All the Scream movies ranked from worst to best

A still from Scream 5Paramount Pictures

The Scream movies are all pretty darn good, but some certainly rank better than others – here’s all the films, ranked from worst to best.

What’s your favorite scary movie? Or rather, Scream movie?

The Scream franchise has been going strong over the past quarter of a decade, with its newest iteration, Scream 6, set to hit cinemas in just a few months. But which film is the best? That’s what we’re here to decide.

We will be ranking all of the Scream movies from worst to best below, and we’ll also be letting you know where you can watch any of these films. To reiterate, we will only be focusing on the Scream movies, so this list won’t include the Scream TV series, which can be viewed on Netflix. And of course, we’ll update this list when Scream 6 comes out.

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All the Scream movies ranked

There are five Scream movies in all, not including the upcoming Scream 6. The franchise started in 1996 with Scream, and the current film is 2022’s Scream (yes, they went with the same name, despite the latter being Scream 5).

So, now you know how many films will be in the ranking, let’s get to said ranking, starting with the worst.

Scream 3 (2000)

scream 3

Now, while the Scream franchise doesn’t really have a dud – they’re all above-average horror films – Scream 3 is the closest thing to one out of the five. Then again, this could have been intentional. Third films in trilogies often fumble the bag with convoluted plots and twists, and Scream 3, which is satirizing trilogies, certainly did that.

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However, there are still plenty of cool scenes, big character deaths, and a hilarious take on Hollywood franchises with the Stab films. So ultimately, despite us ranking it as the worst, the film is still definitely worth a watch. At the very least you can gawk at Gale’s terrible bangs.

Scream 4 (2011)

scream 4

To be honest, Scream 4 and Scream 5 could have been swapped around and the ranking would still make sense, as they are both strong and weak in slightly different ways. So while Scream 4 suffers from some boring new characters and that weird 2011 color grading – you’ll know it when you see it – there are still plenty of great things about this movie.

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Since the fourth film takes place 11 years after the third, Scream 4 focuses on the concept of reboots, and how the horror rules have changed – or haven’t – in a new age of spooky cinema. Emma Roberts gives a great performance, and the film introduces us to the incredible character of Kirby, played by Hayden Panettiere, who will thankfully be back for Scream 6.

Scream 5 (2022)

Jenna Ortega in 2022's Scream

Scream 5 shows that nostalgia-baity reboots without the original director can still be good. Mainly because this film continues to satirize reboots, with new faces and new twists, but it also tackles the concept of elevated horror, which is now dominating cinema.

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Because of this, the film is somewhat elevated, and while the new cast is touch and go, there are some really stellar performances, and they’re better overall than Scream 4’s new cast. This Scream will also be the last movie featuring Sidney Prescott, which will no doubt make viewers look more fondly on this one in comparison to any future films.

Scream 2 (1997)

scream 2 sidney

Like its position in the franchise, Scream 2 comes in second. Scream was a hard act to follow, but the sequel certainly did its best, this time satirizing the concept of horror sequels themselves, while keeping it all very meta and tense. That chase in the sound box is one for the books.

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While arguably not as iconic as the original, the sequel certainly had some cool moments, mainly from how final girl Sidney got even more badass. But on top of that, the film wasn’t afraid to kill off big characters – unlike later films – and who doesn’t love Sarah Michelle Gellar’s appearance?

Scream (1996)

scream drew barrymore

Sorry, but there’s no beating the original. Scream changed the horror game when it first dropped, re-igniting the slasher craze, and showing that horror films could be funny and pop-culture savvy. There likely wouldn’t be six more Scream films if this one hadn’t been so incredible.

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The original introduced us to the best final girl that is Sidney Prescott, and shocked audiences when its biggest star, Drew Barrymore, bit it in the opening scene. We’d say spoilers, but come, on, everyone’s seen that moment, and for good reason. Practically every scene in this film has gone down in iconic horror history.

Where can I watch the Scream movies?

The Scream movies are actually spread across streaming platforms. Below, we’ve listed each platform that you’re able to view each of the five Scream movies:

  • Scream: Paramount+
  • Scream 2 and 3: Paramount+
  • Scream 4: Netflix
  • Scream 5: Paramount+

All of the Scream movies are also available to rent via Amazon Prime Video, which you can sign up for here.

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