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The Wes Craven Sea Monster Movie We Never Got To See

It's only been a few years since cinema lost Wes Craven, but it's safe to say his absence continues to leave an unfillable void for genre film lovers. Thankfully, the legendary horror director left behind a catalogue of cinematic chillers that would be the envy of any filmmaker. Craven's legacy as one of the greatest horror directors in history is undoubtedly secure with titles like 1972's "The Last House on the Left," 1977's "The Hills Have Eyes," 1984's "A Nightmare on Elm Street," 1988's "The Serpent and the Rainbow," and 1994's "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" (one of the greatest horror movie sequels of all time) to his credit. 

Since the mid-90's, however, Craven has been best known for calling the shots on the critically adored "Scream" franchise. He directed the first four films in the ongoing series about Sydney Prescott's (Neve Campbell) never-ending battle with those who don the famed Ghostface mask. With "Ready or Not" duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett set to carry on that series in Craven's stead, the upcoming fifth chapter of the franchise will go down as just one of many horror films Wes Craven never got to make.

As with virtually every filmmaker who's ever lived, there were actually quite a few films Craven circled in his career that, for one reason or another, just didn't get off the ground with him in the director's chair. One of the more intriguing projects Wes Craven was once attached to would've seen him go full creature feature, hitting the high seas to tell the horrifying tale of a blood-thirsty, tentacled beast.

Wes Craven was ultimately happy he didn't try to tame The Beast

That project was entitled "The Beast," and it would've seen Craven adapting another creature from the deep feature from "Jaws" scribe Peter Benchley. This go round, Benchley told the tale of a giant squid ravaging a small fishing community, and the brave souls who set out to bring the beast's brutal reign to an end.

You're correct in thinking that synopsis sounds an awful lot like "Jaws." And as reported by A Nightmare On Elm Street Films, Craven indeed told Fangoria in the mid '90s that he was happy he didn't direct "The Beast" specifically because he felt the film was a bit too similar in tone and theme to Steven Spielberg's iconic killer shark creeper

"I had mixed feelings about Beast. I saw it as basically Jaws with tentacles," Crazven said. He went on to claim his own love of animals led him to leave "The Beast" well-enough alone, "I'm also very much into animals and I think they've gotten a bum rap. So I wasn't really thrilled with the idea of doing another movie about animals being out to get us, and that we should knock them off."

Craven not landing the director's chair on "The Beast" ended up being quite fortuitous as it never found its way to the big screen. Rather, "The Beast" ended up premiering as a two-part miniseries on NBC a couple of years after Craven flirted with the project. Those who bore witness to "The Beast" can no doubt attest the director's "Jaws with tentacles" characterization really is spot on. They'd likely also tell you the underwhelming sea monster madness would've greatly benefitted from a filmmaker with Craven's unique vision. As it is, "The Beast" remains less "the one that got away" for the great Wes Craven, than "the one he thankfully dodged altogether."