I’ve already delved into a few different types of scream queens when it comes to horror movies, and have even mentioned a few that have exhibited their talents outside of the horror genre. Jamie Lee Curtis usually comes to mind, as does Drew Barrymore, when talking about who has the most powerful set of lungs and the best pitch, tone, and overall emotion in their screams. But Sigourney Weaver isn’t to be forgotten when making such a list since even if he’s not quite on the same wavelength as the other scream queens, she’s one of those that have toughened up quite a bit over the course of her career, and has belted out a few iconic screams that many might not think that much about since they were fleeting in the movies they were heard in. One of her main claims to fame are the Alien movies, and rightfully so, since Ripley remains one of her absolute best characters of all time, and like it or not, as brave as she turned out to be, Ripley cut loose with a few ear-ringing screams back in the day.
To be entirely fair, the character couldn’t have been expected to stay quiet since the creature that was trying to kill her in the first movie slaughtered her fellow crew members, though to be honest only Parker, played by the late Yaphet Kotto, posed much of a threat. The fact that Ripley was the final survivor wasn’t too surprising since her character was the most level-headed despite the idea that she was kind of a stickler for the rules. That’s just it though, if the rules had been followed, the crew might have lost one of their companions but they would have at least survived the encounter. Even if they would have frozen Kane they would have been better off, but then we wouldn’t have been given one of the best sci-fi horror movies of all time.
Weaver has managed to belt out a few impressive screams over the course of her career, with a few of them coming out in movies that weren’t horror but were still engaging in their own right. One such movie was Galaxy Quest, while another was Copycat, a murder thriller that was interesting but kind of forgettable. Another memorable movie in which she was heard to belt out a few screams was Ghostbusters, which is still a classic to this day. One thing to note about Weaver’s screams is that while they have a definite shrill quality they also possess a very powerful feeling to them as well, as though her screams are much denial as they are an admission that her character is terrified. One movie in which this happened was Aliens, which saw the character of Ellen Ripley transition from being the survivor of an event that no one believed to being the consultant to a bunch of people who didn’t believe until it was too late. Her screams in this movie were powerful in a way that denoted experience and even anger in some cases since if a person actually listens to the scream she utters when losing Newt to the xenomorphs, supposedly, she exhibits sadness, despair, and just enough anger to be impressive since her scream rips out of her in a way that one can’t help but feel.
The next one that is meaningful happens when she’s about to drop the xenomorph queen into open space, and the nightmarish creature latches onto the front cage of Ripley’s selected weapon, the loader that she operated at the beginning of the movie. Ripley’s scream that time sounds like fear, frustration, and definitely anger. Some people might think I’m crazy for thinking this, they wouldn’t be the first, but Weaver has the type of scream that carries a great deal of emotion and is far different from many other scream queens since she’s both assertive and forceful in a way that a lot of women can’t always match. Along with being one of the more impressive ladies on the big screen, Sigourney is the type of actress that has a serious fanbase and has for a while since she’s proven several times over that she’s someone worth enjoying whenever she steps on the screen.
She’s starred in a few clunkers, there’s no other way to say it. Many actors have had their great movies and their bad ones, but the point is that the best take those experiences and learn from them on their way to becoming great. In terms of being a scream queen, it feels fair to say that while she’s not on the same wavelength as many other women that share this title, she’s in a class that’s all her own, cliche as that might sound. When it comes to belting out a scream, it’s guaranteed that with Sigourney, you’re going to FEEL it.