Scream stands as one of the most beloved horror franchises that hasn’t been completely ruined by sequels yet. Even though none of the followup films could really stand up next to the original’s specifically cheeky tone and subversive nature, none of them were just flat-out bad either. Okay, Scream 3 wasn’t great, but we’re willing to overlook that.
In the 20 years since Scream premiered, there have been four films and a television series based on the original. In these twenty years, many, many attractive women have come and gone in the Scream universe. I mean, in most horror movies, there are hot women. That’s almost a rule of horror movies.
In Scream in particular, there seems to be a plethora of attractive actresses playing both major and minor roles. One of the reasons they're able to include so many actresses is because of the "Stab" spoof movies within Scream. Stab is a franchise of films in the Scream world (a movie within the movie) based on the Scream murders. In the small scenes shown of the Stab movies, there are usually big name (and super attractive) actresses playing the roles.
So, while Scream could be praised for several things, like its ability to make commentary about horror films while still being an effective horror movie itself, it can also totally be praised for the sheer amount of attractive women on the screen. Below are 15 of the hottest actresses in the Scream universe, a list that keeps growing with every sequel.
15 Courteney Cox
Courteney Cox is one of the only beauties to have appeared in all four Scream films. Her character, Gale Weathers, did not start out as a completely likeable character, as she wrote a book detailing the murder of Sidney Prescott’s mother. I mean, Sidney even punches Gale. Fortunately, Cox’s character becomes much more likeable, as she helps solve the murders and falls for Dewey Riley, played by David Arquette who Cox married in real life.
Of course, Gale Weathers remained and will always remain self-serving but we totally warmed up to her. It also helped that Courteney Cox played the character. Not only is Cox smokin’ but she also basically looks the same as she did in the first Scream film, which came out 20 years ago. Whenever they make a Scream 5 (because let's be honest, it'll totally happened eventually), she’ll probably reprise her Gale Weathers character, looking just as hot as ever.
14 Bella Thorne
Okay, so Bella Thorne may not have had a long run in the Scream-world but she’s super hot so we had to throw her on the list.
On the television show Scream, Thorne appeared as Nina Patterson, the resident mean girl who was murdered in the pilot episode. So, yeah, she may have only been alive for, like, 15 minutes of the very first episode of the show but, like Drew Barrymore’s character in the original film, her death is important as it begins the killing spree.
The 18-year-old actress got her start young, appearing on Entourage, The O.C. and Dirty Sexy Money all before she was even 10 years old. From there, Thorne became a Disney star (because duh) in the sitcom Shake It Up. Thorne then made her way onto the big screen and, eventually, into the Scream universe.
Though she was only a player in the game for a very short time, Thorne definitely left her mark.
13 Alison Brie
Alison Brie has made a career out of playing tightly-wound overachieving characters, and her role in Scream 4 wasn’t much different. She played Sidney Prescott’s agent, who gets slashed by the killer in a parking garage. The fact that she met her end so early is really a letdown for fans of Brie because she is a hottie.
Brie had a reoccurring role in Mad Men but really came to prominence for her role in Community, playing Annie Edison the valedictorian-type who ends up in community college. While her characters don’t necessarily tend to be the "hot girl" characters, off-screen she certainly lets her sex siren shine on through.
Whether playing the good girl on screen or doing a sultry photoshoot off-screen, one thing is for sure - Alison Brie is hot.
12 Kristen Bell
Who in their right mind doesn’t love Kristen Bell? The immensely talented actress rose to fame when she starred in Veronica Mars. From there, her career really exploded and she has showed no signs of stopping. Since Veronica Mars, Bell has gone on to star in comedies, television shows, and indie dramas. She even voiced the Gossip Girl character for all 121 episodes of Gossip Girl. Oh, and the smash hit Frozen? Yeah, she voiced Anna.
So, Bell is a pretty busy actress. She still found time to appear in Scream 4 though. Admittedly, she actually appears in the Stab 7 film within Scream 4 but still. In Bell’s short part, she watched a Stab film (yes, within her own Stab film) with Anna Paquin. When Paquin starts ranting about how predictable the Stab series is, Bell stabs her.
Also, one should note that Anna Paquin is most certainly another hottie who is in the Scream films.
