Counting down the top 10 scream queens who make us scream year after year.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and ghouls, step right up because today we’re delving deep into the top 10 scream queens to grace our screens. These fierce and fabulous actresses have given us the creeps, chills, and goosebumps like no one else. Grab your popcorn, turn off the lights, and prepare to meet the top 10 scream queens and final girls who haunt your nightmares in their most hair-raising roles.
You can also listen to host Chris Vetrano’s take on his picks for the top 10 scream queens in a special Halloween episode of The Gist podcast. The episode features the top 10 queens below, plus Chris’ unique take on why these ladies outrank the rest. Including Jamie Lee Curits, who is noticeably absent from this list. So tune into the Scream Queens edition of podcast to find out more.
Top 10 Scream Queens
10. Samara Weaving: Hide and Seek Extraordinaire
We kick off our list with the talented Samara Weaving. You might remember her from the 2019 dark comedy-horror film, “Ready or Not.” In the movie, Samara plays Grace, a bride who unknowingly marries into a homicidal board game dynasty. The result? A wedding night you’ll never forget, filled with high-stakes hide-and-seek, deadly games, and plenty of screams! Plus, Weaving is our first kill in the sixth edition of the beloved “Scream” franchise.
9. Mia Goth: Spa Days Turned Nightmare
In the mysterious world of “A Cure for Wellness” (2016), Mia Goth takes us on a horrifying journey into a sinister health spa. As Hannah, she brings an eerie and captivating performance that will make you question your own health regimen and the water you drink. This is one spa day you definitely want to miss! Since then, Goth has firmly planted herself on the top 10 scream queens list. With her roles in “Infinity Pool” and the three part film franchise that includes “Pearl,” “X” and the soon-to-be released “MaXXXine,” Mia Goth is a genre regular.
8. Emma Roberts: Sorority Slasher Shenanigans
As the aptly named Chanel Oberlin in “Scream Queens,” Emma Roberts adds a delightful twist of campy humor to the horror genre. In this TV series, she’s a sorority queen bee who knows how to dish out terror with style. Sorority life is supposed to be all about sisterhood and fun, but in Chanel’s world, it’s more about surviving the next wave of murders with a touch of sass. Roberts is also a series regular in the “American Horror Story” tv series, playing a myriad of final girls and creepy ladies.
7. Jenna Ortega: The New Face of Fear
Jenna Ortega stepped into the iconic “Scream” series in 2021, breathing new life into the classic horror franchise. As Tara Carpenter, she kept us on the edge of our seats, suspecting everyone and everything. You’ll find yourself yelling at the screen, “Don’t go in there!” as she battles a new generation of Ghostface. As the franchise rages on, she may land herself firmly in the top half of the top 10 scream queens list in years to come.
6. Jennifer Love Hewitt: I Know What You Did…
Jennifer Love Hewitt’s performance in “I Know What You Did Last Summer” in 1997 introduced us to a new level of fear. As Julie James, she became the target of a relentless fisherman-hook-wielding stalker, giving us plenty of reasons to double-check our rearview mirrors. Her iconic screams echo in our nightmares, as she returned for the film’s sequel alongside Brandy.
5. Courteney Cox: Unmasking the Truth
Courteney Cox is no stranger to the world of scares. We’ll always remember her as Gale Weathers in the iconic “Scream” franchise. As a fearless journalist, she’d stop at nothing to get her story, even if it meant coming face-to-face with Ghostface. Her portrayal adds a captivating layer of intrigue and terror to the series. When you think of iconic horror movie characters, there’s no way Gale Weathers isn’t on the list thanks to Cox’s iconic lines and portrayal.
4. Sigourney Weaver: The Original Space Scream Queen
Before she was known for battling extraterrestrial horrors, Sigourney Weaver proved her scream queen status in “Alien” (1979). As Ellen Ripley, she fought against acid-drooling xenomorphs in the cold, dark depths of space. Her fearless performance turned her into an instant icon of the genre.
3. Sarah Paulson: Master of Horror Anthologies
Sarah Paulson is the reigning queen of “American Horror Story.” She’s brought to life a multitude of chilling characters in the anthology series, from a Supreme witch to conjoined twins to an asylum inmate. Her captivating versatility keeps us coming back for more, season after season, which is why she lands on this chilling list of leading ladies.
2. Sarah Michelle Gellar: Slaying More Than Vampires
Before she was known for her vampire-slaying skills in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Sarah Michelle Gellar had us clinging to our seats in “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1997) and “The Grudge” (2004). Her performances as Helen Shivers and Karen Davis showcased her versatility and the ability to keep us terrified. And her portrayal as Buffy is as iconic as it gets.
1. Neve Campbell: The Original Scream Queen
Last but definitely not least, we have Neve Campbell, the original and the best scream queen of the “Scream” franchise. As Sidney Prescott, she kept us guessing and screaming through four films, proving that surviving horror is as much about brains as it is about guts. Her iconic role in the franchise has made her synonymous with scream queens everywhere and leaves fans wanting more from her in future films.
So there you have it, the top 10 scream queens who’ve turned our dreams into nightmares, and our movie nights into scream-fests. These ladies have left an indelible mark on the world of horror and continue to haunt our memories. The next time you’re in the mood for a good old scream, just remember these fearless leading ladies who made us shriek in delight and terror. Happy screaming!