Ah October, it’s my favorite month of the year. It is the only time of year when you can walk into your local video store and check out the most blood soaked, gore filled titles without judgment. So, in honor of the darkest holiday of them all, we give you the top 10 scream queens and a few lesbian favorites including Margot Kidder, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Heather Langenkamp, Mia Farrow, Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Neve Campbell, Linda Blair, Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis and more!
Ah October, it’s my favorite month of the year. It marks the beginning of the end….of the year.
The leaves are changing color, the weather is cooler, hot apple cider is on the stove, pumpkins are being picked from their patches and candy is plentiful.
And of course, you always have the countless hours of horror films flooding the airwaves. It is the only time of year when you can walk into your local video store and check out the most blood soaked, gore filled titles without judgment.
So, in honor of the darkest holiday of them all, we give you the top 10 scream queens:
10) 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.
9) 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 as Scream 2, The Grudge 1 & 2, and is best known as TVs Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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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!
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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.
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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 ranks Psycho #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. She is also an accomplished children’s author.
And that brings us to the honorable mention section.
There is much debate over whether sci-fi should be included with the horror genre and to that I say, it all depends on the film. In the case of Alien, I think there is definitely a case for inclusion.
Sigourney Weaver - Alien
Weaver stars as Lt. Ellen Ripley, a tough, no nonsense miner who can take on any human or, in this case, slimy, savage alien that crosses her path. Ripley is so tough, she can even cheat death. In the last installment of the franchise, Alien Resurrection, Ripley is revived as a human/alien hybrid clone 200 years after her demise. Weaver was #81 on Empire magazine’s Sexiest Stars in film history list, as well as #13 in Femme Fatales Sci-Fi's Sexy 50. Her performance in Alien landed her #8 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Happy Halloween everyone!