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CU students Carli Tackett and Jimena Martinez enjoy the 2024 Solar Eclipse.
(Photo by Cathryn Jones, Campbellsville Universitys social media manager)
Nature’s gift
April 23, 2024

It’s a scream, baby

My ranking of the scream movies

Scream is a vastly popular horror movie series directed by Wes Craven in 1996. There are six movies in the franchise and Scream VII has been confirmed to be released. There is not a bad installment in this franchise in fact out of 10 I give the Scream franchise a 9.2. There are some movies that are worse than others but that doesn’t make them bad movies.

There have been many conversations about what the best Scream movie is and in this article the rankings will be set in stone.

Spoilers ahead…

No. 6 – Scream 4

The ‘worst’ Scream movie is Scream 4, and that isn’t to say it’s not a good movie. Scream 4 would be a great movie… if it wasn’t attached to the Scream Franchise. In this movie we open back in Woodburrow, the town from the first movie that we haven’t seen since the first movie, it has been 15 years since the events of the original movie. One of the main reasons this movie is so weak is the motive of the killers. Jill, who is our main character in this movie, wants to be famous and is jealous of her cousin Sidney, and Charlie, the other killer, just wants to be the “love interest” in the movie he’s making about killing his friends. Jealousy and wanting to “get the girl” are weak motives to literally end the life of multiple people. Also, the new cast of characters are not that enjoyable to watch, besides Kirby (we love Kirby).

No. 5 – Scream 3

Scream 3 is also lower on the list for similar reasons to Scream 4. Scream 3 takes place in Los Angeles. The plot of the movie is that the movie ‘Stab 3’ the Scream movie insert being called stab since the second movie is being filmed. While filming the movie one of the fake actresses gets murdered and it stops production. This movie does something interesting with the killer. In this movie there is only one killer, who turns out to be Sidney’s half-brother. Sidney’s mother in her twenties had an affair with one of the big movie producers and abandoned the child shortly after his birth. Roman the director of Stab 3 is the killer, and he wants to be a famous director and take revenge on Sidney because she got the family life he always wanted. The characters in this movie are okay. The main characters from the first two movies coming back are a highlight but the newer cast have way less draw. Gale weathers at this point in the franchise is a beloved character and sending Jenifer in to remind us how mean Gale used to be just isn’t as funny as the studio thought it would be. Also removing the second killer from the film was an odd choice. There were two choices that Kevin Williamson the writer wanted for the second killer which would have been Stu Macher from the first movie, or Angelina Tyler. Angelina is playing Sidney in the Stab 3 movie. I think either choice would have made for a more interesting movie and probably would have given it higher than fifth place.

No. 4 – Scream 5 (Scream 2022)

Scream 2022 hereby known as Scream 5 is a reboot but is also a direct sequel to Scream 4. This installment brings a whole new cast of characters like Sam Carpenter and Tara Carpenter, two sisters who are now the lead protagonists in the new movies. The opening kill that starts every Scream movie opens on Tara, we don’t know anything about her yet we just think she’s another kill that will drag Sidney, Gale and Dewey back into woodburrow for yet another ghostface problem. After the kill it turns out Tara lives, and it drags Sam back into Woodburrow. While there we learn that Sam is actually Billy Loomis’s child, and she has visions of him telling her to do things or advising her against other stuff. The new cast is super reflective of the original cast, like Mindy being the stand in for Randy, Chad being a sort of Dewey stand in, yes Gale, Dewey and Sidney are in the movie, but the new generation has these characters “updated”, Sam being an obvious Sidney. The killers in the movie turn out to be the rude and kind of just mean character amber and Sam’s boyfriend Richie which the boyfriend being the killer is a very obvious call back to Scream. The motive of the killers is another weak one, both killers wanted the Stab franchise to live on and return to the original, so they went on a killing spree to try and spark a reboot of the series. The new cast of characters makes this movie very enjoyable to watch, this movie is a great movie.

