Scream Movies Ranked

With the impending release of Scream 6, we take a look back at the series and rank them. What’s YOUR ranking?

Last Updated on April 4, 2023

scream movies ranked

Scream 6 has released to theaters (Check out JimmyO’s review here) so it was time to re-examine our rankings. And wouldn’t you know it, there actually ended up being a fairly big change due to our latest entrant.From its iconic characters to its lines that have entered the cultural zeitgeist, there are few horror franchises as influential as Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson’s meta-slasher series. So let’s take a look back on all of the films and see where they rank. And we’ve got some pretty sweet videos related to each of the movies as well (except the fourth one. Guess we’ll have to change that). So let’s get to it – here are the Scream movies ranked!

5. Scream 3

Ahhh the black sheep of the Scream franchise. Even as the clear worst entry, there’s still a certain charm to the third film. The Hollywood setting (dictated by the Studio after the Columbine shootings) really fits in well with the movie-centric series. Sure, the mismanaged killer and ghost mom portions are a little strange. Plus those Jay and Silent Bob cameos don’t exactly help matters. But this provides us Sydney, Gale and Dewey doing their thing. And, even if it doesn’t work, they connect it with all the films and try to make it feel important.

4. Scream 2

This is probably the most controversial placement of any film on the list and by all means, I don’t consider this to be a bad film. If anything, it just shows how strong the series is that this sequel is so far down the list. Having been released less than a year after the original, it’s a miracle that this film is as good as it is. The tension when Sidney and her roommate Hallie are forced to climb over Ghostface’s seemingly unconscious body is a masterclass. And the way it toys with your expectations set up from the first film is an absolute treat.

The Cast of Scream 4.

4. Scream 4

The Scream series has always been so ahead of the game that they were doing “requels” before they were even a thing. And they masterfully handle the melding of the old characters with the new. A weak opening and a strange Soap Opera lighting effect are really the only drawbacks to the film. Though I will always be in the camp that the film should have ended before the hospital scene. We don’t always need happy, triumphant endings. I think the Scream franchise is more than overdue for a downer.

3. Scream 6

The newest entry may just have the strongest first half of any of the sequels. There are so many interesting new ideas introduced and nearly all of them work. And Ghostface is just plain MEAN here, with some of the most brutal kills of the whole franchise. While it certainly gets a little convoluted and Montreal serves as a pretty weak NYC, the film still provides plenty of satisfying twists and turns. It doesn’t hurt that these characters are just so damn likeable. Plus, the return of Kirby will always be a positive in my book.

2. Scream (2021)

The first Wes Craven-less Scream and it still features all the hallmarks of what makes a great entry in the series. An absolutely stellar opening, with some of the more brutal stabbings on film. I physically wince during some of Ghostface’s kills here. While we may have a weak lead with Sam, that’s more than made up for with our tremendous side characters like the Meeks twins and Richie. And heck, we practically get a second lead that’s Sydney Prescott-levels of empowered with Tara. The usage of the legacy characters feels perfect and, if anything, could have probably done with an even higher body count. But after 6, this entry feels even stronger.

1. Scream

Is this even a surprise? I’m not sure there’s a single person on the planet that would put any other film in the number-one spot. And for good reason: it revolutionized horror. As good as any sequel is, there will never be anything that surpasses the original. Randy Meeks is the embodiment of every horror fan I know (and am) and provides some of the best monologues in slasher history. The deconstruction of slasher films provides one of the greatest twists in all of cinema history, with an absolutely blockbuster third act.

How would you rank the Scream series? Have you seen seen Scream 6 yet? Where would you place it on your list? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for more Scream 6 coverage here on JoBlo.com.

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About the Author

234 Articles Published

Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.