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Ranking The Scream films


"What's your favorite scary movie?"

Simple, yet so effective. One of the most significant lines in horror history.

Today is Halloween and 2023's Scream VI had the highest-grossing opening weekend out of any movie in the franchise. The Scream movies are alive and well.

The success and quality of "Scream V" and "Scream VI" have confirmed thoughts that I've had for years.

Scream is the highest-quality horror franchise out there.

How many sixth movies can you say are good? There are few. Return of the Jedi doesn't count. The Star Wars Prequels also don't count.

You have to go to Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince (Which is probably the weakest in the original franchise). Fast & Furious 6 was successful, and Mission Impossible Fallout was arguably the best in the series.

Most film brands would pray for an opportunity to make six films, let alone it being good. I would argue Scream VI is the best sixth film in a horror franchise. Doesn't have much competition, but you get the point.

The Curse of Michael Myers, Freddy's Dead, Hellraiser: Hellseeker, Saw VI, really?

Friday the 13th: Jason Lives is fun; it's not a quality film. Try taking some shots while munching on popcorn to Jason Lives with friends. It will be a night to remember.

There are popular, entertaining franchises. Scream contains many characteristics of fun movies that help keep it fresh.

1. Effective Suspense.

2. Self-Aware Comedy.

3. Creative gory (but not too gory) kills.

4. Great, likable characters in every movie.

5. A unique, charismatic killer.

These are all things the Scream franchise has. Is the franchise perfect? Not in the slightest, you can find flaws in every single one, but there is a certain quality in each one that deserves attention. Here are my rankings of the Scream Films.

6. Scream 3 (2000)

This is the worst film in the franchise. However, I have some defenses for it. So, like Ghostface, I got my bulletproof vest.

The flaws in this movie are not necessarily all its fault.

The tragedies at Columbine High School in 1999 happened close to the production of this film. Therefore, this is the least violent in the franchise because of the time's sensitive topic of movie violence.

It is also easily the most boring, whatever of a killer reveal. The Scream franchise has always been known for its meta-comedy; however, this movie sometimes gets goofy.

The moment I always look back at is when Ghostface, in slow motion, throws his knife and hits Dewie in the head. The way it's executed is alarmingly cheesy.

Sydney also is trying to get away from the world, but the visions of her mother in ghost form are not as entertaining as they thought and are just outright a poorly executed idea that's given way too much attention.

The new characters are also annoying, minus the addition of Patrick Dempsey, who is always fun to see.

You also have no idea who the killer is, which is another thing that has to receive praise. These films are "Who done it's?" so the fact you can't put a finger on anyone makes the story more engaging.

The movie's opening is also clever. However, I don't buy the voice-changing stuff. Despite being ridiculous, it allows for some unique and surprising moments in the story.

Despite the issues I have, the movie is primarily tight, as Wes Craven films are. It keeps moving, the characters you love are back, and Ghostface is still an excellent villain.

Hollywood's setting seemed inevitable due to the amount of movie knowledge in these films, but it's cool to see moments like Ghostface popping out of the hanging costumes or the climax in the LA mansion. The feel of movies is around, and that's cool for someone who loves the art form.

We even get some cool cameos like Kevin Smith and Carrie Fisher, who give one of the movie's funniest lines, talking fictionally about getting a part under George Lucas.

Speaking of which, that has yet to age well due to the times, we're living in post-Harvey Weinstein, who also had a heavy hand in these movies. Ouch!

Despite its issues, the movie is dumb entertainment which you can say each horror franchise has, and most are just dumb and boring, which this is not.

5. Scream 4 (2011)

Keep in mind this movie is way better than Scream 3.

When I first saw Scream IV, I loved it. I still do love watching it. I just remembered how terrible the new characters were, except for Kirby.

Plus, it was believed that Kirby died in the film for the longest time, which was a huge bummer. It's better that I know she lives now.

Scream 4 also feels like an outcast. I don't love the way this movie looks. It's super clean and bright for some reason, and it's the only one that looks like that. Ghostface also sounds different for some reason even though it's still the iconic voice of Roger Jackson. I guess you can say it's due to a ten-year difference from 5 & 3 so that makes some sense.

I like the story of Sydney coming back to Woodsboro. It's great to see how the original characters have evolved, and nail-biting sequences make you wonder if this is where their luck runs out.

Ghostface is cut-throat in this movie, and it was a nice welcome back to how much of a disgusting killer he could be after the third installment.

It's funny, it's nostalgic, and it's again paced very well. The ending is unlike any other Scream film, as well as the opening.

One of my most significant issues is Emma Roberts, who is severely miscast. She acts so bored during the entire runtime.

These are not issues that tank the movie; the film could've been great. Instead, we got a solid installment which is excellent for the fourth film in a slasher franchise.

