We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

How to watch the Scream movies in order

Hello, Sydney!

scream

Just when Sydney thought it was safe, along comes another Scream movie to put her in danger all over again – although if we were Sydney Prescott we would never be able to relax for the rest of our lives.

Advertisement

The new Scream movie, the fifth in the franchise, and somewhat confusingly named the same as the first, is coming on 14th January 2022 and will see the return of series mainstays Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Roger L. Jackson.

And there will be a whole new lot of victims for Ghostface to claim as new cast members include Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why), Jenna Ortega (Jane the Virgin) and Mikey Madison (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).

Happily, there’s no confusing continuity to get your head around with the Scream franchise as each movie simply follows on from the next. There is a TV show, however, that has been thrown into the mix and, while it is not essential viewing, we have included it here for those of you who do not want to miss a single grizzly, brutal murder.

If you have never watched the franchise before and you’re wondering where to start this is the best order to watch Scream.

Scream

scream sydney

Released: 1996

The first Scream movie made a splash when it first aired and it took the more meta approach to a masked serial killer that creator Wes Craven had used previously with his seventh entry in The Nightmare on Elm Street series – New Nightmare.

With a plot that kept people guessing right until the end and a memorable mix of characters all primed to be targeted by the killer, Scream was an instant success and it is little wonder that sequels followed in quick succession – even if they did not quite match the heights that the first film had.

Where to watch: Buy Scream 1-3 on Blu-Ray

Scream 2

scream 2

Released: 1997

While not quite as strong as the first film, Scream 2 largely succeeds because it once again nails the meta tone that the franchise is known for. While the first played up to the tropes of a standard slasher flick, the second leaned heavily on it being a sequel and all the expected twists and turns that it entails.

There was a great cast assembled for this one too including Jerry O’Connell, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Laurie Metcalf and Timothy Olyphant and they played alongside the returning characters well and helped give us a story that, while not doing too much to change things up from the original, still made it feel fresh. We’re still not sold on the killer’s identity with this one though.

Where to watch: Buy Scream 1-3 on Blu-Ray

Scream 3

scream 3

Released: 2000

Arguably the worst movie out of the four, and for the sake of the 2022 film we hope it stays that way, Scream 3 had some things working for it, but the concept was starting to feel a tad tired three entries in and while there were some surprises, like the shocking death of a Scream original early on, it was hard to invest in a franchise that at this point felt repetitive.

To jump to the defence of Scream 3 though, it was a film that was heavily influenced, and hampered, by the studio in response to several real-world violent acts that many blamed slasher movies for. The violence was toned down and the comedy was dialled up and while that worked in places, Scream was always a horror franchise first and a comedic one second and Scream 3 is the perfect example of what it should always stay that way.

Where to watch: Buy Scream 1-3 on Blu-Ray

Scream 4

scream 4

Released: 2011

It took a long time for another instalment in the franchise with an eleven-year gap between the third and fourth film – coincidentally the same amount of time between the fourth and the upcoming fifth entry. And it was a welcome return as not only did Scream 4 end up being better received than the previous one, the meta jokes regarding reboots landed perfectly.

Not only that but the new cast that appeared alongside the returning faces were fun to watch with Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anthony Anderson and Adam Brody all making a great impression. Killer twist when the latest serial killer was revealed too.

Where to watch: Buy Scream 4 on Blu-Ray

The Scream TV Series 

scream-tv-series

More of a bonus watch this. There was also a TV series of Scream that ran for 3 seasons between 2015 – 2019 and while it is not directly connected to any continuity that the movies gave us, the general feel remains the same and it is interesting to see how they handle telling the story over a longer period of time than the movies allowed. Plus, the show is actually on a streaming service here in the UK so, unlike the movies, you can watch them instantly as part of your Netflix subscription.

Where to watch: Netflix

Advertisement

Find something to watch tonight with our TV Guide.