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The Best Kills In The Scream Franchise Ranked

"What's your favorite scary movie?" The "Scream" franchise is one of the most well-known and regarded horror film franchises of all time. These movies took tropes from the slasher genre and reimagined them in a way that engaged audiences heavily. Armed with impressive plot twists, compelling characters, and loads of gore, the "Scream" franchise has churned out five movies with a sixth on the way, and a separate television show that ran for three seasons.

The key to the greatness in these films, though, is the killer and the killed. The audience spends the whole movie trying to figure out who the killer is, and what their connection to the main characters will be. At the same time, the audience also puts their nervous energy into wondering what characters will die throughout the run of the film. Though there are a few who have survived thus far — looking at you, Sidney Prescott and Gale Weathers — many main characters have died throughout the movie series.

What's interesting about each kill is the elaborate and brutal methods used to execute them. Every killer seems to get more gruesome and creative than the last, but they always find a way to stick to the roots of the Ghostface mantle. Do you have a favorite on-screen "Scream" kill? Read on to see our ranking of the top 12 kills from all the "Scream" films from least to most exciting.

12. Phil Stevens (Scream 2)

One of the biggest questions following the first "Scream" movie was how the creators could ever top the original. The first installment is such an iconic display of the slasher genre and within itself works really well. However, it also does a great job of setting up the rest of the series, which is evident in the second film. The opener of "Scream 2" follows a couple named Phil (Omar Epps) and Maureen (Jada Pinkett Smith) who are attending a special screening of "Stab." Phil gets up to go to the bathroom and sees a couple of people dressed as Ghostface at the urinals and heads to a stall.

While in the stall, he hears a commotion in the bathroom. He puts his ear to the stall to hear what's going on, and upon doing so is stabbed through the stall and his ear, ultimately meeting his death. This death is extremely unrealistic because Ghostface would have needed to know exactly where Phil's ear was going to be positioned for it to be an effective stab. Further, how did Ghostface know the knife would cut through the stall? It seems like a lot is left to chance with this kill, and though it seems unlikely, it is still one of the best ones in the franchise.

11. Robbie Mercer (Scream 4)

Next on the list is Robbie Mercer (Erik Knudson), who kicks the bucket in "Scream 4." This drunken idiot died too soon. Earlier in "Scream 4," Robbie debates the rules of surviving a horror film and ultimately discovers that the only way to survive is to be gay. The rules state that gay people are supposedly not targeted by the killers. That is partly why Robbie's death is so comical; he claims to be gay to avoid being killed.

Robbie drunkenly walks outside and tries to do a podcast, but realizes his camera is pointed backward. Once he fixes it, the door opens to reveal Ghostface in the frame. He is immediately attacked by Ghostface, being stabbed in the chest and then immediately in the back. Ghostface knocks Robbie over, and Robbie tries to beg for his life. He says that Ghostface cannot kill him because of the rules, saying, "I'm gay if it helps." This does not help, though, and Ghostface stabs him once more, killing him. The death is sad, but the use of the rules against the killer is so funny, earning it a higher rank than some of the others in the franchise.

10. Charlie Walker (Scream 4)

Another "Scream 4" death comes from Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin), one of the killers in the movie alongside Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts). Though Charlie believed they would be like a modern-day Billy and Stu (the original killers), Jill had other plans. Charlie is more of the muscle of the operation. He carries out a lot of the heavy lifting, with Jill acting as the brains. After Jill and Charlie reveal their plan to Sidney, just as they are about to kill her, they first have to make it look like Sidney attacked them and they survived.

Charlie waits nervously as Jill is preparing to stab him in the shoulder. At the last second, though, Jill stabs Charlie in the chest. The moment is shocking and full of betrayal, prompting Jill to explain that she has to be the sole survivor for anyone to care. Charlie falls to the ground and bleeds out, leaving just Jill and Sidney for the fight. During the whole film, you have no idea that Jill is going to betray Charlie because of the way the franchise had set up the "two-killer" idea. Though his death is not particularly exciting in and of itself in terms of methodology, Charlie's death by Jill's betrayal makes it particularly appropriate for this list. The shock factor is what gets the audience here.

9. Rachel (Scream 4)

One of the running gags in the franchise is that after the events of Billy and Stu's murders and Sidney's survival, the story took off across the country. It garnered so much fame that it acquired a movie deal — multiple movies, in fact. The "Stab" film series exists within the fictional "Scream" movie series. They find ways to make references to "Stab" throughout all of the "Scream" movies, but one of the biggest references (and cameos) comes in "Scream 4" with the promo for "Stab 7."

