Reviewing & Ranking the Scream Franchise

“I’m Sidney Prescott; of course I have a gun.”

My favorite horror franchise gets a fifth entry:

A quick ranking of the previous movies:

1. (tie) Scream (1996) – Referential meta masterpiece that also manages to be terrifying in its own right, featuring a killer killer(s) reveal for the ages. And Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott is simply one of my favorite characters ever.

1. (tie) Scream 2 (1997) – The reveal of the killer(s) might not be on par with the previous movie, but the incredible set pieces, humor, and terrifying twists elevate this sequel to be just as good as the first one.

2. Scream 4 (2011) – Everyone talks about the clever opening, but the killer(s) and their motives really make this movie work for me. The fourth installment took into consideration trends in horror and technology since the previous movies, resulting in a worthy return to the franchise.

3. Scream 3 (2000) – Scheduling issues, script rewrites, and (for me) a problematic actor resulted in the worst film in the franchise to date, but even so, there is still enough to enjoy that I continue to include this third installment in my annual rewatch. The nail-biting cold open (“Wait a minute. You are Cotton, aren’t you? Oh my God, I am talking to Cotton Weary. I can’t believe this.”), the clever return of a (dead) favorite, the fax machine scene, the (nearly too) late arrival of Sidney Prescott, and Patrick Dempsey are all highlights.

I can’t wait for Scream (2022)!