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13 Scream Queens Who'll Help Scare the Hell Out of You!

13 Scream Queens Who'll Help Scare the Hell Out of You!

What would horror movies be without these women running around screaming and helping to scare the hell out of us!

Autumn leaves, pumpkin patches, apple cider, county fairs, and blood and guts all signal that you're deep into October! Whether you spend months devising your next Halloween costume opus, or you sit around streaming horror classics on your computer under your covers, there's plenty to love about the Halloween high holy day! And what would the horror genre be without "Scream Queens," -- those big-piped women who run, and run, and fight their way through a blood-splattered two hours of between-your-fingers viewing? Here are our picks for the best Scream Queens of all time! 

13)Chloe Grace Moretz (The Amityville Horror (2005)/Let Me In/Carrie (2013))

We first saw Moretz in the 2005 Amityville Horror remake, and from there she moved to the haunting portrayal of Abby, a young vampire who befriends her bullied next door neighbor in the American remake of Let Me In (2010).  Little did we know at the time, that this up and coming actress would have the chops to take on Spacek’s (#5 on our list) critically acclaimed role of Carrie White.  Out director Kimberly Peirce’s reimagining of the 70s horror classic Carrie, opened to mixed reviews and modest box office numbers, but Moretz’s portrayal is solid, and her work with Julianne Moore (Margaret White/the mom) is one that the new generation of horror fans will talk about for a long time.  Now with 3 horror movies under her belt, I’m sure we will see Moretz back for more.  

12)Sarah Polley (Splice/Dawn of the Dead

Whether Polley is starring as Elsa Kast, a genetic engineer (or mad scientist depending on how you look at things) who hopes to create a new hybrid animal through DNA splicing in Splice, or as Ana, a suburban nurse trying to survive the zombie apocalypse in Zack Snyder’s successful remake of Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, Polley fits the mold of scream queen.  Especially with Dead, Polley’s character begins the story as scared victim, but through the madness, her character finds an inner strength and slowly morphs into an ass kicking, super woman ready to take on her worst nightmare.  

11) Margot Kidder - The Amityville Horror
Widely known for playing Lois Lane in the first Superman franchise, Kidder took her turn in the horror genre, starring in the 1979 film, based on Jay Anson's novel The Amityville Horror: A True Story.  Amityville is the story of George (James Brolin) and Kathy Lutz (Kidder) who’s first home turns out to be cursed, which is exactly what Kidder’s real life turned out to be. She’s had three failed marriages, she was seriously injured twice, in two different car accidents, one forcing her out of work for over two years. As a result, she went broke and had to claim bankruptcy. Worst of all, she has suffered many public manic episodes at the hands of her self-proclaimed “monsters.” In 1996, she was found by LAPD hiding in a garden, cutting her hair with a razor blade and she then started removing some of her dental work. 

10) Jennifer Love Hewitt/Sarah Michelle Gellar - I Know What You Did Last Summer

We had to mention these two together as you couldn’t get any hotter than the both of them during the 90s and 00s. Hewitt and Gellar have made successful careers out of spooking their fans. Hewitt starred in the Summer series as well as the successful TV show; The Ghost Whisperer. Gellar, also in the first I Know What You Did Last Summer, as well asScream 2The Grudge 1 2, and is best known as TVs Buffy the Vampire Slayer

9)Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring)

It’s still a little early to add The Conjuringto the sacred list of horror classics, but if one movie released in the last few years does rank, it would be this gem.  Farmiga stars as Lorraine Warren, one half of the famed New England paranormal investigators, The Warrens.  The movie begins in the early 70s, when the duo is called upon to help a family cleanse their newly purchased Rhode Island farmhouse of the dark presence that is terrorizing them.  Farmiga plays the tormented ghost hunter perfectly.  A knack for the horror genre must run in the family, Farmiga’s youger sister Taissa currently stars on seasons 1 and 3 of American Horror Story.  

8) Heather Langenkamp - A Nightmare on Elm Street

Heather played Nancy Thompson, the sleep deprived teen being hunted by our favorite knife fingered psychopath, Freddy Kruegar.  Best known for her role in the franchise, we saw Nancy in the original as well as part 3 and Wes Cravens: New Nightmare.  Langenkamp was ranked #6 on Maxim's "Hottest Women of Horror Movies" list. 

