Topic: What makes a good Scream Queen

What are the qualities that make a good Scream Queen. Discuss

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

I actually started thinking about this a few months ago watching some older horror movies versus newer ones.  I look at Jamie Lee Curtis or mom, Janet Leigh and how they perfectly fit into their roles.  We connected with them, felt for them, panicked with them and felt fear with them.  Plus they had great, and memorable, screams.  The girls now are passionate but aren't as identifiable as they once were.  Maybe it's just the times, maybe I'm just old school in thought, but the girls in horror movies now aren't...I don't know the word. 

I think Last House remake or I Spit on Grave remake and those girls were truly bad place at a bad time, but instead of letting it get to them; came back and raged all sorts of revenge.  Then you have movies like Texas Chainsaw remake and Jessical Biel stands out.  She's strong but still girly in the sense she's sexy and vulnerable with a ravenous tongue.  I love her in that movie.  THEN we have the girls in movies like F13 remake where they're more ditsy, a little slutty and just all around...you wait for them to get killed so we can cheer at the screen. 

I think now the Scream Queen qualifiers are more broad than ever given the range that women are working with now versus 20, 30, 40 years ago.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

I think the big difference between then and now is that a lot of females actresses call themselves Scream Queens.. Back in the day they just were.. They didn't call themselves that.. Well at least not until much later.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

I didn't think about that one, makes sense, too

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

For a 'Scream Queen' to be a 'GOOD' Scream Queen, she has to be characteristically separated from the rest of the characters in the film. Most likely this can be done through a higher number of redeeming qualities, especially when compared to the rest of the cast. She has to be strong in cases which conflict with the antagonist is inevitable, and she has to be someone that the viewers generally like. Who wants to see the prime survivor of a horror film, the Scream Queen, be completely slutty, or incredibly ditsy? Pretty much no one, right? A good 'scream queen' should be admirable in her presence and her characteristic of being independent and having a stronger will than most of the characters at hand in the film. Just a few thoughts to add to the ones already mentioned.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

Classic Scream queens like Dee Wallace and Jamie Lee Curtis stood out for their acting ability.  While others, Linea Quigley, stood out for other reasons... smile I suppose the best ones had both qualities.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

Goon wrote:

I think the big difference between then and now is that a lot of females actresses call themselves Scream Queens.

And they haven't earned it.  Brinke Stevens, Jamie Lee Curtis, Debbie Rochon, Linnea Quigley, Tiffany Shepis, Michelle Bauer, Kathleen Kinmont...women who've appeared in numerous horror flicks over numerous years and have a long and established body of work in the genre, have poured their blood, sweat and tears into it...those are scream queens. 

But some chick who poses in a t-shirt ad in Rue Morgue and maybe shows up in one or two grade-z horror flicks?  Bitches, please.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

I'll throw out Ellen Sandweiss.  Not a lot of films, but according to the commentary, she got the shit beat out of her on Evil Dead.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

There's also the underrated scream queen - Adrienne Barbeau. The fog , swamp thing , creepshow , two evil eyes , the convent etc.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

Barbara Crampton!
From Beyond, Re-Animator, Body Double...

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

How could we forget about Barbara Crampton?!   Danielle Harris seems to be rising through the ranks also. 

Lon, you made a good point.  They have to earn it!

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

I'll also throw out Neve Campbell, one of the few semi-intelligent "last girls" out there.  She gets cut, stabbed, shot, and just keeps bringing it.  Not a great actress overall, but she does "Scream" (see what I did there?) well.

Last edited by azathoth (2012-09-21 05:36:58)

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

I agree with Lon, I always though of it that way. Hey have to be good at what they do and have done numerous roles in the genre, although I think it is arguable for others who have been in few, like some mentioned above, some just hit the right notes in the few films that they did. I feel Sara Paxton could be a very recent candidate for scream queen, to contrast the older scream queens mentioned.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

LoudLon wrote:

And they haven't earned it.  Brinke Stevens, Jamie Lee Curtis, Debbie Rochon, Linnea Quigley, Tiffany Shepis, Michelle Bauer, Kathleen Kinmont...women who've appeared in numerous horror flicks over numerous years and have a long and established body of work in the genre, have poured their blood, sweat and tears into it...those are scream queens. 

But some chick who poses in a t-shirt ad in Rue Morgue and maybe shows up in one or two grade-z horror flicks?  Bitches, please.

