Showdowns

Wes Craven Vs. John Carpenter: Who Is the Ultimate Master of Horror?

Who has the Fresher movies, bigger box office, and more terrifying moments? It's our bloodiest battle yet.

by | October 14, 2020 | Comments

One gave us Michael Myers and the Thing, the other Freddy Krueger and Ghostface – and both gave us many, many sleepless nights. But who is the king of making us quake? In our latest episode of Vs., we’re slicing and dicing the numbers to find out who is the true master of horror: John Carpenter or Wes Craven. Will it be the famed director – and killer composer – who essentially defined the slasher genre with Halloween? Or will it be Craven, who let us know that danger lurked under the stairs, in the last house on the left, and in our dreams? Our favorite Final Boy and Rotten Tomatoes contributing editor Mark Ellis is examining Tomatometer and Audience Score data, box office performance, iconic moments and characters from their films, to make a call. And if you don’t agree, have at him: He’s just putting on some Jiffy Pop right now and his phone number is… we mean, let us know in the comments!


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.


Thumbnail image: © New Line, © First Run Features

Tag Cloud

Sci-Fi Mindy Kaling Disney streaming service Captain marvel Brie Larson Watching Series Universal Pictures singing competition dreamworks scene in color series Year in Review die hard new zealand king arthur debate NBC ABC Family Fox News Endgame Native toronto cancelled television Walt Disney Pictures Action ID TruTV Crunchyroll golden globe awards stoner Ellie Kemper documentaries Best and Worst theme song The Academy natural history mutant Mudbound elevated horror Food Network tv talk E3 heist movie Reality summer TV preview MSNBC new york Rock Sony Pictures award winner twilight SXSW social media South by Southwest Film Festival indiana jones Indigenous a nightmare on elm street TV movies Drama Hallmark Christmas movies composers USA Network Black History Month french Film Festival 24 frames what to watch Chernobyl franchise vs. Grammys critics Western casting comics period drama Prime Video slasher Musical sequels suspense HBO Go breaking bad revenge italian Acorn TV renewed TV shows scene in color film series Image Comics BET Awards AMC Plus superhero The Walking Dead 90s australia asian-american Best Actor 007 psycho wonder woman AMC Star Trek TCA discovery rt labs fast and furious Sneak Peek Horror cars concert NBA video women talk show IFC Films Superheroes Awards Tour Paramount Pictures Comedy chucky travel Teen Winners strong female leads See It Skip It movie Lucasfilm Discovery Channel summer preview Music parents First Reviews blaxploitation Trivia GoT DirecTV Warner Bros. feel good streaming movies 2021 space science fiction criterion doctor who medical drama spider-verse Funimation sag awards joker Apple TV Plus APB children's TV spain 2018 adenture Apple nbcuniversal monster movies 73rd Emmy Awards ESPN Instagram Live 94th Oscars nature Mary Poppins Returns docuseries olympics Amazon mockumentary MCU TCA 2017 name the review Summer blockbusters Hear Us Out rotten movies we love Film hollywood black comedy richard e. Grant HBO mission: impossible dogs christmas movies Paramount Plus El Rey Legendary Nominations Tags: Comedy independent marvel comics godzilla game of thrones series Polls and Games cancelled TV shows comic books historical drama rotten Calendar BET TBS 93rd Oscars hidden camera halloween razzies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina scary DC streaming service First Look james bond football TLC halloween tv IMDb TV LGBTQ Universal Pixar Sony Turner Classic Movies television Holidays critic resources Broadway canceled TV shows Quiz Fantasy Ovation dark Awards scene in color Rocky festivals obi wan spy thriller Masterpiece Shondaland trophy political drama Pride Month Binge Guide finale comic book movies Elton John FOX cops WarnerMedia Tubi History satire 71st Emmy Awards marvel cinematic universe cults robots Extras batman Star Wars