These Conjuring movies, and even the franchise's spin-off, Annabelle, may do well in the box office, but they are all missing one key—dare I say, critical —thing: the insanely hot scream queen. While Jamie Lee Curtis is widely regarded as the "one who started it all," every cinephile knows it's a must to trace it back to Jamie's own mom Janet Leigh letting out her blood-curdling cry in Hitchcock's Psycho, for documentation purposes anyway. See, she was one and done, while her daughter screamed through a Halloween or two, right on to the Terror Train. Vera Farmiga is beautiful and all, but she's no scream queen. Here are the best of the (Salem's) lot...
1. Jennifer Love Hewitt: Holy shit, I'm still in love with Love. She tops the list, and I'm not one to do these kinds of things in any sort of order. She looked so good screaming in I Know What You Did Last Summer and its letdown of a sequel that I never wanted the guy to stop terrorizing her. Just as gorgeous in her long-running TV series Ghost Whisperer, JLH held back on the screaming there; it made sense. After all, what even semi-decent ghost whisperer would scream?
2. Emma Roberts: The Scream Queens series was short-lived (and rightfully so), but Julia Roberts' niece was pitch perfect and sexy in that quasi-plain girl way for two seasons on Fox. Her screams went so deep, with Curtis as the dean of the school Roberts' character was attending (a nice nod to the legacy). You just knew she was going over the top as a nod to the art form that one never knew could exist. Ariana Grande might've bested her, though, if she didn't get killed off so darn quick.
3. Teresa Palmer: Critics and filmgoers alike can say whatever they'd like about Lights Out, a film whose trailer alone confounded, never mind the entire mess of a movie. Palmer was their payday. The gorgeous Aussie strut her stuff alongside Andrew Garfield in Mel Gibson's Oscar-bound Hacksaw Ridge this past year, too, but it was her big saucer eyes all wide, as she slowly, gracefully traipsed down a darkened corridor, flipping her blonde locks aside just so, and then letting loose a guttural howl in Lights Out that captivated the masses.
4. Neve Campbell: Who even knew she had the Scream in her? Rocketing to fame as the sullen middle child in an abruptly orphaned Party of Five, Campbell mastered melancholy on TV, only to shriek like the best of them in the Scream franchise. Sure, Drew Barrymore kicked the whole series off with an admirable one (having perfected feature film shrieking early on, in E.T.), but Campbell is the one who brought it on home. Her shorn black hair, framing those stunning features, rendered her less the obvious bombshell and more the knockout who just might knock you out.
5. Sarah Michelle Gellar: It was somewhat of an adjustment going from watching Gellar kick major vampire ass on TV for years as Buffy, only to now watch her give her tonsils a workout. The initial one came via the aforementioned I Know What You Did Last Summer, but it was The Grudge where she left her shrieking mark. To be sure, a guy with a potbelly and hook for a hand walking slowly down a deserted highway is infinitely less terrifying than whatever it was that came slithering across the ceiling and up through bathtub drains in The Grudge, so it makes sense. But Gellar was also the star here, her cascading hair tirelessly pulled aside to reveal her widened, beautiful eyes, a living, breathing Daphne fresh outta the Mystery Machine. Actually, that role came later, but you get the picture.
6. Ali Larter: Look, was she hotter in Final Destination than when she donning whipped cream panties for Varsity Blues? Obviously not. Larter's not even all that good at playing the victim. From NBC's Heroes to having the ultimate girl fight with Beyoncé over Idris Elba in Obsessed, she is clearly more comfortable in the bad girl role. Fact is, the sexy blonde becomes a bad girl in Final Destination, thanks to death's pesky need to finish off everyone it meant to get that first time around. By the time Larter's cameos became the highlight of the franchise, her eyes were soulless, her hair a mess, and she was hotter than ever.
7. Jessica Biel: Again—damsel in distress don't come easy here. Let's talk about the biff Biel fought alongside Ryan Reynolds himself in the worst of the Blade movies, plus the serious hoop on TV's 7th Heaven. She sure did scream in the reboot of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, too. What's more, she did it in the tightest pair of jeans perhaps ever worn by an actress on film. The only thing more terrifying than the lunatic sawing kids in half while his uber-creepy mom chuckled was the thought that Biel might be next, and we wouldn't get to see her in those jeans anymore.
8. Alexandra Daddario: The Baywatch and Percy Jackson beauty had a chainsaw massacre of her own, Texas Chainsaw 3-D, in 2013. From there she played a constantly screaming teen in constant need of saving by dad Dwayne Johnson in San Andreas, with a stint on American Horror Story to boot. With the bluest eyes you've ever seen, the curvy Daddario looks to have a long career ahead of her; her screaming days may be left in the dust. She was downright spooky in Horror Story, but earned her spot on this list nonetheless.