Ranking the “Scream” movies from Best to Worst

“What’s YOUR favorite scary movie?”

A timeless question for sure and the start of it all in the popular Scream franchise. With Courtney Cox’s recent announcement about confirming her role in Scream 5, I thought it would the perfect time to re-visit the other Scream films and rank them from best to worst.

There’s just something about Scream. It has it all. It nails the comedy, it gives us plenty of slasher horror scares, and it is just one of those movies you can watch over and over again. Trust me, it would alarm you how much I have actually watched these movies…

Please note some spoilers are ahead.

Without any further delay, let’s find out exactly how I ranked the Scream films and why.


Scream (1996)

Images courtesy of Miramax

The original film is the best one by far. It is actually my favorite movie of all time and I think that it really set the bar for slasher movies in the 90’s and the early 2000’s. The opening scene was so shocking the first time I watched it. I remember thinking that Drew Barrymore was going to be the star of the movie and then so much for that.

However, Neve Campbell was the perfect Final Girl as Sidney Prescott. I pretty much loved every single character in this movie and I still think that Tatum deserved better.

Matthew Lillard and Skeet Ulrich also made quite the tag team and I will be forever woozy watching them.

Scream 1
Images courtesy of Miramax

There’s just something about the original movie that stands the test of time for me. I find something new every single time I watch it and I am so impressed by all of the clever Easter eggs and references sprinkled in to give fans a sense of nostalgia while creating something iconic at the same time.

Standout Death: 

Drew’s shocking demise in the opening scene of the movie is probably one of the most brutal and violent deaths. It still upsets me when I watch it now, but Tatum’s encounter with the garage door was also really memorable.

Scream Tatum
Images courtesy of Miramax

I mean, she did want to be in the sequel…


Scream 2 (1997)

Scream 2 Movie
Images courtesy of Miramax

The sequel actually really holds up. There is even a hilarious class discussion where sequels come up. It’s hard to live up to the original, but Scream 2 does a fantastic job of keeping up the pace.

We get a new environment for Sidney in this film. She’s in college now, which was a welcomed change as we got to meet new characters and say hello to some familiar faces as well. A copy cat killer is on the loose with the release of the movie, “Stab,” which actually ends up starring Tori Spelling. Well played!

There is a sense of maturity in the second film and some shocking reveals as well. Mickey, the creepy film student played by Timothy Olyphant, is a welcomed addition. We get a roommate for Sidney, a boyfriend, and some sorority sisters thrown into the mix. The second film really doesn’t hold anything back and wasn’t afraid to kill off a main character…even though I wish he would have stuck around.

Standout Death: 

Sarah Michelle Gellar’s demise was unfortunate, but this scene was pretty epic. I still yell at the television screen and tell her to use her Slayer strength, but SMG doesn’t always luck out in horror movies…

Scream 2 Sarah Michelle Gellar
Images courtesy of Miramax

We still love seeing her anyway though!


Scream 4 (2011)

Scream 4
Images courtesy of Miramax

It’s been quite some time since we checked in on Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, but Ghostface is back and ready to shed some new blood. We get a new set of characters in the fourth film and are introduced to Sidney’s cousin, Jill, played by Emma Roberts.

As the familiar kills return, everyone is danger…including Sidney. We get a shocking twist in this film that made it worth the watch and a lesson about not “fucking with the original.” Well said!

Standout Death: 

The word “clear” comes to mind for sure. Jill’s death was quite “shocking.” I also thought that Kirby deserved a lot better and really showed off her knowledge about horror films. There are some theories floating around that she could still be alive (similar to Stu) since we never actually saw her dead, but either way, she deserved better!


Scream 3 (2000)

Scream 3
Images courtesy of Miramax

Yeah, so on to the third film. It is my least favorite in the franchise. Courtney Cox’s micro bangs may have been the real horror of this film, but the third film always just fell a little flat. Part of that probably has a lot to do with the change in writer, but Scream 3 does have some entertaining moments.

I loved that we were able to see Randy on video with his rules about trilogies…even though Scream moved past the three films. There are some comedic moments between Gale and fake Gale along with Dewey, but the film just didn’t have the same balance of comedy and slasher fun that I was accustomed to.

Standout Death: 

The explosion killing Tom was kind of shocking, but overall the death scenes were all just kind of okay in this movie…

Overall, the Scream franchise is iconic for me and it always will be. Let’s not forget that we also got a short-lived television series on MTV. The first two seasons were actually pretty decent, but the third one was all over the map. However, I do know some fans who actually enjoyed it and there were some fun cameos.

Scream 5 is looking to release some time in 2021, which would be the 25th anniversary of the films. I am looking forward to seeing it, but I also think that we need to shake things up and kill off another main character.

Our Final Girl, Sidney Prescott, has certainly been through a lot over the years, but she will continue to be my favorite Final Girl of all time and I will always root for her.

Which Scream films did YOU enjoy most?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on the Scream films in the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

I live in Long Island, NY. I am obsessed with TV, movies, reading and writing! My top TV shows are Lost, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Prison Break, Charmed, Veronica Mars, and Beverly Hills 90210. My dog, Honey, loves TV too!

2 thoughts on “Ranking the “Scream” movies from Best to Worst”

  1. I was in high school when Scream came out and I saw it in one of those classic old theaters that usually went out of business once multiplexes started getting built. This one just happened to wall off the balcony and turn the upstairs into two smaller theaters. Anyway, the decor of the place was always creepy when I was a kid and there was a gargoyle looking thing sitting in a box seat to the upper right side of the screen. I swear that things eyes glowed. I saw The Blair Witch Project there, too… making that movie 10 times scarier than it really was. I really need to see this series again, though I completely agree with your order. Other than seeing Scream 4 when it was released, I’m pretty sure the original is the only one I’ve seen in the last decade.

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