11 Jada Pinkett Smith
Like many of the beauties on this list, Jada Pinkett Smith doesn’t last too long in the Scream universe because, well, there's a killer on the loose.
Smith appears in Scream 2 but only in the opening scene. She and her boyfriend go to a screening of Stab and everyone is donning the ghostface mask. When her boyfriend goes to the bathroom, he’s murdered and the killer returns to sit down next to Smith’s character. The killer then stabs Smith’s character, who, trying to escape from him, climbs onto the stage under the screen. The audience thinks it's a performance of some sort until she drops dead, for real.
Smith’s character gets points for being Jada Pinkett Smith because if you’re hot enough for Will Smith, you’re hot enough for us - for everyone really. She’s also delightful in her small role, as she calls out the protagonist of Stab for her predictable horror movie moves.
10 Drew Barrymore
I’ll be the first to admit that Drew Barrymore can vary in the way that she looks. Not that Drew ever really looks bad. She’s certainly a beautiful woman, but sometimes she’s very "flower child" while other times she embraces her inner sex kitten. Whether she’s being her flower child self or more of a sex kitten, she had to make this list for her iconic death scene.
In the opening scene of Scream, the killer calls Barrymore’s character and asks what her favorite scary movie is. He continues to terrorize her, even killing her boyfriend in front of her, then he finally kills Barrymore. The scene has been spoofed over and over again because of just how iconic it has become since Scream. Craven’s genius way of showing us that the normal horror movie rules didn’t apply in Scream resulted in a horrifying scene that will forever be remember by audiences.
9 Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere got to play the hottie of all hotties in Scream 4. I mean, what dude wouldn’t like a totally hot chick who is deeply into horror movies?
In Scream 4, Panettiere plays Emma Roberts’ bestie. The pair love to hang out, braid each other’s hair and watch old school horror movies. Of course, for someone so obsessively into horror films, you’d think Panettiere would have seen her death scene coming.
In the film, her crush Charlie Walker (played by Rory Culkin, who is totally Macaulay Culkin’s brother and looks a lot like him) is tied to a chair outside. It mimics the Drew Barrymore scene in the original, as Panettiere is quizzed on horror movie trivia in order to save Charlie's life via the telephone. Believing she’s won, she runs outside to Charlie. That’s when Charlie stabs Panettiere himself. Yep, she totally should have seen that coming.
8 Willa Fitzgerald
Willa Fitzgerald plays the protagonist on the Scream television series. While she doesn’t look exactly like Neve Campbell, she certainly has the same good-girl vibe that Campbell’s character has in the original series. Fitzgerald, like Campbell, is also kind of kick-ass, which you’d have to be as one of the only surviving people of a killing spree.
The actress is no stranger to television, as she has also appeared in Gotham, Royal Pains, and The Following. While her character doesn’t necessarily exude sexuality (give her a break guys, she’s playing a high school student), she’s an extremely beautiful girl and gets bonus points for being the Sidney of the television series.
7 Jenny McCarthy
Even though Jenny McCarthy appeared in the film that marked the lowest point in the franchise, Scream 3, she is undoubtedly one of the hottest women in this franchise. I mean, it’s Jenny freakin’ McCarthy. She’s appeared in Playboy. She was Playmate of the Year. She’s hot. The end.
In Scream 3, McCarthy plays Sarah Darling, an actress in Stab 3. Darling mocks her role in the Stab franchise, stating that she’s playing a blonde bimbo. While Darling’s character is a bit meatier than her Stab character (sorry, guys, we’re deep into the meta here), Darling still serves as a blonde bimbo type character.
Though, one should note McCarthy's Scream character and the Stab character that her Scream character plays aren’t exactly the same. In Stab 3, Candy Brooks was scripted to die second and in Scream 3, Darling died third. So, yeah, big difference.
And moving on now that all of that confusing movie-within-a-movie talk is done.
6 Lucy Hale
Yet another addition from Scream 4. For the record, Scream 4 was literally stacked with hot, young actresses. It’s like the producers just scrolled through a list of a hot actresses to cast the entire film.
