This technically not a reboot sees the return of Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, and Dewey Riley as a new Ghostface killer sends shockwaves throughout the quiet town of Woodsboro, California as the murderer targets a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past. This list will go back through the first four movies that preceded Scream and a list of the best kills in the franchise.
There is no way that this list was going to exist without putting one of the most iconic moments in horror movie history on it. Casey Becker’s death was huge because it was originally believed that Drew Barrymore was the leading lady for this film. The actress had all of the traits of a horror movie “final girl” and Barrymore was the biggest star of the film at the time. Wes Craven pulled a Psycho by luring audiences into a false sense of security. Barrymore also played on one of the classic horror movie tropes, the blonde bimbo. Casey’s seemingly innocent phone call builds into a tension-filled exercise of playing a simple horror movie game trivia. If it wasn’t bad enough that poor Steve’s guts were unleashed after Casey failed to correctly answer the Friday the 13th question, Casey’s parents coming seconds away from possibly saving their daughter was heart-wrenching. From Ghostface’s taunts to Drew Barrymore’s incredible acting, the strong direction of this scene informed audiences of the scary and fun thrill ride that they were in for.
So, Billy and Stu are killers. After the crazy mindf**k of pointing the finger at nearly everyone in the cast, this whole thing started because of Sidney’s loving mother. Wes Craven did an excellent job toying with the audience’s emotions on whether Loomis was as guilty as he looked. Craven made it so obvious that audiences easily dismissed off Sidney’s bubble butt boyfriend as the man behind the murders, making the twist of dual killers all the more genius. However, Sidney is the epitome of the “final girl” when it comes to horror movies, and she manages to kill the man that’s been making her life a living hell for the past several weeks. The final cherry on top was Randy telling us that Billy would pop up for one last scare, Billy actually fulfilling that prophecy, and Sidney sealing his fate with a bullet to the head.
Randy is arguably one of the best supporting characters in horror movie history though he wasn’t destined to live long according to the genre rules. While the overall death was disappointing because Randy didn’t really use his movie smarts to avoid it, him being killed off was a major death that reminded audiences that no one was safe. Well, except Sidney. Out of the new cast in Scream 2, his death was easily the most affecting since audiences had a strong connection with his character despite him only being the comedic relief of the franchise. It was saddening to see the most likeable character offed so early in the franchise, and it’s also a shame that Randy’s death was far less memorable that most victims on this list.
There’s no denying that Scream 3 is the weakest entry in the franchise. The film actually becomes what the entire franchise has been mocking the entire time but Scream 3 does have its redeemable qualities. The Hollywood actor cast as Dewey Riley in Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro doesn’t exactly have the best death on the list, but he surely has the most hilarious. That’s more so the circumstances that got him to the point of being blown up. The buildup is mostly played for laughs, with everyone freaking out over the simplest things and the fax machine. It made for a riotously funny moment even though one of the main characters was brutally killed off.
Obviously, Cotton’s main purpose in the first film was to make him a prime suspect, but the franchise never really knew how to navigate his interesting character in the series. Say what you will about Scream 3, but this was easily the best franchise opening since the first film. From Cotton turning into a wild stuntman trying to get home to his girlfriend as Christine was being mentally tortured by the sick psychopath, it all lead into a strong sequence before Cotton’s death. What’s even more telling is that Cotton never gave away Sidney’s location, showing that he actually did care about the young woman despite being falsely accused of rape and murder.