7) Mia Farrow - Rosemary's Baby

In her first lead role, Farrow stars as Rosemary Woodhouse, a naïve young housewife, trying to start a family. As a result, she gives birth to the spawn of Satan, literally.  The AFI ranked Roman Polanski’s horror flick #9 on their 100 Years…100 Thrills list.  Farrow won the New Star of the Year Golden Globe for her portrayal of the tormented mother.  These days you can find Farrow traveling the globe, speaking out about Darfur. She was named one of UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassadors, and in 2008, she was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine.  And another cool fact about Farrow, she was the cover girl for the first issue of People magazine in 1974. 

6) Shelley Duvall - The Shining

Duvall stars as Wendy Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece about a family staying at an isolated hotel for the winter as off season caretakers.  The film, dubbed “A Masterpiece of Modern Horror” is a creepy ride into the psyche of a struggling author with a volatile temper and addiction issues, played to perfection by Jack Nicholson.  Wendy is Jack’s wife and the unknowing passenger on his trip to crazy town.  Duvall won the razzie award for worst actress for her performance but ironically, it is now highly regarded as one of the best in horror.  Her career post Kubrick has been just as successful, she is an Emmy-nominated producer, responsible for Faerie Tale Theatre and other children’s programming.   Red Rum! 

5) Sissy Spacek - Carrie

In what some could say is the first movie to warn kids about the dangers of teen bullying, Spacek stars as Carrie White, a social outcast, ruthlessly tormented by her peers.  But don’t worry, Carrie gets even.  Spacek received an Oscar nomination for her performance and the movie is widely regarded as one of the best horror films ever made.  Bravo ranked it eighth for its famous ending sequence on The 100 Scariest Movie Moments.  Spacek is a six time (one win) Oscar nominated actress and a fan favorite, her films grossing over $700 million worldwide. 

4) Neve Campbell - Scream

Campbell is best known for her portrayal of Sidney Prescott in the highly successful Scream franchise. The films strike a perfect balance between comedy and sheer terror, with critics worldwide crediting it as singlehandedly reviving the horror genre. Prescott is your average suburban highschooler in every way except she’s being stalked by a ghost face serial killer. Campbell was ranked #8 on Maxim's Hottest Women of Horror Movies list and #66 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World. She is also a humanitarian; the entire Campbill family was named the official “spokesfamily” of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation in her native Canada.

3) Linda Blair - The Exorcist

Based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist took the country by storm when it was released in 1973. The film is one of the most profitable horror films of all time, earning ten Oscar nominations (two wins-Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay), and was named the scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly. Linda Blair’s portrayal of Regan MacNeil, a young girl suffering from demonic possession, had people vomiting in the aisles, running out of theaters and passing out in their seats. And she did all this at the age of 14, not bad. Nowadays, she makes her rounds at horror conventions nationwide, and is also a staunch animal rights advocate. Blair started The Linda Blair World Heart Foundation, which advocates the rescue and adoption of animals.

2) Janet Leigh - Psycho

You can check into the Bates Motel but you may never check out.  Leigh plays Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 psychological thriller, about a secretary who goes on the run after stealing 40K from her boss. But what Crane doesn’t realize is she’s running towards one of the most memorable and recognizable movie scenes in the history of cinema - the shower scene. The scene features 77 different camera angles and the 3 minute running time features over 50 cuts (as in editing, not actual stab wounds). In 1992, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress. The scene is #4 in Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments and Entertainment Weekly ranksPsycho #11 in their The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time

1) Jamie Lee Curtis - Halloween

Curtis, the daughter of Janet Leigh, only made $8,000 for her feature film debut as Laurie Strode. But she gained so much more than that, she gained immortality. Almost all horror critics and fans credit Curtis as being the first scream queen. Her portrayal of Laurie, the sister of bloodthirsty Michael Myers, is epic. John Carpenter made this low budget slasher flick for $380,000, and it has gone on to gross $107 million worldwide. Not to mention, it inspired an entire genre of horror: the slasher flick. Halloween ranks #14 on Bravo’s The 100 Scariest Movie Moments and in 2007, it was named the greatest horror movie ever in AOL’s 31 Days of Horror countdown. Curtis has enjoyed a very successful career since Halloween, starring in over 38 movies from every genre. 

 

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Leslie Dobbins