Celebration Rom-Com The Walt Disney Company latino Spike witnail DC Universe Martial Arts HBO Max Epix Pet Sematary free movies Logo DGA cartoon Rocketman anime summer TV Exclusive Video 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards TV renewals X-Men Infographic SDCC 45 VOD American Society of Cinematographers blockbuster Baby Yoda Thanksgiving Disney+ Disney Plus zombies films GIFs Freeform popular remakes Syfy book adaptation technology worst hispanic heritage month sopranos Marvel Studios cancelled Marvel The Witch Lifetime Marathons prank superman Wes Anderson directors Best Director VICE Spectrum Originals E! psychological thriller Heroines kaiju LGBT 2015 Creative Arts Emmys SXSW 2022 documentary spanish language HFPA stop motion Stephen King Best Picture werewolf trailers spanish Fall TV TIFF hispanic Schedule deadpool Family action-comedy Amazon Prime Video YouTube Premium Star Wars rt labs critics edition disaster high school Mary Tyler Moore TV One posters legend Shudder CW Seed Pop TV cats ABC Signature MGM golden globes sitcom all-time Fargo reboot international Reality Competition ITV dc reviews Starz pirates of the caribbean archives USA Disney A&E The Purge Spring TV Super Bowl scary movies TCA Winter 2020 Countdown 2019 teaser king kong binge festival TV lord of the rings Emmy Nominations Columbia Pictures CBS All Access 21st Century Fox sequel Netflix Christmas movies adaptation Interview PlayStation 79th Golden Globes Awards MTV TNT Musicals The CW Superheroe Lifetime Christmas movies aapi Dark Horse Comics Cosplay target Hallmark DC Comics scorecard Character Guide Lionsgate aliens CBS Ghostbusters new star wars movies kids RT History Song of Ice and Fire 72 Emmy Awards Classic Film National Geographic genre Geeked Week universal monsters Showtime anthology romantic comedy PBS Pop FX on Hulu 4/20 police drama boxoffice Mary poppins Photos 99% Travel Channel cancelled TV series spider-man Alien NYCC Video Games Hulu GLAAD unscripted obituary YouTube Red Valentine's Day The Arrangement FX game show RT21 miniseries animated Apple TV+ BAFTA Fox Searchlight Sundance Hollywood Foreign Press Association Podcast CNN indie crime thriller sports interviews dexter young adult Neflix Women's History Month Cartoon Network war telelvision Kids & Family A24 Anna Paquin Christmas Turner rom-coms Academy Awards foreign Esquire Amazon Studios royal family WGN live action basketball broadcast boxing Biopics video on demand Comic Book streaming book Oscar Trophy Talk Tomatazos fresh true crime facebook zombie Paramount supernatural mcc Election Marvel Television Oscars hist OneApp dragons art house Disney Plus kong Trailer Cannes thriller Red Carpet Britbox Comedy Central Tumblr child's play Premiere Dates Sundance TV Vudu classics black biography Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt comedies 2017 politics Tarantino stand-up comedy emmy awards adventure IFC 2016 PaleyFest Adult Swim worst movies harry potter Netflix Black Mirror canceled ghosts live event news venice green book crime drama Best Actress BBC America comiccon Toys jurassic park nfl Comics on TV transformers BBC One mob OWN Winter TV zero dark thirty crime YA ABC ratings Paramount Network BBC slashers Bravo TV Land based on movie CMT cinemax japanese Holiday Peacock Amazon Prime gangster crossover streamig SundanceTV Arrowverse Country Mystery comic VH1 screenings New York Comic Con YouTube saw toy story comic book movie Pacific Islander Tokyo Olympics best dceu Opinion japan spinoff romance laika serial killer dramedy Nat Geo quibi TCA Awards Television Critics Association 20th Century Fox Emmys Nickelodeon Set visit diversity justice league President 1990s Box Office San Diego Comic-Con 2020 target scene in color know your critic docudrama versus Sundance Now ViacomCBS Animation Certified Fresh screen actors guild Disney Channel jamie lee curtis Pirates cooking rt archives Television Academy south america movies Focus Features Comic-Con@Home 2021 TCM vampires biopic Crackle leaderboard Writers Guild of America FXX Avengers