Scream Movies in Order: A Complete Guide to Watching the Iconic Horror Franchise

by Tara Price

15th October, 2023

Scream Movies in Order: A Complete Guide to Watching the Iconic Horror Franchise


Do you love the thrill of a good horror movie? If so, then you’re probably familiar with the iconic Scream franchise. The Scream movies, created by director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson, revolutionised the slasher genre when the first film was released in 1996. With its clever blend of satire, suspense, and self-awareness, Scream became a cultural phenomenon and spawned several sequels and a TV series. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the Scream movies in order, from the original film to the latest installment. So grab some popcorn, turn off the lights, and get ready for a scream-filled journey!

Scream (1996)
Scream (1996)

The Birth of a Franchise: Scream (1996)

The journey into the world of Scream begins with the first film, simply titled Scream. Released on December 20, 1996, Scream introduced audiences to the fictional town of Woodsboro, where a masked killer known as Ghostface terrorises a group of high school students. The film centres around Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, a young woman who becomes the primary target of Ghostface. As the body count rises, Sidney must unravel the mystery and unmask the killer before it’s too late.

Scream was a game-changer for the horror genre. It cleverly deconstructed the typical slasher movie tropes and introduced a self-awareness that was refreshing and innovative. The film’s meta-commentary on horror movies and its clever twists kept audiences on the edge of their seats. Scream was both a critical and commercial success, solidifying its place as a horror classic.

Scream 2 (1997)
Scream 2 (1997)

The Saga Continues: Scream 2 (1997)

A year after the success of the first film, Scream 2 hit theatres on December 12, 1997. This time, the story takes place two years after the events of the original film, with Sidney now in college. However, the past comes back to haunt her when a copycat killer dons the Ghostface mask and starts targeting her and her friends once again. As the body count rises, Sidney must confront her fears and find a way to survive the relentless pursuit of the killer.

Scream 2 builds upon the success of its predecessor, offering more thrills, suspense, and unexpected twists. The film delves deeper into the mythology of the ghostface killer and introduces new characters who become entangled in the deadly game of cat and mouse. Scream 2 further solidified the franchise’s reputation for smart writing, memorable characters, and shocking surprises.

Scream 3 (2000)
Scream 3 (2000)

Unveiling the Truth: Scream 3 (2000)

Three years later, Scream 3 was released on February 4, 2000. This installment takes the story in a new direction by exploring the behind-the-scenes world of the Stab franchise, a series of movies based on the events of the previous Scream films. Sidney, now living in seclusion, is forced to come out of hiding when a new ghostface emerges and starts targeting the actors involved in the Stab 3 production. As the body count rises, Sidney must confront the truth about her past and put an end to the cycle of violence.

Scream 3 brought a fresh perspective to the franchise by delving into the meta-commentary on Hollywood and the horror movie industry itself. The film offers a mix of scares, suspense, and dark humour, while also providing closure to some lingering questions from the previous films. Scream 3 may have divided critics and fans, but it remains an integral part of the Scream saga.

Scream 4 (2011)

A New Generation of Scares: Scream 4 (2011)

After more than a decade-long hiatus, the Scream franchise returned with a bang in 2011 with Scream 4. Directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, the film brings back familiar faces, including Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers, and David Arquette as Dewey Riley. This time, the story follows Sidney’s return to Woodsboro, where a new Ghostface killer emerges and starts targeting a new generation of teenagers. As the body count rises, Sidney must once again face her darkest fears and outwit the relentless killer.

Scream 4 revitalised the franchise by blending elements of nostalgia with a fresh take on the slasher genre. The film pays homage to its predecessors while introducing a new cast of characters and modernising the story for a new era. Scream 4 received positive reviews for its clever writing, intense suspense, and satisfying conclusion, proving that the franchise still had plenty of scares left to deliver.

Scream (2022)
Scream (2022)

The Legacy Lives On: Scream (2022)

In January 2022, the Scream franchise returned once again with a direct sequel to the original film, also titled Scream. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, this latest installment brings back familiar faces like Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette, along with a new generation of characters. The story picks up years after the events of the previous films, with Ghostface returning to Woodsboro to terrorise a new group of victims. Sidney, Gale, and Dewey must join forces to uncover the identity of the killer and put an end to the bloodshed once and for all.

Scream (2022) successfully captures the essence of the original film while adding a modern twist. It pays homage to the franchise’s legacy while delivering fresh scares and unexpected twists. The film received critical acclaim for its suspenseful atmosphere, clever writing, and strong performances from both the returning cast and the new additions. Scream (2022) proves that even after decades, the Scream franchise can still deliver a chilling and thrilling experience.

Scream VI (2023)
Scream VI (2023)

A Glimpse of the Future: Scream VI (2023)

Scream VI was released in 2023 and has since garnered various reviews from critics and audiences alike. The movie shifted its location to New York and, notably, did not feature Sidney Prescott, a central character from the previous films. This sequel has been described as helping to establish Scream as one of the most reliable and sturdy franchises in the horror genre source.

Critics have praised the film for its approach. While Scream VI is less focused on a central thesis compared to its predecessor, it cleverly comments on franchise fatigue and the repetitive nature of trauma. This commentary is delivered without the didactic or smug tone found in other horror films that try to be high-minded.

How to Watch the Scream Movies in Order

Now that we’ve covered the chronological order of the Scream movies, you might be wondering how you can watch them all. Fortunately, there are several options available, whether you prefer streaming, digital rentals, or physical media.

Streaming Services: Many of the Scream movies are available to stream on popular platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Check your preferred streaming service to see if they offer the Scream movies as part of their library.

Video-On-Demand (VOD): If you prefer to rent or buy the Scream movies digitally, platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and Google Play Movies offer them for digital rental or purchase. Simply search for the movie titles on these platforms to find the options available.

Physical Media: For those who enjoy collecting movies on physical media, the Scream movies are available on Blu-ray and DVD. You can find them at various retailers, both online and in-store. Look for box sets or individual releases, depending on your preference.


The Scream franchise has left an indelible mark on the horror genre, combining scares, suspense, and self-awareness to create a unique and thrilling experience. From the groundbreaking original film to the latest installment, the Scream movies continue to captivate audiences with their clever writing, memorable characters, and unexpected twists. Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to the franchise, watching the Scream movies in order is a must for any horror enthusiast. So dim the lights, gather your courage, and prepare for a scream-filled journey through the iconic Scream franchise!

Additional Information: The Scream movies have a dedicated fan base and have influenced countless other horror films. The franchise has also spawned merchandise, including action figures, posters, and clothing. Scream has become a cultural phenomenon, with the Ghostface mask becoming one of the most recognisable symbols of the horror genre.

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