4. Scream VI (2023)

I thoroughly enjoyed Scream VI.

It's on the same level as the next two I'll get to later. I've only seen it once, so that's important to highlight.

The franchise continues to be fresh with its humor, suspense, and gore. It pulls the audience in different directions with its story.

The main element that makes this movie unique is its setting. Some have argued they could've done more with it, but this one feels different from the others because of how individual events play out in the most populated city in the world.

You learn that no one cares.

As a resident of New Jersey who has been around New York City constantly, the filmmakers did a great job.

Neve Campbell is not in this one, but it works because there are only so many times Sydney can run away from Ghostface. Even in the fifth installment, you can see that she's completely unfazed by him.

She's one of my favorite movie protagonists, and I'm saddened by the reasons behind the scenes why she's not in this movie, but this one didn't need her.

You grow to love the new characters even more in this one, and that was very refreshing because Scream 4 failed to do that, minus the one who comes back for this one, Kirby. Great to see her back.

Also, Courtney Cox, sidelined in the last one, is full-on Gale Weathers here.

My biggest issue is strictly the ending. I couldn't help but be slightly disappointed at the reveals and how the writers executed it.

It's alright; it doesn't quite stick the landing after a nail-biting ride.

3. Scream (2022)

(Scream 5 as most call it)

Scream V, which is what they should've called it was an excellent return to form after the last... well... return to form.

I like to call Scream V the Force Awakens of the franchise. Remind fans of why they love these movies with a bunch of fan service, but have a purpose to that fan service.

I enjoyed this one a lot more after multiple re-watches. I enjoyed the new characters, the kills, and the reveal at the end. It also has some of the most emotional moments in the franchise, which I won't spoil.

The intro & the ending are both the same, yet also unique. The new protagonist Sam Carpenter has an interesting nugget to her character, which gives the audience something completely different and badass.

This time, the reveal of the killers goes a little deeper than just a person behind a mask.

It is too much like one and even four, but this one grew on me, and I liked it a lot the first time.

As time has gone on, I've grown to really appreciate the ending. While strange at first, it was the perfect way to have this film stand on its own.

2. Scream 2 (1997)

I don't get the Scream 2 hate. I've always loved it.

Today it still feels outcasted.

I would compare this to The Lost World Jurrasic Park. In 1997 audiences were expecting the first Scream movie again. They got something different here.

Just because a sequel to a film isn't as good as the first one doesn't mean it's a bad movie. This movie is a ton of fun.

Another clever opening here with Jada-Pinkett Smith getting cut in the worst movie theater audience of all time. It's horrific and terrifying, even though the character was annoying. You feel so bad for her.

However, it's funny that she's still as annoying as the character in the movie in 2023, so I guess you can say it's aged well.

The college campus setting is excellent here. I enjoy the conversations the new characters have. They may not be the original characters, but they're not annoying or unlikeable.

This movie has two of my favorite moments in any Scream movie. The Gale Weathers chase in the studio, and Sydney climbing over passed out Ghostface in the car.

It's also beautiful to see the chemistry between Sydney and her new boyfriend Derek, played by Jerry O'Connell. What happens between them is utterly sweet, sympathetic, and sad. It's a storyline that has grown on me since I've gotten older.

I also enjoy the inclusion of Cotton Weary, played by Liev Schreiber. It adds more tension and suspicion to the mystery. Also, incredible scene with Randy in the park. Ghostface doesn't just work at night.

Top-tier Scream stuff here; check it out again sometime.

1. Scream (1996)

The original captured lightning in a bottle.

Most people know that the original Scream is a good movie. It doesn't get the credit it deserves as being one of the best horror films ever made. It's on the level of the best of the best out there.

Just because it's a slasher that pokes fun at other slashers doesn't mean it shouldn't get the credit of a "Halloween," a Nightmare on Elm Street," a "Psycho," or an "Exorcist."

This film is Wes Craven's best, and he is a mastermind of horror so that's saying a lot. It's funny, it's scary, it's devastating, and it's satisfying.

There are great characters, notable villains, a great script, and a great director. Performances that will stick in your mind for a long time. Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy, Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and who can forget the fabulous Matthew Lillard.

We need more Matthew Lillard in movies, please. Hopefully with the financial success of "Five Nights at Freddy's," we will get them. He's great even in small stuff too, like Ed Burns' "The Groomsman."

I tear up when Casey's mother screams in terror as she stares at the horror in front of her. The music building up to it, it's all incredible. Easily one of the best opening scenes to a movie ever. I only wish I could've experienced it for the first time in a theater.

The reveal is stunning if you've never seen it before, and what happens afterward just keeps going on and on. The film throws the comedy away and becomes terrifying again.

Scream never gets old, and there is a reason twenty-seven years later, we're still afraid when that landline rings.

Twenty-seven years later, we are still screaming.


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