Scream Queens of Horror: Courteney Cox

There are probably a few people that might want to pipe up and mention that Courteney Cox isn’t exactly a horror actress since most of her appearances have been in anything but horror movies, but by dint of being one of the more noticeable individuals in the Scream franchise she has definitely earned this distinction. Throughout most of her career, Cox has been known for several other roles, primarily that of Monica from Friends since the show managed to attract a loyal fanbase that kept her and her costars around for a while. Unlike many other scream queens, Courteney isn’t someone that a lot of people might even give such a title to, though even being mentioned one kind of makes it necessary to state that while she does deserve the designation, she’s on the far end of the list since, unlike many others that have earned their spot there, her status in the horror genre is bolstered only by one movie franchise that has grown more successful but substantially less effective over the years. Yes, I said it, Scream is becoming more of a running gag these days, and part 5 already feels like it will make money, but will still be a huge mistake. 

But aside from that, Cox has created a career that’s bound to be remembered since over the years her popularity has waxed and waned like many others, but the character of Gale Weathers is one that has managed to keep her in mind when it comes to her ability to let loose with an ear-piercing shriek. One thing to note about the character of Gail Weathers however is that throughout the course of the movies she does change from one to the next. In the first movie, she’s a cold and manipulative individual that cares more about her career and is willing to act the part of the nice, decent person to get what she wants. But the truth is that she’s still pretty shallow and easily frightened when things don’t go the way she expects. 

By the second movie, she’s toughened up a little bit, but her character hasn’t improved quite as much since she and Dewey are at odds with one another since Gail wrote a book about the experience and roasted pretty much everyone in it. The third and fourth movies finally saw Gail and Dewey get together and end up as a couple, but it didn’t fully tame Gail since she was still an active investigator when the murders started up again. At some point, one would think that these people would simply move as far away from Woodsboro as they could and never look back, especially since most of those they knew were already dead and gone and there was nothing really keeping them there except for the past. Gail, who wasn’t invested in the town that much apart from her interest in the story and what it could do for her career, was one of those who became sucked into the troubled past the Woodsboro was seen to have, so it’s easy to think that she might have just up and left and never looked back. But the character was brought back more than once and finally made to be a likable individual. 

Courteney has a definite talent for playing characters that have a seriously unlikable demeanor since she tends to portray characters that are driven, independent, and successful, but can also be highly manipulative, unfeeling, and a little too cold at times despite the fact that they do have a soft side that people want to see. In the first movie, the character is a little too eager to get into the thick of things and make a general nuisance of herself in order to get the story, but Gail’s evolution throughout the movies was quite positive as she eventually started to care about other people and made it a point to stick around even when she wasn’t really wanted. It will be fun to see how her character might have evolved in part 5 when it comes out, especially since just taking a look at the trailer, those that survived Woodsboro and the fallout after the initial movie have been through it by all appearances, and it hasn’t allowed them to age gracefully. 

While her career hasn’t centered around horror, Courteney has definitely been able to take on the genre without too much trouble as she’s been a notable part of the Scream franchise since it debuted well over two decades ago. Whether she’ll be allowed to survive this installment is hard to say since the rules of the horror movies have changed and evolved along with everything else over the years. But seeing as how she, Sidney, and Dewey have lived this long, it’s kind of easy to think that they might be the last three standing by the end of it. 

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