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Getting killed off at the beginning of "Scream" was the best thing that could have happened to Drew Barrymore.

Save for some critical love for "Boys on the Side," Drew's career wasn't exactly booming when she signed on to play the ill-fated Casey Becker in Wes Craven's 1996 hit horror movie ... a movie that single-handedly brought the slasher flick back to life.

The film also made Drew a bona fide "Scream Queen." 

On Barrymore's 38th birthday, we're celebrating all the women who successfully (or sometimes, unsuccessfully) went head-to-head against Ghostface, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and other knife-wielding maniacs.

Check out some of the biggest scream queens of the '70s, '80s and '90s in the gallery above.

Which one was your favorite? Sound off below!

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