Best Scream Movie

7 Best Scream Movies Watched & Ranked (2023 Updated)

Among the countless horror movies made over the years, one classic film stood out as a timeless masterpiece — The Scream. 

The Scream revolutionized the slasher subgenre with Wes Craven's brilliant direction and Kevin Williamson's exceptional script, producing five more slasher sequels and one TV series. 

In this article, we will rank the best Scream movie installments and see which came out as the best. 

Top 7 Scream Movies Ranked From Worst to Best

7. Scream: The TV Series (2015)

Scream The TV Series Killer Reveal

Rating: 🍿🍿🍿

Scream Level: 4

Why We Love It:

I know this TV adaptation must be taken as it is. It has nothing to do with the movies, but as a super fan of the franchise, I have to include it here. 

It's enjoyable, packed with unexpected twists, likable characters, and decent writing. Although the mask put me off at the beginning of season 1, I decided to pick up on the story later, and it's worth it. 

The meta humor and thrill of discovering the killer's identity is still present, paying homage to the original horror franchise. However, I find it lacking the thrill of a killer reveal, and it always seemed to have a happy ending.

6. Scream 3 (2000)

Scream 3  Killer

Rating: 🍿🍿🍿

Box Office Result: over $161,000,000 (worldwide) 

Scream Level: 3

Why We Love It:

Despite earning a little more than other Scream installments, fans hailed Scream 3 as the weakest link and the worst in the franchise. 

Watching the third installment right after its two predecessors highlights how the plot points feel forced to the point of being silly. The film explores the origins of Ghostface but is less tense, losing the charm that the franchise has already established. 

It still managed some witty lines and well-executed scenes but relied heavily on clichés. 

Besides, this one presents a cruel meta-reference to women's abuse and sexual assaults in Hollywood movie productions [1]. 

5. Scream 4 (2011)

Image of Jill Roberts

Rating: 🍿🍿🍿

Box Office Result: over $95,000,000 (worldwide) 

Scream Level: 3

Why We Love It:

Scream 4 is the lowest-grossing among all the Scream films, maybe because of the long hiatus after the third film.

Although eleven years have passed, my love for the film was reignited after watching it in theaters. This horror sequel holds a special place for Scream fans for being the last movie crafted by Wes Craven. 

Sidney Prescott, the final girl of the previous movies, returned to Woodsboro to save her niece, Jill Roberts. The film also brings back the surviving characters of Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley — a nostalgic detail for fans like me. 

But undeniably, this movie's third act executes the second-best Ghostface reveal in the franchise. But what's the highest-grossing franchise of all time?

4. Scream (2022)

Amber Pointing Gun to Sidney

Rating: 🍿🍿🍿🍿

Box Office Result: over $138,000,000 (worldwide) 

Scream Level: 3

Why We Love It:

Introducing a new set of players and bringing back legacy characters for supporting roles, the fifth Scream is an ideal sequel for the beloved franchise.

Scream (2022) opens once again with a phone call, and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), who preferred "elevated horror," has to play a trivia game with the psychopathic caller [2]. 

Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) is Tara's older sister, but she is also Billy Loomis' daughter, successfully connecting this Scream sequel to the first movie. 

Although we're missing Craven's theatrical flourishes, Directors Matt Bettinelli Olpin and Tyler Gillett still crafted one of the best killer reveals of the franchise.

3. Scream 2 (1997) 

Scream Killer Wearing Mask

Rating: 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

Box Office Result: over $172,000,000 (worldwide) 

Scream Level: 3

Why We Love It:

Despite the rushed time frame from the first Scream movie, Wes Craven was expected to pull the same trick he had done previously that revolutionized an entire genre. 

But once again, the iconic horror movie director has proven his brilliance in this first sequel to Scream, and it lives up to its predecessor. 

We were shown another iconic "opening kill," where Maureen Evans (Jada Pinkett-Smith) was stabbed and walked up to the stage, crying for help. The watching audience thought it was all an act until she fell dead, making it a stone-cold classic scene.

2. Scream VI (2023)

Scream Killer on a Grocery Store

Rating: 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

Box Office Result: over $168,000,000 (worldwide)

Scream Level: 3

Why We Love It:

Tara and Sam Carpenters, or the "final girls" from Scream 5, return in this latest installment of the Scream franchise.

However, this time is different because the infamous serial killer, obsessed with pop culture, is back but stronger, faster, and more ruthless. 

The film is packed with a well-executed storyline, twists, and tension, and despite not having Sidney Prescott, we can still find ourselves rooting for the new characters.

