What exactly makes a Scream Queen? Is it someone who has appeared in many horror films? What about an actress that made 1 horror film that she gave a great performance to go along with a great film? Many people will say you need a few horror films to be a Scream Queen and that’s fair enough, but what about if most of those films are terrible? So with this list I decided that it doesn’t matter if you have 1 credit or 100. All that matters is quality of the film and performance.
I know some will disagree with me including actresses that aren’t really known for horror, but again it’s about quality more than anything else. There were several actresses left out that I really wanted to include such as Daniela Doria, Zora Kerova, Lorraine De Selle and they almost made the cut, but in the end decided against it.
(For some reason I am having trouble with uploads so if any pictures don’t show sorry about that.
15. Hayden Panettiere
Notable films- Scream 4
I know many will disagree with my placing of Hayden at number 15 and I could have placed several other actresses here, but I went with Hayden because Kirby in Scream 4 is just awesome! A hot chick who loves horror. As much as I liked Scream 4 without Hayden it might have been a little less.
14. Franca Stoppi
Notable Films- Beyond the Darkness, The Other Hell
Her character Iris was downright creepy in Beyond the Darkness and while that may be her most notable credit (she has done other horror flicks) Iris is one of the more memorable characters and Stoppi more than deserving.
13. Marilyn Burns
Notable films- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Like the above she has a couple more credits, but TCM is all she needs. I easily could have rated her higher. Besides a great performance the hell that she went through while filming alone gets her on this list. As Sally, Marilyn Burns was great and sure I could fill this up with other actresses with tons of credits, but none of those actresses gave as strong a performance or were in as good a film.
12. Lisa Wilcox
Notable films- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 & 5
I always preferred Alice over Nancy. That’s just me, but for certain purposes I couldn’t rate Lisa Wilcox higher. I just love how Alice starts and what she becomes. From shy nerd to kick ass chick ready to kick Freddy’s ass
11. Corteney Cox
Notable films- Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3, Scream 4
Nobody can play the bitch like Corteney and rather than wanna see her meet a grisly end you root for her to survive. Her performances are hysterical and she always brings the fun factor to the Scream movies.
10. Cristina Galbo
Notable films- What Have You Done to Solange, The Killer Must Kill Again, Living Dead at Manchester Morgue
One of the most stunning women to grace the screen, in all her films, Cristina not only brings beauty, but something innocent and naive to her performances.
9. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Notable films- I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
I know some will disagree with J. Love on the list and perhaps as high as she rates. What guy wasn’t totally crushing on Jennifer back in the 90s? With her stunning looks, beautiful smile, J. Love brought the super hot girl next door quality to her films.
8. Catriona MacColl
Notable films- City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, House by the Cemetery
Her work with Fulci was great and MacColl brought a lot of class and charm in her work with Lucio Fulci.
7. Heather Langenkamp
Notable films- A Nightmare on Elm Street, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, New Nightmare
I can hear the groans now over the ranking. Nancy is one of the greats for sure and the original Elm Street a masterpiece. Nancy wasn’t like most characters in horror films as she was not only smart, but didn’t need help in taking down Freddy. I’ve always loved the character and how she changed in the series.
6. Edwige Fenech
Notable films- The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, The Case of the Bloody Iris, Strip Nude for Your Killer, Hostel: Part II
Is there any woman more stunning? I think not. Her Giallo work was truly excellent and it didn’t hurt she was always willing to shed her clothes. Edwige is one of my all-time favorites and wanted to rate her even higher.
5. Daria Nicolodi
Notable Films- Deep Red, Inferno, Tenebre, Phenomena, Opera
Her work with Argento is brilliant and at times European horror isn’t always know for strong female characters, but with Deep Red she broke that. Through the years her work with Argento made her a staple in the horror genre and Daria who sadly sometimes gets looked over is a terrific actress.
4. Danielle Harris
Notable Films- Halloween 4, Halloween 5, Halloween, Halloween II, Hatchet II
Danielle is probably the only child actor in a horror film that didn’t get on my nerves. As young Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4 & 5, Danielle gave performances far beyond her years and her work with Rob Zombie in his Halloween films were great. Halloween II she really got to show off her acting range. But she will always be remembered as Jamie Lloyd and dare I say I liked her more than Laurie?
3. Sheila Keith
Notable Films- The House of Whipcord, Frightmare, The Comeback
Sadly an actress that time has forgotten. Her work with Pete Walker is truly amazing. She was downright creepy in House of Whipcord and the Comeback, but Frightmare she was just chilling! Its sad many horror fans don’t mention her as she was a terrific actress and if she doesn’t seriously creep you out something must be wrong with you.
2. Jamie Lee Curtis
Notable Films- Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night, Terror Train, Halloween II, Halloween H20
What can I say about Jamie that hasn’t already been stated before? Her title of the scream queen is more than fitting and deserving as her work in the genre is iconic for a reason. As Laurie Strode she set the bar on the woman in danger role. I often alternate on my top 2 picks since both are more than deserving.
1. Neve Campbell
Notable Films- Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3, Scream 4, The Craft
This might be a surprise to some, but as Sydney, Neve Campbell set the bar for the modern scream queen. She was vulnerable, but not weak as she fights back at every turn. Neve brought this sweet tough innocence to Syd, but when push comes to shove she’ll kick your ass!