Anyways, Lucy Hale played a minor role in Scream 4 but she is seriously hot so we threw her into the mix. Lucy plays a character in the Stab series, who gets murdered in Stab 6. She, along with Shenae Grimes, who is another Scream hottie, star in a Stab 6 scene that is very similar to Drew Barrymore’s iconic scene.
The actress is no stranger to acting scared, as she stars in Pretty Little Liars, the ABC Family series about a group of high school girls who are terrorized by a mysterious “A”. Well, it’s certainly a shame her run in the Scream universe wasn’t longer.
5 Sarah Michelle Gellar
If we were making a list of seriously sexy stars from 90s horror films, Sarah Michelle Gellar may be at the very top.
Gellar rose to fame with the cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which she played the title role. So, yeah, she spent most of the 90s as a sexy, kick-ass chick who kept California (and the world) free of vampires. Along with the other 90s hottie Jennifer Love Hewitt, She went on to star in the other widely-popular teen horror film, I Know What You Did Last Summer. From there, Gellar went on to appear in Scream 2 as CiCi Cooper, who was definitely not as kick-ass as Buffy - though, she did totally try her best.
In the film, Gellar's character stays home from a party as the ‘sober sister’ at her sorority and the killer makes his move on CiCi. RIP, Buffy. We wish you lived longer in the Scream world.
4 Emma Roberts
In Scream 4, Emma Roberts plays Jill Roberts, the cousin of Sidney Prescott. Spoiler alert, Jill Roberts is the killer in Scream 4 so obviously Emma Roberts gets killed off by the end of the film because even if the Scream films poke fun at horror movie tropes, they still stick to killing off the killer at the end.
Roberts’ character, though, does take on a fresh twist for a modern-day teenage killing spree. Her reason for staging the killing spree of which she’ll be the only survivor is that she wants to be famous for surviving, just like her cousin Sidney. This serves as commentary for the younger generation and their exposure to what fame and success mean in a society changed by social media and reality television.
Roberts is truly like the Kim Kardashian of the Scream franchise, as she even films all the murders so she can release them. While an interesting spin, Roberts was killed by Sidney in the end, because Sid is the OG of final girls.
3 Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell is the reigning queen of all Scream films ever. She’s carried the franchise as Sidney Prescott, the wholesome girl whose mother’s murder was followed by a media frenzy. Of course, Campbell stays fairly wholesome throughout the films because that is her character.
Over the course of her career, she’s mostly played the good girl. In The Craft, she played the good witch who was victimized by her coven. In Party of Five, she played the straight-A student who lost both of her parents and had to take on a lot of responsibly. So, yeah, Campbell spent a lot of her career playing good girls. Off-screen though, Campbell is super sultry.
2 Heather Graham
Heather Graham is admittedly very high on this list considering how little screen time she had in the series, but have you actually seen Heather Graham? She’s almost always one of the hottest girls in anything she’s ever in.
Graham appears in Scream 2 as an actress in Stab. In the Stab film, she portrays Drew Barrymore’s character in her iconic death scene. Of course, it’s hard to pay full attention to Graham’s Stab scene because this is in the theater while Jada Pinkett Smith’s character is murdered so there’s that going on. Either way, we love that Graham portrayed the infamous Drew Barrymore scene in the Stab film and we love Heather Graham because who doesn't?
1 Rose McGowan
Did you think I would forget about Tatum Riley? Oh, hell no. We were just saving the best for last.
Tatum Riley is played by the ageless Rose McGowan. Tatum was the stereotypical popular and hot girl in high school and was Sidney’s bestie. While on screen, Tatum is a bit more well-rounded than the typical b*tch-in-charge high school character, as she gets into a feminist argument with Stu and praises Sidney as a “super b*tch” after she punches Gale Weathers.
Unfortunately for everyone watching the movie, Tatum goes to grab beer from her garage during the big bash in Scream and meets the killer there. Everyone knows how this ends, right? She tries to fit through the doggie door, gets stuck and the killer has the garage door lifted, effectively killing Tatum.
Other than Drew Barrymore’s death, this is one probably stays with audiences the longest. Rose McGowan is also ridiculously beautiful and basically looks like she hasn’t aged since playing Tatum twenty years ago.
And, eventually, they will probably make a Scream 5 and cast it with a handful of new hotties so there's that to look forward to.