In this, two characters, Chloe (Kristen Bell) and Rachel (Anna Paquin), are watching "Stab 6." They start arguing over whether or not the "Stab" films are quality films. Rachel believes they are stupid, and Chloe believes they are a great example of the genre. In the middle of their argument, Chloe snaps and stabs Rachel in the stomach. It is a shocking twist, but one that perfectly exemplifies the "Stab" spirit. Though this death is not with a "real" character that bears any weight on the show, the twist and the involvement in the "Stab" franchise is what makes this death so exciting for the audience.

8. Cici Cooper (Scream 2)

Though "Scream 2" does not have as many surprising or exciting deaths as some of the other films in the franchise, there are a couple that definitely stands out. First is Cici Cooper (Sarah Michelle Gellar). A sweet sorority girl, Cici was home alone in the sorority house when she got the call from Ghostface. He calls her and eggs her on through the phone for a while until he finally sneaks into the house while her back is turned. He calls her from inside the house and then chases her to the top floor.

When they hit the top floor, Ghostface pushes Cici through the glass doors onto the balcony. He jumps on top of her and repeatedly stabs her until she can hardly move. Then he picks her up and throws her off the balcony onto the concrete. Cici's death is elaborate, long-winded, and very exciting. It is a great example of why these movies work and is one of the best deaths in the franchise.

7. Maureen (Scream 2)

At the beginning of "Scream 2," two people die off the bat instead of just one. The first is Phil Stevens, who dies by Ghostface's hand in the bathroom of the "Stab" movie premiere. While Ghostface is killing Phil in the bathroom, Phil's girlfriend, Maureen (Jada Pinkett Smith), is waiting for him to come back. When Ghostface returns pretending to be Phil, Maureen does not suspect that she is in any danger.

Then, in the middle of the movie at a part where the character is about to be stabbed, Maureen herself is stabbed in the side. Among all the excitement in the theater from the crowd, Maureen's attack is undetected by anyone around her. That is until she is able to make her way to the front of the crowd, in front of the movie screen. Some people believe her to be acting in a publicity stunt for the film. 

However, as she is obviously not acting, she dies in front of them and effectively sets the tone for the rest of the film. This death is so public and in such an ingenious location that it is impossible not to be included on this list. It is one of the more inventive murders from Ghostface and sets the tone for "Scream 2" immediately.

6. Billy Loomis and Stu Macher (Scream 1996)

Two of the most iconic "Scream" characters also have two of the best deaths in the franchise. As fans of the films will know, Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) and his pal Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard) are the two main killers of the first film — a plot twist that shocked and excited many. In the first film, Sidney (Neve Campbell) is able to escape the killers for a moment and uses the Ghostface voice disguise machine in order to get them feeling scared. At this point, Stu is bleeding out, and nearing death, and Billy is still on a warpath to kill Sidney.

He looks for her around the house until he finally gets to the closet, where she is hiding in full Ghostface garb ready to attack. She stabs him twice in the chest with an umbrella end and reveals herself under the mask. Then, Stu gets a reprieve, chasing after Sidney and fighting with her for a bit. Sidney breaks a vase over his head and pushes the television on top of his face, effectively crushing him and electrocuting him to death. 

Billy then finds his reprieve, and jumps Sidney, almost choking her to death. Sidney sticks her finger in Billy's stab wound, though, getting him off of her for a second. As Billy is about to bring the knife down to Sidney, Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) shows up and shoots him. With that, both Stu and Billy, the original Ghostface killers, are dead, creating a memorable fight-and-death sequence for fans.

5. Rebecca Walters (Scream 4)

To kick off the top five, we will start with "Scream 4" and its second-best kill, Rebecca Walters (Alison Brie). Sidney returns to her hometown to promote her new book with Rebecca, her publicist, but Ghostface strikes again with two high school students. Similarly, when Rebecca is leaving an event, she is so frustrated that she does not stop to realize all the creepy settings around her. The flashing lights in the elevator, the empty parking garage, and particularly the creepy phone caller all are signs that she is in danger.

Ghostface says he wants to use Rebecca as a message for Sidney, which means he is closing in. He jumps on the hood of Rebecca's car, which will not start. Rebecca gets out of the car, only to find that Ghostface is gone. She tries to make an exit, but Ghostface catches her and stabs her. Then, to add insult to injury, Ghostface throws her dead body in the middle of a press conference where Gale, Dewey (David Arquette), and some other key players are. Rebecca's death is so intense yet cliche that it has very campy vibes, but the entrance of her dead body in the middle of the press conference is so over the top that it makes her death rank in the fifth place slot.

