The best horror movies have female heroines. To the viewer, there's nothing that gets you on the edge of your seat faster than a young lady in a frightening predicament. It's one of Wes Craven's finest methods—to cast a girl in a vulnerable position with a nasty villain coming to catch her.
The following scream queens will forever be known best by their roles in quintessential horror flicks. As is the Hollywood effect, everything outside of their iconic roles become secondary interests to audiences. But these actresses have stayed busy (save for Shannon Elizabeth, spoiler!) and have expanded their repertoire beyond the realm of the silver screen. Most of these women were big in the 90s, some earlier, and today they're still at it. Here's what they've been up to.
10 Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell's second name might as well be Sidney Prescott. Campbell starred in all four Scream films, including Scream 4 in 2011—Wes Craven's last film before he died. After his passing, Campbell gave a touching eulogy: “We lost a great deal of magic yesterday. I'm devastated to hear of Wes's passing. My life wouldn't be what it is without him. I will be forever grateful for his brilliant direction, his wicked sense of humor and his consummate kindness and friendship...”
9 Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt is a jack of many trades. But she was once known as a horror movie bombshell, starring in I Know What You Did Last Summer as Julie James. Both the 1997 flick and its 1998 sequel were box office hits.
Aside from acting, Hewitt dabbles in music and writing. In 2010 she published a book called The Day I Shot Cupid, which became a New York Times Bestseller. In the book she talks about the wonder of “vajazzling”—the fad that I'd prefer not to give the definition for here—and Hewitt claims she helped bring it to the mainstream. Hewitt said on Twitter that she's working on another book.
8 Jennifer Tilly
One of Jennifer Tilly's most memorable roles was playing killer doll Chucky's girlfriend in Bride of Chucky. It turns out that acting isn't her primary passion. Tilly loves nothing more than killing it on the poker circuit.
7 Heather Langenkamp
Heather Langenkamp was a student at Stanford before she starred as Nancy Thompson in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street. So it's obvious she's got smarts. Over the years she's used those smarts to build an Academy-Award-winning special effects company called AFX Studio. (She did the creature effects in Star Trek: Into Darkness.)
6 Clea DuVall
5 Shannon Elizabeth
Who could forget Nadia? Shannon Elizabeth is best remembered as Jason Biggs' sexy foreign muse in American Pie movies, but she did have stints as a scream queen in the 90s. She chilled us all in Jack Frost, Thirteen Ghosts and Night of the Demons. Some have wondered where the heck she's been, since she hasn't been in anything of note since American Reunion in 2012, and I'm wondering the same thing.
4 Rose McGowan
3 Sarah Michelle Gellar
2 Linda Blair
She haunted everyone with a bone-chilling portrayal of Regan MacNeil in 1973's The Exorcist. But since then, the life of Linda Blair has revolved around animals. One could even call her an animal freak. Just check her Twitter.
1 Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis has become one of the most acclaimed actors of her generation. But in the beginning, she was Laurie Strode—a teenager haunted by her psycho brother Michael Myers. After the 1978 horror classic Halloween, her career took off as a scream queen, starring in Halloween II, The Fog and Terror Train. But as the nineties came she expanded her resume.
Today she is still acting. You might have also seen her as a spokesperson for Activia. More recently, she played Zooey Deschanel's mom in New Girl. As of September of last year, she began starring in Fox's Scream Queens, which ironically features a few of the people on this list.
Sources: EW.com, TheWrap.com, YouTube.com, USMagazine.com, JustJared.com, Twitter.com
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