Starting from Scream (1996) and leading up to Scream (2022), there’ve been tons of killer twists. They’re predictable for some but fun for all.
The Scream franchise is known for its killer twists, and while they can often be predictable, that’s part of the fun of the movies. The satirical horror masterpiece is packed full of hints in its films, but never fails to shock the audience. With Scream 6 in the works, perhaps it’s time to delve into the ways the franchise stays true to itself and the horror genre in general.
Wes Craven’s Scream changed the horror industry drastically when it hit theaters in 1996. On the surface, Scream is a classic slasher movie, with the Ghostface killers constantly haunting Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott and her loved ones. But not only is it more comedy than horror, it’s kind of obvious who the killers are from the start because of the Easter eggs throughout. Rather than being a straightforward slasher, it flips the horror genre on its head, subverting horror tropes in a brilliant satire. Still, the reveal was rather predictable.
The most obvious clue happens when Billy Loomis is introduced. As he climbs through his girlfriend Sidney’s window, the song Don’t Fear The Reaper can be heard in the background. This song also plays in John Carpenter’s Halloween during the scene in which Laurie Strode first sees Michael Myers. So, in horror culture, this song signifies the introduction of a killer. In this scene, Sidney’s wall art is also theorized to be a clue, as a poster for a musical duo is seen behind Billy. Some say that this foreshadows that Ghostface is more than one person. Another classic horror reference can be seen in Tatum’s cropped #10 jersey, which is also worn by a young Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street before his character dies. This, of course, alludes to Tatum’s eventual demise at the hands of Ghostface and the unfortunate dog door incident. Still, that predictability is part of the fun.
Predictable Endings Aren’t Always Bad
Scream changed the horror industry because of its astonishing self-awareness. Throughout the franchise, the characters reference the rules of classic horror films. It’s used to poke fun at the genre’s clichés while still respecting the same guidelines. The beloved character, Randy Meeks, is famous for being right about the killings throughout the first movie due to his love of film. Not only this, but Randy outright explains Scream‘s horror movie rules in the first three installments. Thus, the identity of Ghostface and who will die are telegraphed early on in every movie.
But this is part of the fun. While watching the series, it’s almost like a game to pick out every clue possible. It’s amazing how often something is missed only to be caught on a rewatch. With every new Scream movie comes a new set of rules and Easter eggs, so it’s no wonder why there’s still a loyal fanbase after nearly 26 years. Sometimes, there’s a charm to the predictability of a movie; it’s not always synonymous with boring.