A staple element of the horror genre, the scream queen exists to fight back against the dark forces threatening everyday life. As a second generation scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis is the name that springs to mind when you think of the term and this week she returns to the film franchise that skyrocketed her career when HALLOWEEN comes to cinemas on Friday.

To celebrate the release, we take a look at the most well-known scream queens of all time.

Janet Leigh

Janet Leigh was discovered at just eighteen years old by fellow actress Norma Shearer who helped her secure a contract with MGM. Through her career Janet appeared in several popular films, such as Act Of Violence, Little Women and Holiday Affair but after seeing her in Orson Welles’ Touch Of Evil, Alfred Hitchcock set out to cast Janet in Psycho. This low-budget thriller went on to become a horror classic and the infamous shower scene is now considered one of the most iconic movie sequences of all time, looked upon as a masterpiece of film editing. As a result, Leigh is considered one of the first great scream queens.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar rose to fame when she starred in the cult film TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer where she played Buffy Anne Summers, a high school cheerleader who discovers that she has the ability to fight vampires and other demons. This gained her widespread recognition and made her a popular choice for 90s-00s horror films. Sarah starred in I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2 and The Grudge, earning her place as an undoubtedly recognisable scream queen.

Neve Campbell

Neve Campbell began her scream queen career in 1996 when she played both Bonnie Harper in The Craft and Sidney Prescott in Wes Craven’s horror Scream. The Craft sees a group of teen girls come together as a witch’s coven to cast spells at their high school in an attempt to have it all. Scream, which became a phenomenon due to openly and expertly satirizing the clichés of the horror genre, spurred 3 subsequent sequels, all starring Campbell and all box office successes – grossing a total of $604 million worldwide.

Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz started her screen queen career at the age of seven when she played one of the children in The Amityville Horror, the horrifying true story of a family who move into a haunted house. From this early experience, the actress has returned to the horror genre multiple times through her career to date in films such as Let Me In, Room 6, The Eye, Dark Shadows and even the lead in Stephen King’s Carrie. Her most recent horror role is in Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Halloween review

Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of original scream queen Janet Leigh, made her film debut when she played the role of Laurie Strode in the 1978 horror classic Halloween. Often referenced as the first slasher film, Halloween sees mass murderer Michael Myers descend on a quiet suburb and wreak hell one night. The film grossed a total of $70 million at the box office worldwide, selling almost 30 million tickets in 1978 and becoming one of the most profitable independent films ever. Curtis is reprising her role as Laurie Strode in the new Halloween movie which is out in cinemas this week. Considering all of this, Jamie Lee Curtis was born to be a scream queen!