nailed to a chair. What could be worse? How about being buried alive, but paralyzed, with only a tarantula for company. 

4. Scream (1996): Do you like scary movies?

The introduction of the franchise’s masked killer is also the unexpectedly early farewell for Drew Barrymore. First tormented over a landline with horror movie trivia, she is then dispatched by the knife-wielding Ghostface. 

5. Red Eye (2005): … and she gave me a pen

Not so much terrifying as utterly nerve-rending: Rachel McAdams’s heroine tries to exit a crowded plane to escape Cillian

Murphy’s ticked-off terrorist. Why is he ticked-off? Because McAdams just rammed a novelty pen into his trachea. The Notebook, it ain’t.

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