4. Wes (Scream 2022)

At number four we have Wes (Dylan Minnette), who did not have as surprising of a death as some of the others, but still created an intense and suspenseful moment. Wes is the son of Judy Hicks, an officer well-known to fans of the franchise. While Wes is in the shower and unaware, Judy is brutally murdered in broad daylight by Ghostface, creating this sense of dread and tension that leads perfectly into Wes' death scene. Wes gets out of the shower, and for nearly three full minutes the audience is forced to wonder what is going to happen to him as he unknowingly faces danger at every door open and every turn.

After a suspenseful three minutes, Wes hears a sound at the front door that he goes to investigate. He sees the front door is open, and slowly goes to see what happened. Upon realizing there is nothing at the door, he shuts it, only to turn around and have Ghostface standing right in front of him. The two struggle before Ghostface slowly stabs him through the throat, slowly pulling at the knife until Wes is dead. This death does not come with all the long-winded excitement as some of the others do. However, it is very suspenseful, immediately follows his mother's death, and is just brutally gruesome with how quickly Ghostface overtakes him and how slowly he just watches Wes die.

3. Jill (Scream 4)

In third place, we have the demise of one of the most diabolical killers in the series, Jill Roberts. What makes her such a unique choice for a killer is her direct connection to Sidney. Jill positions herself as being targeted because of her relationship with Sidney. However, because the two women are cousins, it makes the reveal that she is the killer all the more devastating. Her plan is to frame Sidney, kill Sidney and her partner, Charlie, and become the sole survivor of another Ghostface attack and earn praise throughout the country. This plan gets a slight hitch in it, though, when Jill wakes up in the hospital only to realize that Sidney is still alive.

In an acting moment for the ages, both Jill and Sidney fight for survival in Sidney's hospital room. Jill almost bests Sidney a few times, but ultimately their fight is pretty even. Dewey tries to save Sidney but is knocked unconscious by Jill. Gale rushes in to help, and as Jill is about to shoot Gale, Sidney charges the defibrillator and attacks Jill, electrocuting her. Jill is knocked out but has one last reprieve by trying to stab Sidney, to which Sidney turns around and shoots her in the chest. After almost dying and thinking she was going to kill Sidney, Jill's death not only by shooting, but with the defibrillator, too, is very intense, exciting, and a testament to how well Sidney and Gale work together.

2. Tatum (Scream 1996)

This death deserves second place not only because of the methodology but because of how sad it is to watch. Tatum is the cool "it" girl in the first "Scream" film. Girlfriend to Stu Macher, Tatum is definitely a death that is expected, at least by horror movie rule standards. That does not make it easier to watch, though, as Tatum's death is one of the goriest and most inventive methods of murder that Ghostface uses.

Tatum heads out to the garage during a party to get more drinks. While there, the standard door shutting on its own and lights not working horror devices are utilized, driving the tension in the scene greatly. She opens the garage to leave that way, only to find it closes quickly with Ghostface controlling it. She does not believe he is the real Ghostface, though, and delivers one of the most famous lines from the franchise: "Oh, you wanna play psycho killer? Can I be the helpless victim? Okay, let's see, 'No, please don't kill me, Mr. Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel.'"

To this, Ghostface starts to cut her. Tatum fights back, though, getting a few licks in before trying to escape. The door is locked, and the garage will not open, so she tries to crawl out the cat door. Ghostface opens the garage, and Tatum's body is crushed. It is brutal, shocking, and a great scene from the franchise.

1. Casey (Scream 1996)

Finally, in first place, the undoubted best kill in the "Scream" franchise: Casey (Drew Barrymore). As the first character we meet in "Scream," Casey has a lot of pressure to start the film off right. Luckily, the first kill of the franchise is also the best kill, so Wes Craven did an excellent job with this. Casey starts off the movie at home alone, waiting for her boyfriend. She receives a phone call from a stranger, talking to her about horror films. Then, the caller starts threatening Casey's life, saying a lot of scary things on the phone, until he finally tells her that her boyfriend is on the patio, bound and gagged, about to die. Casey then has to answer horror film questions to keep him alive, but upon getting one wrong, Ghostface kills her boyfriend.

Casey tries to run away and even sees her parents pulling up to the house. She runs to get their attention but is chased down and brutally stabbed by Ghostface. To make matters worse, Ghostface breaks her windpipe so she cannot yell at her parents for help, and then he drags her body out to a tree in their yard. When the parents finally see that something happened in the house, they find that Casey is strung up outside, hanging from a tree, dead. This scene entirely sets the tone for the whole "Scream" franchise, as well as for the slasher genre in general. The acting, music, and portrayal perfectly encapsulate what fans can expect from all the "Scream" films.