Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean that your love for the horror movie genre should end too. What better way to soothe your post-Hallows’ Eve blues than looking into a list of the best scream queens of all time? To start off, let us define the term “scream queen.” People may take it literally, but for cinephiles, a scream queen pertains to an actress who can actually illicit squeals from the audience instead of actually screaming herself.
So with that cleared out, Explore Talent is counting down the best scream queens in horror movie history.
5 Notable Horror Movie Scream Queens
5. Janet Leigh
If you find yourself googling the movie Psycho on the Internet, chances are a photo of a screaming Janet Leigh in the shower will pop up. She may not have played a major character in the film, but with the small role she portrayed, she won Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes. Leigh went on to do other horror movies with fellow scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis such as The Fog and Halloween H20.
4. Betsy Palmer
Betsy Palmer may jump over different genres, but she has gained worldwide fame through her role as Jason Voorhees’s mother in Friday the 13th. Her presence onscreen is so strong, it is almost difficult to separate her from the said character. To further solidify her status as one of the greatest scream queens of all time, Palmer starred in multiple horror movies—The Fear: Resurrection and in her final role before her death, The Bell Witch.
3. Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis is considered one of the most iconic scream queens of all time that the veteran actress got to star in an actual television show called Scream Queens. Way before she made the leap to the small screen, Curtis starred in horror movies such as The Fog and Prom Night. But it was her breakthrough role as Laurie Strode in Halloween that made her the horror movie icon that she is today.
2. Heather Langenkamp
The eighties was a decade filled with sex, drugs, and alcohol, so when Heather Langenkamp was introduced to the world of horror, people were drawn to how different her character was in the film Nightmare on Elm Street. Langenkamp played the sweet and innocent Nancy Thompson in the movie, who ultimately set the trend on how the “virgin” archetypes live at the end of each horror film.
1. Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell dominated the nineties when she starred in Scream. She may now have officially hung up her Scream Queens status, but Campbell has an onscreen presence that is a mix of both Jamie Lee Curtis and Heather Langenkamp, causing critics to often compared her to the latter. Here’s to hoping that Campbell revisits her horror movie roots sometime in the future!