Maybe that's the charm of this latest Scream film.

The well-developed characters have become so endearing, letting us feel deeply attached to them and fear the danger of Ghostface's knife coming at them.

You may also want to read about the Child's Play franchise here

1. Scream (1996) 

Drew Barrymore Holding Telephone in Scream 1996

Rating: 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

Box Office Result: over $173,000,000 (worldwide)

Scream Level: 4

Why We Love It:

Nothing beats the original. When it comes to series, the first film needs to have the most powerful impact to set the tone and expectation of the audience for the sequels. 

And Scream (1996) did it exceptionally with the iconic scene of Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) getting a friendly phone call that quickly turned into her gruesome death. 

This scene remains the most iconic opening scene in the franchise and the teen slasher genre [3]. 

The first film combines a powerful script, a legendary horror director, and iconic casts (Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, Matthew Lillard, and Rose McGowan). 

How We Rated Every Scream Movie

Spookiness/Scream Level

The tension build-up, mood, and atmosphere of particular scenes should be executed properly to terrorize the audience. 

Unlike Halloween's Michael Myers and Friday, the 13th's Jason Voorhees, there are different and mysterious killers behind every Ghostface mask.

We don't know who is behind the killings or if seemingly innocent characters will soon reveal their true faces, which adds to the movie's spookiness. 

Scream 1 and 4 top this category for our team.


For horror fans, spookiness or the fear factor indeed is what we're after. We need that sense of adrenaline rush and the right amount of terror for a horror movie to make an impression on us.

But that tension build-up depends on the characters. They need to be well-developed for us to care for them and root for their survival. 

Throughout the franchise, except for the recent ones, we've seen the development, trauma, and changes of Sidney, Dewey, and Gale. 

Horror Movie Storyline

The script's originality is essential in this ranking, and Scream 1 tops it all. It's the original and the first installment of the franchise, an icon of the slasher subgenre. 

If the first movie fails, we wouldn't be here doing a ranking with five other Scream sequels. And as for Scream 3, it did not meet the high expectations set by the first two Scream films.


The camera angles, overall visuals, and even the lighting are all elements to keep the audience uneasy, uncomfortable, and unsettled throughout the movie. 

Scream VI topped this category for us as the main characters moved to New York, and Ghostface feels truly terrifying as he takes his killing spree in the huge city.

The subway scene, most significantly, lands this sequel in our top 3 best Scream movies.

Audience Perception (Box Office Results)

The audience perception can be evaluated through the film's performance at the box office.

But we didn't give it much weight compared to other categories because positive and negative factors affect the box office results. 

For instance, our team has ranked Scream 4 higher than Scream 3 despite its poor box office performance.


What Scream movie should I watch first?

For starters, you should begin by watching the first Scream movie. Aside from redefining the horror genre, it also sets the tone and storyline of the sequels. 

Watching the franchise chronologically will also let you understand each character and start rooting for their survival.

Is it worth watching the original Scream?

Yes, it is worth watching the original Scream. Directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, the first film has set the legacy of the whole franchise in stone. 

The Scream, produced by Dimension Films, is one of the best horror films and a must-watch for horror enthusiasts and aspiring horror filmmakers. 

Is it necessary to watch Scream in order?

Yes, it is necessary to watch the Scream franchise in order. The entire film series has a straightforward timeline. 

So if you watch the movies in order of their release year, you will understand the storyline and characters better.

Why is Sidney not in Scream VI?

Neve Campbell (Sidney) confirmed she won't be in Scream VI because of failed negotiations [4]. She disclosed that the offer for her return does not match her character's value to the franchise. 

Do you have to watch the old Scream movies to understand the new ones?

Yes, it would be best to watch the old Scream films to understand the new ones in the franchise. But if you have already watched the entire Scream franchise, you can re-watch them however you like. 

How long would it take to watch all the Scream movies in order?

Watching all the Scream movies in order would take almost twelve hours. Scream 1 is the shortest, with 1 hour and 51 minutes runtime, while Scream VI is the longest, with 2 hours and 3 minutes. 

Final Thoughts 

For almost three decades, the Scream series remains one of the most iconic horror films ever.

Although the franchise has had its highs and lows, the legacy of these iconic films is undeniable, as fans like me are still anticipating a new installment. 

Take this iconic Geeki Tikis Scream Ghostface Ceramic Mug | Holds 19 Ounces, and stay hydrated while watching the entire Scream franchise this weekend. 

Visit Toynk for more gift ideas designed after your favorite horror movies and characters. We offer special discounts on some products, but only until supplies last.

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