Today I am back with another horror franchise ranking! If you wish to see all of the ones I’ve posted thus far, click here. As we all know by now, the latest Scream movie hit theatres last month and super fans were overjoyed to see a lot of the original actors reprise their former roles. I die-hard love this series. It is extremely meta; purposefully pointing out the rules of scary films and poking fun at itself. Each installment features a group of friends, targeted by a masked killer named Ghostface. There is always a big reveal at the end and plenty of victims along the way. The first four were directed by Wes Craven but sadly, he passed away before getting a chance to work on the reboot. I’m going to list them from best to worst. Without further ado, let’s get into it! Spoilers ahead!
In first place, we have the original. The one that started it all. In 1996, this epic slasher was born. A year after her mother’s death, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and her friends, begin receiving strange ominous phone calls from a person who threatens to kill them. After one teenage girl is killed, the police struggle to discover who is responsible, focusing first on Sidney’s boyfriend Billy and then Sidney’s father. As the media begins to swarm over the story, Sidney struggles to trust everyone around her. It’s fun, campy and incredibly meta. Scream does not take itself too seriously but at the same time, the deaths are really intense. There is a lot of blood and gore. I love the twist ending with two Ghostface killers, instead of just one. Not to mention, Sidney punching Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) in the face and the adorable introduction of Dewey (David Arquette). It also has one of the best opening scenes, featuring Drew Barrymore. Furthermore, Wes Craven himself makes a quick cameo as the school’s janitor, dressed in a Freddy Kreuger costume. It is top of most people’s lists for a reason. What’s your favourite scary movie?
2.) Scream 2
In second place, we have the sequel. Two years after the events of the first film, Sidney Prescott has graduated high-school and is studying at college. She is surrounded by friends and even a new boyfriend. The past seems to be behind her, until a copycat Ghostface begins a new murderous rampage. There are so many fantastic moments in this movie. The opening scene with the premiere of the new Stab movie is gob-smacking. Watching Jada Pinkett Smith’s character get stabbed to death in the middle of a cinema, surrounded by people dressed as Ghostface, had me gasping the first time I saw it. I also love the stand-off at the end in the auditorium, where once again, we are presented with two killers. They were definitely going for a Friday the 13th reference, having Billy Loomis’s mother as the villain. My only critique is I wish Randy Meeks had survived. He was the expert on horror movies. I was so crushed when he died. I wish I cared more about the character of Cotton Weary but he was just a creep. Overall, a solid follow up to the original and much beloved by me.
3.) Scream (5)
In third place, we have what I call like to call Scream 5. This is the latest film in the franchise. I was lucky enough to see an early screening of it with some friends and boy, did we all love it! Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked Woodsboro, a present-day killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past. Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers and Dewey return, to help a new generation of victims survive. You can tell this installment was not directed by Wes Craven. It’s much darker than all the other films. Not to mention, the gore and blood spatter was full on. There were some very violent deaths in this one and I was not mad at it. It’s probably the most self-aware movie in the series yet. It references so many horror tropes and previous films in the franchise. Hardcore fans will be very happy. They even play the same song: Red Right Hand by Nick Cave, that is featured across the saga. I will say, it hurt so much seeing Dewey die. I was worried one of the OG’s wouldn’t make it and I was right. However, it more than made up for it with a great reveal at the end and fantastic opening scene. It truly impressed me and I’m so glad it exists.
4.) Scream 4
In fourth place, we have Scream 4. It has been many years since the Ghostface killer cut a deadly path through the town of Woodsboro. In order to get over the trauma of those horrific events, Sidney Prescott has written a self-help book. She returns to her birth place for the book tour, and reconnects with old friends Gale Weathers and Sheriff Dewey. However, Sidney’s arrival also sparks the revival of the masked murderer, putting her and everyone she loves, in danger. I didn’t connect with this one as much but I did love the character of Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and the scene where she believes she won the horror movie trivia and survived. Ugh, so good! The twist ending was also quite shocking. I did not anticipate that Emma Roberts (Sidney’s cousin) was behind it all. It was the lowest grossing film in the franchise but definitely wasn’t my least favourite.
5.) Scream 3
In last place, we have Scream 3. Hear me out before you protest! This movie is lowest on my list because of Courtney Cox’s awful haircut. Just kidding! Although let’s be real, it was horrible. This installment in the franchise takes place in Hollywood, where Stab 3 is being shot, with Gale Weathers and Dewey working on set as advisors. Unfortunately, a killer decides to off the cast in order of the screenplay and only Sidney Prescott, now in hiding, can solve the mystery. Let’s start off with what I liked. I enjoyed the film within a film vibe. It was fun seeing the ‘actors’ playing the characters we love and doing it so tongue in cheek. The reappearance of Randy in video form made my heart happy as well. Now for the negatives. Keep in mind, these are minor issues, as I’m such a lover of the series as a whole. For one, the reveal was very soap opera-ish. I know it was meant to be, but for the first time, the killer didn’t feel believable. It just felt dramatic for drama’s sake. Secondly, we learn in this movie that Sidney’s mother was raped by the director of Stab 3. This was very off-putting because in the credits of the actual film, Harvey Weinstein’s name appears. Knowing what he did, it seemed quite tactless to attach him to a story with the same indiscretions. I just didn’t love it as much as the others but it was still great.
Thank you so much for reading! Do you agree/disagree with my rankings? How would you list them? Have you seen the new Scream film yet?
Peace & Love xoxo