All Scream Movies Ranked From Best to Worst

What's the matter Sidney? You look like you've seen a ghost.

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell

Are you excited by all the new trailers and teasers for Scream 6 and looking for a definitive list of all Scream movies ranked from best to worst? The Scream franchise had had five entries since its inception in 1996 when it became the savior of the slasher genre. However, not all of them have been winners and haven’t had an impact like the original film. While we recommend you watch all installments in the Scream franchise, so you don’t miss out on the character development and world-building, they all stand on their own, so you can watch whichever ones you want. So here are all Scream movies ranked from best to worst and their impact on the Scream franchise.

All Scream Movies Ranked From Best To Worst

We have ranked all Scream movies from best to worst with reasons why and fun pieces of trivia about the movie that you may not have been aware of.

Scream (1996)


Description: A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Why It’s Good: Scream revitalized the teen horror and slasher genres by making fun of them and being incredibly self-aware by turning every horror trope upside while not being patronizing to its viewers. In addition, the whodunit story was done exceptionally well and featured a great cast whose dialogue was both funny and creepy.

Why It’s Bad: The most common complaint about this movie is the bad acting by most of the actors. In addition, most viewers feel it is cheesy, overdone, and unrealistic. We’ll let you decide if this is the case and if it is enough to dethrone it as the savior of slasher films.

Trivia: Scream scared its viewers enough through its use of the telephone because the use of Caller ID increased by three times after the film was released. Caller ID was used as a joke at the beginning of Scream 2, showing it was aware of its use to negate the first movie’s events.

Scream 2 (1997)


Description: Two years after the first series of murders, as Sidney acclimates to college life, someone donning the Ghostface costume begins a new string of killings.

Why It’s Good: Scream 2 both made fun of horror sequels being awful while still breaking the mold itself. The sequel is still very clever and offers excellent dialogue, a believable plot, and self-awareness that is still tongue-in-cheek. Unfortunately / Fortunately, it also proves that no characters are safe while amping up the kills and gore.

Why It’s Bad: While the opening scene is supposed to make an ironic statement about the horror genre, it isn’t as powerful an opening as the original. Viewers also complain about things not in the foreground being out-of-focus and blurred, distracting from the movie. They also complain about the musical cues being insanely loud for jump scares.

Trivia: Scream 2 came out quickly after the original because the writer, Kevin Williamson, already had the idea for the sequel while writing the original. He already realized there was more to the story, so they began principal photography six months after the release of Scream.

Scream 5 (2022)


Description: 25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, Calif., a new killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.

Why It’s Good: The series gains a new set of directors in Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who have done a fantastic job filling Craven’s shoes. Both directors have brought Scream into the modern age, where elevated horror reigns supreme. The visuals and horror elements are done exceptionally well and pack a big punch. Scream 5 also introduces us to the characters who will take over the franchise’s reins from the legacy characters.

Why It’s Bad: Where Scream 5 fails is its attempt to be self-aware, and its criticism of the horror genre was poorly made. The kills were also not as creative as other installments in the genre. Also, one of the deaths that we won’t spoil didn’t make sense and caused a lot of commotion with fans of the franchise, and rightly so.

Trivia: This is the first film that confirms Sidney grew up on Elm Street, which is a nod to Craven’s other popular horror film franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street. The original film was supposed to show Sidney typing her address as 34 Elm Street to 911, but it was cut for time.

Scream 4 (2011)


Description: Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.

Why It’s Good: Scream 4 came eleven years after the lackluster Scream 3 with many new actors. However, this entry returns to what it does best: mocking itself and the horror genre. While Scream 4 takes us back to the franchise’s roots, we are introduced to the next generation of Woodsboro’s teens. The result is a fun blend of legacy and new characters being toyed with and killed by Ghostface in Woodsboro.

Why It’s Bad: Scream 4 is predictable, and it is easy to guess who will die and when. Unfortunately, the ending is drawn out, and the killer’s motives are a bit lackluster compared to others who have worn the mask.

Trivia: This is the first film to feature a CGI-added knife because Craven wanted to avoid using collapsible prop knives made of rubber and cardboard.

Scream 3 (2000)


Description: While Sidney and her friends visit the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, another Ghostface killer rises to terrorize them.

Why It’s Good: The third installment concludes the trilogy and is considered by many fans to be the end of Sidney’s story in the franchise. While it is often the most hated installment, it does well in staying aware that it is the trilogy in the series and provides the same tongue-in-cheek moments from the first two films.

Why It’s Bad: Scream 3 is the first movie without Kevin Williamson, and it shows. To make matters worse, Williamson left many notes regarding the Scream universe for the new writer, who decided to forgo all of them in favor of what we see. The film also juggles too much, and its lack of a central point to focus on hurts the movie.

Trivia: More emphasis was placed on the supporting characters in Scream 3 because Neve Campbell’s contract only allowed her to be on set for twenty days. This created a limited availability for her schedule, requiring filmmakers to pivot.

Scream 6 releases exclusively in theaters on March 10, 2023.

- This article was updated on January 31st, 2023

About The Author

Matthew Kevin Mitchell has been a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion since 2022. Matthew primarily covers Manga like One Piece, horror movies like Scream, and survival horror games like Dead by Daylight. His favorite moment came during his first press event covering Scream 6 for AotF. He hails from Denver, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Regis University. When he isn’t scaring himself silly or writing, he loves to play ice hockey, spoil his dog, and drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.