No. 3 – Scream 2

Scream 2 is a great movie. Scream 2 follows Sidney and Randy to college, Windsor college. To get away from the previous year’s murder fiasco Sidney and Randy both decide to go to college in Ohio. Randy being a major film buff obviously chooses to go into film and Sidney becomes a theater major. A few new friends come into play in this movie which include Hallie, Derek and Mickey. Derek is Sidney’s new boyfriend which Randy seems a little jealous of. In the beginning, two students at the college are murdered at the opening preview of the first Stab movie. Once reporters come to campus Gale shows up as well of course because she wrote the book that the Stab movie is based off. Dewey out of concern for Sindey shows up as well. Seeing this reunion of characters for this movie never fails to bring a smile to the audience’s face. Derek and Hallie are both great characters for Sidney to be around because both are so full of life and fun. This movie FEELS like a sequel, it sets up new characters for the ones we met last time, the characters we did know become more rounded and it is just an enjoyable time. The motive for the new killers is also interesting. Mickey wants to be caught, he wants to be immortalized by the media and wants to blame the “effects on cinema violence in society” . Such a weird motivation kind of makes Mikey an interesting killer. The other killer is Mrs. Loomis, Billy Loomis’s mother, Throughout the film her character is hidden in plain sight, we never saw her in the first movie, so we aren’t sure who she is at first when she appears on screen. The whole movie she has been moonlighting as a reporter named Debbie Salt who constantly talks to Gale to try and see what she knows about the killers and the case so far. Keeping Mrs. Loomis, a hidden figure, really gives the movie a gotcha moment that just kind of strikes you. Mrs. Loomis’s motive is revenge, she wants to kill Sidney for killing her son and there isn’t really a better motive there.

No. 2 – Scream 6

Scream 6 is a fantastic Scream movie. Another case of revenge. Bringing back the Carpenter sisters, Mindy and Chad was a great choice because they all show us how lovable they are in this movie and how much you really do care for them. This movie starts off again at a college this time though it’s in New York, somewhere the series has never gone before, at Blackmore University. In the opening kill, the killer actually reveals his face, something never done in a scream movie before, this already puts the audience into a sort of “oh this isn’t like the other movies” type of feeling. Later the real killer of the movie shows up at his apartment and slices him up. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Scream movie if there weren’t a lot of references in it. In this movie there are a lot of references to Scream 2 including the frat party the group is at in the beginning being the same as Derek’s from Scream 2 and the sorority Tara is going to rush among many others. This movie really makes you feel the tension during the ghostface encounters. When ghostface shows up at the Carpenters apartment you feel how scared the characters are, Chad and Tara banging on the door to try and get in to save their friends while Sam, Mindy, and Anika all try to dodge knife attacks and escape. The new main characters in this movie are Anika, Ethan, Quinn and Detective Bailey. Also, in this movie Kirby comes back from Scream 4 and up until this point most viewers thought she was completely dead after the events of Scream 4. There was a hint in Scream 5, but most people might not have noticed it. Anika isn’t around for long as she is the next victim for ghostface but it really sets the mood that this movie isn’t messing around when it comes to these characters’ deaths. This movie does something the other five movies haven’t tried yet, Three killers… the three killers come as a little bit of a surprise cause at this point you’re expecting the normal two killers and the three killers turn out to be the Detective, Ethan and Quinn, who are all Richie’s family, trying to get revenge on Sam for killing their brother/son and of course this is in reference to Scream 2 as well.

No. 1 – Scream (1996)

Scream is absolutely the best film in the series especially for what the series has become today. Scream is my favorite movie of all time and there is a reason for it. In 1996 the slasher genre was at its end after an awful movie sequel to an awful movie series people were tired of. Friday the 13th went downhill, Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween all lost their charm. When Scream came on the scene it felt like something else entirely. The characters of Scream were referencing the movies that everyone had been watching for YEARS and it was saying the same things about them as the viewers were. These comments and jokes instantly made the audience relate to and care about these characters. The killer, one of them, Billy, is an obvious killer. I mean he talks like a killer and has a stare like one as well. Anyone who didn’t see it coming was not watching the movie, Stu being the other killer might have come as more of a surprise as he has never been shown in any serious light where you think the killer would be. Drew Barrymore plays a character named Casey Becker and in the first scene of the movie she is killed. Drew Barrymore was THE actress in 1996 and for this movie to kill her off right away really gave the audience a shock. I mean the surprise of two killers and the number of references that are made just set in this realization that the movie is for the people. Finally, a slasher film that is relatable to the people and felt like it could really happen to you and your friends.

Scream is a fantastic franchise and I love every movie even if it ranks low on the list.

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About the Contributor
Bernie Engh

Bernie Engh is a junior from DeKalb, Illinois. He is majoring in film, hoping to become an editor.

Though he's not involved in any college extracurricular activities, in high school he was in choir and the theater program, starring in shows such as "Les Miserables" and "She Loves Me."

He enjoys playing the DND and likes watching movies. Some of his favorites include "Scream," John Carpenter’s "The Thing" and "Night of the Living Dead."

This is his first year reporting for The Campus Times.
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