Top 10 movie screamers

    You think movies screams are becoming cliche? Run through our list of cinematic screamers before you decide. Whats your favorite movie scream?

    In scary movies, that full-throated scream at the height of violence is becoming something of a cliche. The preference seems to be something more subtle and gruesome. Peter Crimmins spoke with a Philadelphia filmmaker who thinks screaming might not work in movies at all anymore.

    Now that’s really distubring.

    Before cinematic screams are gone for good, we thought we’d run through some of our favorites. Here, then, are our top 10 movie screamers.

    10. Margaret Hamilton, “The Wizard Of Oz,” 1939What a world! It’s nearly Halloween. We needed at least one witch in here.

    9. David Hedison, “The Fly,” 1958Who could forget that tiny voice—”Help me! Help meeee!” A fly with a tiny human head is trapped in a spider web. Just as the spider descends on his inhuman prey, someone drops a rock on the web and kills them both.

    8. Susan Sarandon, “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” 1975I think she was upset mainly because Tim Curry’s hair was so much better than hers through the entire film.

    7. Nancy Allen, “Blowout,” 1981This movie gets extra credit for taking place in Philadelphia! John Travolta plays a sound recordist assigned to capture some horror movie sound effects. He gets his perfect scream at the climax of the film just before Allen’s “Sally” meets an unfortunate end.

    6. Fay Wray, “King Kong,” 1933Between being tied up by savage islanders or grasped by a huge gorilla, she had little else to do but scream. No wonder she’s the “scream queen” of the silver screen.

    5. Kim Bassinger, “Batman,” 1989She screams through the whole movie, whether The Joker is spraying acid at her or Batman is swinging her to her rescue. It’s annoying, but they are honestly some good screams. (See also: Kate Capshaw, “Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom.”)

    4. Shelley Duvall, “The Shining,” 1980I’d scream too, if I had Jack Nicholson tearing down the bathroom door with a fire axe. You want some home improvements done? Call Ty Pennington, for heaven’s sake.

    3. Janet Leigh, “Psycho,” 1960Oh, she’s a classic! The Shower Scene is still cringeworthy—even though that knife never touches her body. 

    2. Jamie Lee Curtis, “Halloween,” 1978Fay Wray may be the original scream queen, but this daughter of Janet Leigh is widely credited with reviving the title with her vocal performance in this slasher flick.

    1. Susan Backlinie, “Jaws,” 1975It’s not just the scream but the horrifically drawn-out and brutal struggle against death that gets you in this flick. Poor Chrissie, a predator’s plaything, is dragged across the water in the mouth of a great white shark—which the audience never even sees—while her drunk paramour is passed out on the beach in a tangle of clothes.

    Who would you add to the list? Tell us in the coments below.

    Honorable mentionStrictly for its ubiquity, no internet scream list would be complete without this video compilation. The so-called “Wilhelm Scream” is perhaps the most over-used movie sound effect and, in this context, more hilarious than harrowing.

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