Ranking the killers in the ‘Scream’ franchise

The fifth entry in the Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette-led Scream franchise is almost here, arriving in theaters in Jan. 2022. The films are known for their post-modern reflection on horror films, bringing fresh takes to the genre. 

The killer in the franchise, Ghostface, is iconic because of their costume, because they have personality, and because of how real they come across. Most other slasher icons are supernatural and do not talk, but Ghostface can be killed and taunts their victims over the phone. Some of the killers who stepped behind the mask and cloak are better than others, though, so let’s have a look back and rank the people who wore the outfit and brandished the knife.

Charlie Walker

Charlie Walker Scream 4

Starting with the weakest entry in the franchise, Charlie Walker, played by Rory Culkin, is weak and a fool. In Scream 4, the only reason he wanted to kill was because of Jill Roberts. Quite frankly, a big part of the reason why he’s so far down on the list is because if he had not helped Jill, then he would have easily been in a relationship with Kirby, played by Hayden Panettiere, who is by far in the top three for best characters in the franchise. To make matters even worse, he stabbed her, too. Shame on him.

Roman Bridger

Roman Bridger Scream 3

Roman. So much potential, such a terrible execution. Played by Scott Foley in Scream 3, Roman was revealed to be Sidney Prescott’s half-brother. Sidney, the protagonist of the franchise, played by Neve Campbell, has a showdown with Roman at his grand home in Hollywood. While this may be one of the best scenes of the movie, his motive is lacking. He wants to get back at his dead mother for abandoning him, so not only does he reveal that he orchestrated his mother’s death, but he goes after Sidney and her friends as well. If Roman sought some therapy and made up with Sidney, he could have at least had some family. 

Mickey Altieri

Mickey Altieri Scream 2

Now we’ve come to the Stu knock-off. Actually, he’s more of a combination of Stu, Billy, and Randy. Mickey, played by Timothy Olyphant in Scream 2, attended Sidney’s college and was in a film class with Randy. Sure, because the other killer in the film is Debbie Salt, one could assume that she did not carry out many of the kills, so Mickey would have a high kill count, but that does not mean he was a great killer. He had no style, not to mention he telegraphed that he was the killer from the beginning of the movie. The real bad guys in Scream 2 are Sidney’s security detail for not immediately taking out Mickey for being shifty.

Debbie Salt

Debbie Salt Scream 2

There was a debate whether Debbie Salt, played by Laurie Metcalf in Scream 2, should be lower on this list, maybe between Roman and Charlie, but her motive is one of the strongest on the entire list. Her motive might be stronger than her son’s, the original Scream killer, Billy Loomis. After all, Sidney killed her boy and her ex-husband was having an affair with Sidney’s mother.

Jill Roberts

Jill Roberts Scream 4

Jill Roberts, the most selfish character in the franchise, is played by Emma Roberts in Scream 4. She wants fame because she sees how her cousin Sidney has been treated her entire life and is jealous of her. Which again, while not condoning it, is fair. But the points she gains for her motive she loses for her execution. She fails to kill any of the members of the original Scream and is the first killer in the franchise not to because even Roman killed Cotton Weary. But she is incredibly high up because she did kill Charlie Walker, so good for her.

Billy Loomis

Billy Loomis Scream

Billy Loomis (named after the doctor from Halloween), played by Skeet Ulrich in Scream, is a great character. He is the archetype that follows the Scream franchise until its very end and will probably continue into the next film. We go into each movie expecting it to be the boyfriend because of Billy. They do a fantastic job in the original of making the audience acutely suspicious of him as well as swaying us around halfway through the film.

Sidney’s mother was the reason his parents got torn apart, so he killed her mother and then went after Sidney a year later. Again, his parents getting him some therapy would probably have avoided the whole situation. And props to him for trying the whole “no motive” thing, he clearly had one so it would not have really worked, but he tried. 

Stu Macher


The man, Stu Macher, played by Matthew Lillard in Scream, tops out this list as the best killer in the franchise. While the man telegraphs himself as the killer from the beginning, you do not want it to be him. He has the best jokes, the best quips, and is absolutely brilliant. “I’m feeling a little woozy here,” “My mom and dad are going to be so mad at me,” and “I’ll be right back,” are the best quotes of the entire franchise and if you quote Scream, those are the quotes you use. Not to mention, aside from peer pressure and watching television, he does not have a motive. Matthew Lillard brought great life to the psychopathic Stu and absolutely earned the top spot on this list.

So there you have it, the ranking of all the killers in the Scream franchise. Were you surprised? Would you have ranked them differently? Let us know in the comments below!