Are Scream Movies Actually Scary? (Gory, Jump Scares, …)

Are Scream Movies Actually Scary? (Gory, Jump Scares, ...)

Scream is one of the most popular slasher horror movie franchises globally, trailing only Halloween and maybe Friday the 13th. As in any other slasher film, there’s a killer on the loose going on mayhem. There are some epic moments in every movie from the franchise, but the question is, are Scream movies actually scary?

Scream movies are meant to be scary, but it all comes down to what you might find scare. They are gory and full of jump scares, but there are many scarier films you can watch regarding the scenes themselves being frightening. 

The scariest parts of Scream don’t come from the killings and gore themselves, but the psychological concept of a murderer announcing his arrival over the phone. You anticipate the murderer, yet you can’t escape. With the new Scream movie just around the corner, let’s dive into the franchise a bit more to see just how scary it actually is.

Is Scream Supposed To Be Scary?

Are Scream Movies Actually Scary? (Gory, Jump Scares, ...)

The Scream franchise is a horror mystery slasher meant to be scary on multiple levels. There’s no doubt that the first movie was very scary when it premiered (1996), but by today’s standards, it might not be as scary to the audiences as it once was due to the improvement in technology, special effects, visuals, etc.

Whether the sequels delivered the same amount of scariness as the original remains subjective to each viewer, but it’s a fact that some sequels were more successful than others. Let’s break down the supposed scary things about the Scream movies depending on what might scare people.


As with every other slasher movie, Scream is gory at times. The gore gets worse with the second film as the murders become much more outrageous, gory, and graphic. If you find gory stuff scary, then yes, Scream will scare you quite a bit.

Jump Scares

Almost every slasher scene in the Scream franchise revolves around either gore or the good old jump scare. Let’s face it – it’s the easiest way to startle an unsuspecting viewer and make them jump out of their seat.


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Personally, I don’t enjoy jump scares that much, and to be honest, they get worse as the sequels go along, but if you’re a fan of such things in horror movies, you’ll enjoy Scream quite a bit.

The Costume/Antagonist

The killer dons a black hooded costume, looking a bit like the grim reaper, and the iconic Ghostface mask, with elongated facial features like the eyes, mouth, and chin.

The design is brilliant, albeit many parodies were made using Ghostface as source material. Still, one might find the main antagonist’s appearance scary, especially if you’re watching with a youngster.

Psychological Scariness

Are Scream Movies Actually Scary? (Gory, Jump Scares, ...)

Finally, the idea of the movie actually scared me the most – not the gore, jump scares, murders, or Ghostface himself. The idea of somebody calling you with that creepy voice, tormenting you for 25 years like Sidney Prescott had been tormented by Ghostface and his copycats were the worst, scariest part for me.


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Imagine the psychological toll that things like that must have on a human being, especially after surviving and seeing all the horrible stuff our main protagonists have seen and endured.

Does Scream Have A Lot Of Jump Scares?

Yes, Scream certainly has a lot of jump scares. That goes for every movie in the franchise – it revolves around jump scares, gore, and outrageous murders – much like every other popular slasher horror movie.

The first Scream has numerous minor jump scares throughout the film, but mostly in the final 45 minutes, whereas Scream 2 has 19 jump scares scattered throughout the movie, meaning you’ll get one roughly every six minutes.

Some of the jump scares are better executed than the others, and some can be quite predictable. Still, they do the trick and contribute to the fun of watching the Scream franchise.

Should A 13 Year Old Watch Scream?

Officially, Scream movies are rated R for strong graphic horror, violence, gore, and language, meaning they aren’t appropriate for persons under the age of 16, or 18, depending on your country’s recommendations.

However, if you consider when the first three movies came out and compare it with today’s standards, a 13-year-old can watch the film with no problem. Much scarier and worse content is available, and today’s kids are much more acclimated to graphic content from a much younger age.


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While I wouldn’t recommend you let a 13-year-old watch this kind of gore and violence, they can just as easily be watching something a lot scarier and gorier than Scream, so it would be better for you to watch Scream with them than having them watch something worse on their own.

Should a 15 Year Old Watch Scream?

Are Scream Movies Actually Scary? (Gory, Jump Scares, ...)

While 13 may still be a bit young, I can say comfortably that a 15-year-old can handle Scream just as well as anyone else. Although the films are rated R, they aren’t that scary in neither sense that would make it too scary for a 15-year-old.

Of course, it’s not great to expose such a young mind to graphic violence, but I reiterate that there are far worse things they could watch than Scream, which is just a slasher movie about a guy in a costume, a weird mask, and a knife. Chances are your 15-year-old already watched many much scarier movies.

Which Scream Movie Is The Scariest?

It would depend on what you find scary. The first Scream movie was the best and the scariest so far. 

The opening phone call has to be the scariest, most suspenseful scene in the entire franchise, as it starts charmingly, almost flirty but ends up in a horrifying murder of Casey hanging from a tree. It’s said that there was a huge rise in the purchase of phones with caller-ID in the United States after the first film.

On the other hand, if gore and jump scares are what you’re looking for, then the second film takes the cake. There’s a jump scare every six minutes on average, and the murders are way over the top. It’s safe to say that the first two films will work best no matter what you find scary.

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