The 2000s Awesome Horror Ass Kickers
With the resurgence of horror thanks to movies like Scream, horror was hotter than ever in the 2000s. It certainly became one of the most popular genres of film at the time (still is). With the popularity of horror at an all time high, it was obvious that some new actresses were going to step up to the plate to make their own name in the world of horror. With the remake trend, found footage, and torture porn exploding at every seam, a ton of actresses have made a career out of horror and cementing their own spot in the grand hallway of scream queens.
Honorable Mentions (the ones that I couldn’t fit here in the article, but need recognition):
Meagan Good (Saw V, The Unborn, One Missed Call), Chloe Moretz (Carrie 2013, Amityville Horror 2005), Jaimie Alexander (Rest Stop), Katie Cassidy (Supernatural, Black Christmas 2006, Harper’s Island), Briana Evigan (Sorority Row, Burning Bright), and many many many more that I can’t possibly list on here unless this article should extend through your floor.
Of course, we can’t talk modern horror without once again talking about Danielle Harris. If Jamie Lee Curtis was the Queen of Horror, then Harris would be the Princess. She has an extensive horror resume (which we chronicled in the past few scream queen articles), but her work in the 2000s is where she truly became the horror icon she is today. Not only does she have her own little franchise with the Hatchet films, but she returned to the Halloween franchise when they remade the original classic along with its sequel in the role of Annie. Additionally, she has kept herself busy with films like The Victim, Stake Land, Blood Night, Hallow’s Eve, Laid to Rest 2, and she’s currently working on the sequel to the WWE-produced See No Evil 2 along fellow scream queen Katharine Isabelle. Here’s to numerous more years to Harris reigning supreme in the horror genre.
Amber Heard is a name that more people seem to know nowadays since she has risen in fame thanks to roles in Pineapple Express, The Rum Diary, and Paranoia. However, like most actresses, her roots are planted in horror. She made a splash in the indie slasher All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (which is finally being released this month after years in limbo) and then went on to star in The Stepfather remake, And Soon the Darkness, Zombieland, and The Ward. She’s a blossoming talent as she expands towards other genres, but she has a home in the horror genre which hopefully leads to a few more films from her.
Speaking of The Ward, another actress who starred in The Ward was Danielle Panabaker. Being an alumni of Disney, it was weird seeing her show up in horror films, but she has shown many times that she not only has a knack in acting in horror, but a definite love for the genre as well that is very important for a scream queen. With roles in the Friday the 13th remake, The Crazies remake, Piranha 3DD, Mr. Brooks, and Girls Against Boys, she has definitely secured her spot in the world of scream queens and seems she won’t be stopping any time soon.
Speaking of former child stars turning into scream queens, Sara Paxton is another actress blossoming on the horror scene. Having found work in movies and TV shows on Disney and Nickelodeon, she bursts into the horror genre as the battered Mari in The Last House on the Left remake. She showed that she can tackle disturbing material like rape and she did a great job in the role. She would follow up with roles in Shark Night and the wonderfully creepy The Innkeepers. Hoping to see more of her in more horror productions as she also embodies the girl next door quality necessary to be successful as a scream queen.
Shawnee Smith has also been around a long time in the industry since the early 80’s. While she has starred in a few horror projects in the 80’s and 90’s, it wasn’t until she got the role of Amanda in James Wan’s Saw and the subsequent sequels where her character became a major role is where she propelled to scream queen legend. Her role as Amanda in the Saw series can be considered one of the best female villain roles in horror although I think she played more of a tragic character with a warped sense of reality. She was fantastic and really help lend a lot of humanity to the first three movies that make them more than simple torture films.
Katharine Isabelle is a Canadian actress who has also followed the path of fellow scream queen Danielle Harris with becoming one of the many faces for the modern day horror film. Her role as Ginger in the Ginger Snaps trilogy has been cemented in many horror fans’ minds as one of the best werewolf movies to have come out in years. Her go get’em attitude has made her a household name with other roles in Ogre, Freddy vs Jason, the TV remake of Carrie, Bones, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, and the recently released American Mary (with See No Evil 2 also on the horizon). An underrated and overlooked scream queen in my opinion.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Similar to Amber Heard earlier, Mary Elizabeth Winstead has also become a household name with major roles in Live Free or Die Hard and Scott Pilgrim vs The World. However, her horror roots are very prominent for the first half of her career. We first took notice of her in the third installment of the Final Destination franchise (although she did participate in a low budget camp MTV film called Monster Island beforehand) and she remains one of the best leads of those films. Her down to Earth likability and girl next door looks would open the doors to other roles in Black Christmas (2006), Death Proof, The Thing (2011), and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Further proof that the horror genre produces a lot of stars and helps them get their foot in the door.
Last but not least, you can’t have a talk of modern scream queens and not talk about probably one of the hardest working horror actresses out there, Tiffany Shepis. She is the Queen of independent horror ranging from slashers to vampire films to the occasional schlock-fest like Bonnie and Clyde vs Dracula. She has starred in a couple of high profile films like the Night of the Demons remake, but her heart rests in the indie horror scene. Her work ethic and enthusiasm for horror can’t be denied and she proves that she remains one of the best scream queens out there right now. Whether she’s playing the lead or a small side character, her enthusiasm for all things horror is to be admired and here’s hoping we get to see hundreds of more movies from her in the upcoming years.
Well, there you have it. I know I’ve left out plenty of names from this list so I am aware of that, but the ones I picked are the ones I think deserve the most attention whether they are veterans or newcomers to the genre.
Which was one is your favorite 2000s scream queen? Any actress that has a promising future in the genre? Comment below!