The 15 Best Horror Franchises Of All Time, Ranked

No other horror franchise is as consistent as “Scream.” Loosely based on The Gainesville Ripper, the 1996 original flipped the horror genre on its head with playful meta-ness and fang-toothed teardown of genre tropes. Plus, our central protagonist Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) redefined what it meant to be a Final Girl. Even though he was essential in cementing horror conventions, Wes Craven knew exactly how to shatter them and remold them for a new generation.

When “Scream” became a blockbuster success, sequels were inevitable. “Scream 2” and “Scream 3” did all the things sequels should do: upped the body count, delivered more elaborate kill sequences, put the central characters in actual danger, and involved a “preponderance of exposition,” as Randy (Jamie Kennedy) put it best.

The franchise then laid dormant for 11 years before returning with “Scream 4,” showcasing Craven’s commentary on horror’s remake craze. Following his death, the franchise lay dormant until 2022. With 2022’s requel “Scream,” the story veered away from Sidney. Instead, it refocused attention on a new crop of characters. “Scream VI” followed a year later — and once again delivered the goods with strong character work, more blood, and elevated (quite literally) set pieces. 

“Scream” is the rare franchise that is miles ahead of its competition — even on its worst day. Radio Silence has met the challenge to keep Craven’s legacy alive. You can’t kill Ghostface, after all.

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