Ghostface in 'Scream 6'

The Most Brutal Kills in the ‘Scream’ Franchise

For horror fans, discussing the most brutal and gory kills from our favorite franchises is a fun pastime. In terms of the Scream franchise, the kills only intensify with each sequel. Scream VI (2023) certainly turned up the dial on the violence for a new generation. When you take the Scream TV series into account, there are even more brutal kills in this franchise. (Some people hate the series, but I actually enjoyed it.)

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So what are the most brutal kills in the Scream franchise? What is—and isn’t—considered brutal enough to make this list? You’ll find out in the amount of time that it takes Ghostface to do the bloody knife-swipe (just kidding, it’ll take much longer than that).

Casey Becker in Scream

Casey (Drew Barrymore)’s death kicked off this iconic franchise and it’s one we’ll speak about forever. Her boyfriend, Steve (Kevin Patrick Walls) got a pretty gnarly death, too, but it doesn’t compare. The way Casey died—with the knowledge of her killer’s identity—is like a knife to the gut (pun intended). Her death is definitely the most brutal in the first Scream movie. (I’m in denial about Stu’s death because what if he does come back?!)

Randy Meeks in Scream 2

Scream 2 is an incredibly memorable sequel and that’s partially due to Randy (Jamie Kennedy)’s death. The suddenness of him being violently stabbed in a news van by Ghostface is rough. In many ways, Randy’s death still one that impacts fans and it hasn’t been forgotten in the franchise since. After all, his niece Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) carries on his legacy by being a total nerd for horror.

Maureen Evans in Scream 2

Imagine dying violently in a theater full of people who could’ve helped you. In Scream 2, poor Maureen (Jada Pinkett Smith) got stabbed to death by one of the killers while watching Stab. And she had no idea why it was happening to her. The stabbing is relentless for the most part and even worse when there’s no chance of escape. The brutality lies within how Maureen is stabbed and left to die in agony in front of a crowd of people.

Olivia in Scream 4

Remembering the deaths of relatively forgettable characters isn’t always easy. However, I can’t forget how violently Olivia (Marielle Jaffe) was murdered in Scream 4, and how Jill (Emma Roberts) knew what was going to happen to her because she was one of the killers. The amount of times Olivia is stabbed, thrown around her room, and eventually disemboweled (just like Casey Becker) is gruesome. It’s one of the bloodiest deaths from the first four films in the franchise.

Jill Roberts in Scream 4

After all these years it’s hard not to enjoy Jill (Emma Roberts)’s Ghostface reveal in Scream 4. She remains one of the best in my eyes, and her death is even more memorable. Jill tries to take out Sidney (Neve Campbell) once and for all, only to be electrocuted and then shot in the heart by Sidney. It’s one thing to be shot dead, but electrocution by way of hospital defibrillators is wild. Of course I had to include her!

Nina Patterson in Scream season 1

We didn’t exactly get to know Nina (Bella Thorne), and that’s probably a good thing because she was horrible. But damn, does her death really kick things off for the Scream TV series. Her death is essentially in line with one of the things that make the films so great: An opening kill (or kills) featuring a recognizable actor. Nina gets killed by way of a deep back-slash, a throat slit, and she gets thrown into her own pool. It’s quite bloody for a show that aired on MTV.

Riley Marra in Scream season 1

The first season of the Scream TV series wasn’t afraid to kill off its lovable characters. Poor Riley (Brianne Tju) was the most kind of the friend group (other than Emma), but that didn’t mean she was safe. Her death scene consists of her being chased, stabbed, and then receiving a gruesome slash that hits an artery in her leg. It’s a terrible way to go because of how close she is to receiving help. Instead, Riley dies alone and scared on the rooftop of the Lakewood police station.

Will Belmont in Scream season 1

The gruesome nature of Will (Connor Weil)’s death is almost surprising given that MTV aired the Scream series. Personally, I didn’t think his character was interesting, but at least he died in a way that nobody could soon forget. Will got captured and tied up by one of the killers and was murdered by a trencher on his family’s farm. The end result is very brutal and certainly one of the goriest deaths throughout the entire Scream franchise. It’s hard to compete with a head that’s been split in half down to the neck.

Most of the deaths in Scream season 2

Most if not all of the kills in Scream season 2 were brutal as hell. It’s as if someone told them to dial up the kills and they certainly delivered. Say what you want about the series, the kills are pretty damn creative and gory. And if that doesn’t satisfy horror fans on a basic level, then I don’t know what does anymore.

Shane in Scream season 3

Tyler Posey as Shane in MTV's 'Scream' season 3

Scream: Resurrection isn’t something I’m keen to watch again (it’s not good, folks), and it does not hold up to previous seasons. However, Shane (Tyler Posey)’s death isn’t your typical Ghostface killing. Maybe it’s my dislike of eye trauma in horror, but Shane’s death at the hands of one of the Ghostface killers is pretty gross. The killer traps him under a ladder by his neck and injects his EYE with a deadly dose of drugs. Shane foams at the mouth and fluid leaks out of his face. It’s disgusting.

Amir in Scream season 3

C.J. Wallace as Amir in MTV's 'Scream' season 3

Dying in a funeral home is horribly poetic and in Scream‘s third season on MTV, Amir (C.J. Wallace) didn’t go easily. He fought back and hid to the best of his ability, but he was killed all the same. The killer murdered Amir using the power of an elevator and a bone saw. It’s one of those deaths that you can feel through the screen; it’s so violent and hard to watch because it looks so damn painful.

Judy and Wes Hicks in Scream (2022)

Yikes on 10,000 bikes. Judy (Marley Shelton) and Wes (Dylan Minnette) died horribly outside and inside of their own home, respectively. 2022’s Scream, a.k.a. Scream 5, gave us kills that were bold in nature because they happen during the day. Being brutally stabbed is one thing, but to have a knife go into your neck to the point where the tip breaks through the skin on the other side is batty. Just agonizing for the Hicks family.

Amber and Richie in Scream (2022)

The killer reveal in Scream 5 is still enjoyably chaotic, and let’s be honest, Amber (Mikey Madison) delivered on that chaos. Amber’s death happens by way of Tara (Jenna Ortega) shooting her before she can do any more harm. And it’s a brutal way to go out because she was already badly burned. But Richie (Jack Quaid)’s death is on another level of brutality. Sam (Melissa Barrera) stabs him over 10 times and slits his throat with the confidence of a killer.

Most of the deaths in Scream VI

I’m not going to spoil every single death in Scream VI because it’s still fresh (you can read this breakdown if you want to know). Also, there are no HD clips available online just yet, but what I will say is that the opening scene has a really vicious death and the rest of the sequel features some of the most brutal kills. Maybe I’m cheating by not listing them off, but again, it’s still playing in theaters. Go see Scream VI if you wanna know what I’m talking about!

(featured image: Paramount Pictures)

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Vanessa Maki
Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.