The term “scream queen” once carried a stigma and was associated with typecasting and ‘B-list’ status.
In recent years, the title of scream queen has taken on a different connotation and is a designation that is more readily embraced. Many consider it to be an elite status only bestowed on a select few. A scream queen is more than just an actor who stars in a couple of horror films. A scream queen is someone who embraces the horror film genre and their work within it.
See our top fifteen picks listed inside!
15. Debbie Rochon
Voted the scream queen of the decade (1990-1999) by readers of Draculina magazine, Debbie Rochon has been in countless horror films. Debbie is also a Troma favorite, having starred in multiple Troma Studios releases. Notable roles include Santa Claws, The Theatre Bizarre and Satan Hates You.
14. Heather Langenkamp
Heather is best known for her role as Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street. She portrayed a strong female when that wasn’t commonplace. Other notable roles include A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and New Nightmare. She also worked on Wes Craven’s highly forgettable film, Shocker.
13. Linnea Quigley
One of Linnea Quigley’s most memorable roles was as the perpetually naked “Trash” in Return of the Living Dead. Quigley was in an all girl rock band called The Skirts and has starred in a horror themed work out video. Other notable roles include Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Silent Night, Deadly Night and Night of the Demons.
12. P.J. Soles
P.J. Soles gained notoriety in genre films in the ‘70s, with roles in two of the biggest horror films of that decade. Notable roles include Carrie, Halloween, and more recently, The Devil’s Rejects.
11. Barbara Crampton
Widely known as the legendary Stuart Gordon’s muse, Barbara Crampton was featured in several of Gordon’s films throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. She has made a recent return to horror, with roles in You’re Next and Lords of Salem. Notable roles include From Beyond, Chopping Mall and Re-animator.
10. Adrienne Barbeau
Barbeau started as a television actress, but made a appeared in several fright flicks, shortly after. She was briefly married to John Carpenter, and has starred in several of his films. Notable roles include The Fog, Swamp Thing, and Creepshow.
9. Milla Jovovich
Thanks, largely in part to the success of the Resident Evil franchise, Milla Jovovich has become a breakout star. Jovovich brings the perfect mixture of vulnerability and “tough as nails” bad assery to her role as Alice in the Resident Evil films. Notable roles include the Resident Evil films, naturally, and Faces in the Crowd.
8. Asia Argento
Raised by horror royalty, Asia Argento was born to be a scream queen. Father, Dario Argento, helmed classics such as Suspiria and The Bird With the Crystal Plumage. Her mother, Daria Nicolodi, co-wrote Suspiria and starred in Deep Red and Inferno. Asia has been rated the sexiest woman in the world by Maxim Magazine. Notable roles include Land of the Dead, The Stendhal Syndrome and the long-awaited, but ultimately disappointing Mother of Tears.
7. Katherine Isabelle
Katherine Isabelle made a name for herself in horror cinema with her role as Ginger in the Ginger Snaps series. She has continued to work regularly in genre films since. Other notable roles include Freddy vs. Jason, Carrie (2002) and the upcoming American Mary.
6. Sara Paxton
A relative newcomer to genre films, Sarah Paxton’s genre work has made a big impression on audiences in a short time. While she has worked in film and television since the mid-‘90s, it wasn’t until 2009 that she began to find her niche in the horror genre. She has a likeable girl next door quality to her screen persona. Notable roles include The Last House on the Left (2009), The Innkeepers and Shark Night.