Scream queens are extremely important to keep the horror genre going. This particular term describes an actress who is influential in horror movies. An actress generally earns this title when she has a notable appearance in a film of this genre.
This term is also given to actresses who have recurring roles in horror films. This term might apply more specifically to an attractive young damsel-in-distress. Here are some of the scream queens who left an impression on the audiences:
1. Janet Leigh
When talking about the legendary scream queens, one can’t ignore Janet Leigh. She was already a renowned actress when she played Marion Crane in the film Psycho. However, it is her famous shower scene in the film that people remember.
She even got an Oscar nomination for her performance in the movie. This particular scene earned her a few other significant roles. One of them was in John Carpenter’s 1980 classic, The Fog.
2. Celeste Yarnall
This alluring actress is famous for the kiss that she shared with Elvis Presley on screen. However, she also had an impressive appearance in the Filipino horror film, Beast of Blood. She plays the reporter Myra Russell in this film, who is involved in an investigation of a ship explosion.
The poster of this movie would be enough to scare anyone, as it depicts a monster ripping off its own head! What’s even more surprising is the fact that there was no such scene in the movie. This horrific work of art eventually gained more popularity than the film.
3. Heather Langenkamp
She is best known for her role of Nancy Thompson in the horror film A Nightmare On Elm Street. Upon its release, the film was highly praised by the critics. Many consider it as one of the greatest films in the horror genre. The movie also spawned a franchise, which consisted of six sequels and a television series.
Heather was also cast by Wes Craven in his 1989 film Shocker. She had a few other memorable horror roles in her career. Considering this, her contribution to the horror genre as a scream queen is undeniable.
4. Sigourney Weaver
As Ellen Ripley, she gave a fantastic performance in the Alien franchise. The second among them was released in 1986, which also gave her an Oscar nomination. She has played some great roles in thrillers, such as The Village. Of course, her career is not defined by the horror genre. It was its combination with sci-fi that became a reason for her popularity in Hollywood.
5. Barbara Crampton
Her roles in Chopping Mall and You’re Next can easily earn her the title of a scream queen. Chopping Mall tells the tale of three security robots that turn into maniacs. They kill the teenage employees inside a shopping mall. Barbara Crampton plays the role of Suzie Lynn in the film.
After starting her career in television soap operas in the 1980s, she worked mainly in horror and thriller films. Besides her role in Chopping Mall, her other defining roles were in Puppet Master and Jakob’s Wife. She even got a Critic’s Choice Super Award nomination for the latter.