I remember when I first saw Scream. I was a 16-year-old, watching the film late at night on video in my bedroom. It made an impression and remains a film I enjoy a great deal even 25 years later. When I was in college I got to see my first Scream film on the big screen—Scream 3. It wasn’t what I’d hoped, but I’ve still enjoyed and seen every installment of the franchise, including the latest installment released on January 14. In honor of Scream’s return to the big screen, this week’s Binge Watch is a ranking of the Scream franchise! Films appear in ascending order.
Scream 3 (2000)
About: This was the first film I saw in theaters and it wasn’t what I’d hoped. The story is weak and the reveal isn’t as clever as the filmmakers probably intended. It could be the re-write after Kevin Williamson was unavailable, but this felt a bit flat. It’s by far the weakest of the franchise.
About: I had such high hopes. This is meant, I suppose, to re-launch the franchise, bringing back original stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox for what amounted to glorified cameos. There were moments I enjoyed, and Melissa Barrera and Jenny Ortega do a nice job as the sisters at the center of this new attack. But the final act is dreadful, sapping any energy from what came before.
Scream 4 (2011)
About: Williamson returned to pen this fourth installment, which was a return to Woodsboro. I liked seeing where Dewey (Arquette) and Gale (Cox) were in their relationship, and it was a good story arc for Sydney (Campbell). I also enjoyed the introduction of Emma Roberts and the way the story played out. It’s not great, but it was a big step up from Scream 3.
Scream 2 (1998)
About: Sequels can be tricky, but this one has its moments. Is it as good as the first film? It’s not. But it’s fun and upon a recent re-watch I appreciated a lot more of what went into this continuation of the story.
About: I still remember the first time I saw this film. It was not only incredibly entertaining, it felt like an important re-invention of the genre. The cast was great as was the blend of action and humor. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and remains one of my favorite genre films. There’s a reason we’re still talking about it, and making sequels, 25 years later.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.