The Awful Real Life Tragedy That Inspired the Movie “Scream”

It’s already pretty common knowledge, at least to horror fans, how the Gainesville Ripper inspired the killings that went on in the 90s phenomenon that was Scream, but there was another piece to the movie that wasn’t disclosed right away. The writer of Scream, Kevin Williamson, admitted that there was another occurrence that inspired his writing that might sound as though it’s not much to think about, but was still instrumental in helping to complete the script. A lot of people tend to think that the sanctity of their own home is something that’s unassailable, that their home is a safe zone that isn’t about to fall sway to anyone that might want to hurt them. Okay, some folks might not think like this, but there are plenty of people who want to. Williamson was actually watching a documentary about the Gainesville Ripper when he decided to take a walk through his home. Apparently, he’d only been living in the house for a couple of days, but when he walked into the living room he discovered that the window was wide open, which likely freaked him out, but also gave him the inspiration he needed.

In a way this makes Williamson sound a bit paranoid, as though he might have opened the window and forgot. But on the other hand, if he didn’t, then it would be something to get freaked out about since someone trying to creep into one’s house is a reason to be unnerved. But this did inspire the moment that Billy came through Sidney’s window, which was a brief little freakout that wasn’t meant to do much more than keep people thinking about who the killer could possibly be. But thinking over it now, an open window in one’s home that they can’t remember opening is definitely creepy, not to mention terrifying since it means that someone took it upon themselves to steal from the individual or do something far worse.

The Scream movies have been loved by fans for a number of years now, and while the second, third, and fourth movies have become progressively more ridiculous, one has to wonder what in the world the fifth movie is going to be like. Reportedly it’s not going to reveal another connection to Sidney Prescott, thank goodness, but it does sound as though it will attempt to revive the idea of the murders in another new, exciting manner that will get the audience to pay attention once again and will likely create a little more innovation when it comes to the death scenes that will surely come. Plenty of people have been following the Scream movies for years now and are excited to see the fifth come out, while others, like me, are wondering when the idea will finally be laid to rest since the idea of someone copycatting killers such as Billy and Stu is becoming a little more unbelievable each time, especially since they’re running out of angles to use when it comes to killing. Unless the idea of simply killing for sport and for fun, as has been used, is going to be played up again and again, then it’s likely that Scream should go silent after this next installment.

Plenty of people would disagree with this of course since they would like to believe that this story can keep going and going, and to be honest, it can, but the question is whether it should. At some point, the main idea is going to be dug so hard into the ground that it won’t be able to make a comeback for years and even then, only someone with a truly fresh idea will be able to make it happen. The fact is that the first Scream did something that was new and exciting and the sequels decided to piggyback off of it in the attempt to keep the main idea rolling along for as long as it could. Wes Craven was a master of horror when it came to the movies and he managed to create something that was definitely worth one movie, but everything that has come after has been kind of ‘meh’. Maybe it’s the fact that audiences have been desensitized to violence and horror, or maybe it’s because the writing and dialogue became a little too predictable, but it feels as though Scream should have ended a while ago.

On the topic of Williamson seeing his window open after watching the story that would inspire Scream, to begin with, that’s enough to raise gooseflesh on anyone’s arms since the implication that one’s window has been opened without their knowledge is pretty creepy. It’s odd to think of the things that inspire us to write, and how they end up creating iconic moments that people are bound to remember from a mere mention.

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