Someone has watched Screaming in High Heels lol

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

azathoth wrote:

I'll also throw out Neve Campbell, one of the few semi-intelligent "last girls" out there.  She gets cut, stabbed, shot, and just keeps bringing it.  Not a great actress overall, but she does "Scream" (see what I did there?) well.


Neve is definitely someone who I would say deserves the title Scream Queen.  I love the transition she makes from victim to survivor to just overall badass.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

Ms.Gorefiend wrote:

Someone has watched Screaming in High Heels lol

I have, yes ( lol ) but I've always felt that way.  A few years back Meh posted a scream queen list that consisted almost entirely of horror tee-shirt models or piercing models or women who'd been in maybe one or two cheap-o horror flicks and I lost my shit over them being called scream queens because they're nobody anyone has ever heard of. lol

But some others mentioned, like Dee Wallace, Neve Campbell, Barbara Crampton, they all fit the bill just as well as Stevens, Qugley, et al.  Just because their work has been in more mainstream/higher budgeted films shouldn't discount them. 

Jill Schoelen's another one who's earned the title, IMO.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

The Creature wrote:

Who wants to see the prime survivor of a horror film, the Scream Queen, be completely slutty, or incredibly ditsy? Pretty much no one, right?

Not to call you out man but Linnea Quigley filled that role in some of her films.. So did Tiffany Shepis.. Not all roles but plenty of them.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

I was just thinking about the whole scream queen thing a couple of days ago and even thought about starting a topic just like this.

Jamie Lee Curtis was a great

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

Jamie Lee Curtis was a great scream queen along with Heather Lagenkamp.

The younger actresses of today just dont have what it takes to be called a scream queen.  They just dont have the right look and dont know how to scream. Most horror movies of today rely too much on prerecorded scream effects.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

Jennifer Love Hewitt would also fill that role as scream queen after her role in the "I know what you did last summer" franchise. She certainly can scream.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is another one , on tv she kicked butt but in the movies , she is a scream queen - i know what you did last summer , scream 2 , the grudge.

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

Goon wrote:
The Creature wrote:

Who wants to see the prime survivor of a horror film, the Scream Queen, be completely slutty, or incredibly ditsy? Pretty much no one, right?

Not to call you out man but Linnea Quigley filled that role in some of her films.. So did Tiffany Shepis.. Not all roles but plenty of them.

Oh, I kind of had the 'dumb, superficial slut' (pardon my language) in mind. Like the annoying ones that you just want to see killed. lol 
Linnea Quigley certainly isn't that stereotype. She was a hot punk rocker, man (at least in ROTLD, I can't remember the other films she's been in off hand). She's cool.
As for Tiffany Shepis, I haven't seen any films with her, yet. I looked up her list of roles though, and I do need to get on that somewhat quickley!

Last edited by The Creature (2012-09-22 00:26:18)

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

Sigourney Weaver is awesome!

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

I think some of the names being dropped are borderline.  Sarah Michelle Gellar...sure, I can see her being called a scream queen.  Her most recognizable work, and the work she's most known for, has been in the horror genre.  But it's not just that she's known for her horror work, it's also because she's done the majority of her work in the genre.

Jennifer Love Hewitt...not so much.  A couple Last Summer flicks and The Ghost Whisperer, but in the overall body of her work it's more like she's merely dabbled in the genre.  Whereas Gellar will always be remembered for Buffy and The Grudge, Love Hewitt is more likely to be remembered for Can't Hardly Wait and Kids Incorporated.  Y'know?

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

No ones like Janet Leigh, Jennifer Connelly? Or Daria Nicolodi who apperred in mostly countless horror films?

Re: What makes a good Scream Queen

@Creatch- Quigley has been in over a 100 films!  I always remember her from the original Night of the Demons as the lipstick girl.  big_smile

Janet Leigh, maybe.  She was in Night of the Lepus!

Jennifer Connelly is also a maybe.  She's been in a few horror films, but I don't consider those to be her main body of work.

Daria is not really a household name.  I had to look her up on IMDB to figure out what she was in.

I can roll with Gellar, due to her 7 years of slaying vampires.  And nay on Hewitt- Ghost Whisperer isn't even scary, and I Know... was a one trick pony.  Nice breasts, though.

Last edited by azathoth (2012-09-22 07:05:22)