With this week’s release of Jennifer’s Body it is inevitable the topic of scream queens will come up, and even if it doesn’t… I’m bringing it up, but not in the form of a top ten. I really don’t see how you can rank these ladies, or what purpose it would serve as several could take the top spot and the others all coming in a close second. They all bring a little something special to each of their films and remain memorable for their performances.
So I present you a selection of classic scream queens, including all-timers such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh and Fay Wray, a few of my own favorites and a selection of memorable extras at the very end. However, once you look through my list tell me who I left off and who your favorite scream queens are. I think I’ve taken care of many of the obvious choices, and hope you have more to add to the conversation.
Fay Wray (King Kong)
We’re getting the obvious out of the way from the start and Fay Wray is pretty much known as the very first scream queen and anyone that has seen 1933’s original King Kong will never forget her performance.
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Jamie Lee Curtis is probably the name that comes to mind first or second when it comes to the conversation of scream queens. It’s either Curtis or Wray and it simply depends on which generation you belong to, but it’s hard to say either would be wrong when deciding on a #1 pick.
Janet Leigh (Psycho)
Then we move to Janet Leigh and I wouldn’t begrudge anyone that decided she was their favorite. I mean, when it comes to iconic screams where does Leigh’s death in the shower rank?
Linda Blair (The Exorcist)
I just love Linda Blair in The Exorcist and she is truly terrifying, but I wonder would others out there decide on Ellen Burstyn?
Shelley Duvall (The Shining)
Doesn’t the picture just say it all? Duvall is a wreck in The Shining and for those that have seen one of the greatest behind-the-scenes docs on the making of this film know she went through hell to bring us this character. How could I leave her off?
Sissy Spacek (Carrie)
Another classic character and performance that simply can’t be left out of the conversation when it comes to the topic of the queens that scream.