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Monday, January 2, 2023

The Five Scariest Moments in the ‘Scream’ Franchise

We’ve talked before about how the introduction of Scream into the horror world changed everything. It was an Elvis, Beatles, Nirvana moment for the genre. Why, though? It’s the Millennium! Motives are incidental! No really, it’s because Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson gave us something that could be fun and frightening at the same time, and in equal measure.

And Ghostface is truly the gift that keeps on giving, with Scream 6 arriving in 2023.

Let’s take a look at the more sinister side of Scream and the moments that were dark and twisted enough to keep you scared while you were laughing and enjoying the movie references.

Scream (1996) – Opening Scene

Possibly the greatest opening scene in a horror movie of all time and one of the best overall horror scenes ever. The reason it was scary though? At the time we were all so accustomed to Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger at this point that the thought of a real life killer felt ultra realistic. It was scarier because it could really happen and because in that generation our parents left us home alone all the time (it was awesome).

Speaking of being an old ass man- there is a whole generation today that will never experience the fear of the house phone ringing. Caller ID was still a reasonably new concept depending on how much money your family had. So, for many of us the piercing ring of the house phone could be anyone from your teacher calling your mom to ruin your weekend to some kid who wanted to kick your ass tomorrow at school. Or the second worse case scenario: a psycho killer who wanted to play with his food before he ate it.

What really tees off this franchise opener though is the way Casey Becker’s (Drew Barrymore) death scene unfolds. It’s just so damn mean and it paves the way for us to take the rest of the film seriously. Think about it: she’s running for her life and sees her parents pulling in right as she’s stabbed for the first time. Ghostface crawls over top of her and is grunting weird, almost pleased noises and the Marco Beltrami score is at its most haunting. She manages to escape only to watch her only hope for safety (her parents) happily walk up to the door just a few yards from her but she can’t scream out to them because of her injuries. It’s brutal but we aren’t done yet.

Her poor mother picks up the phone just in time to hear Ghostface’s last grunt and the knife hit her daughter for the final blow. Her dad looks up to see his daughter hanging from a tree, disemboweled. And for those of you confused; disemboweled is not what MI6 does to Ethan Hunt in every Mission Impossible movie. This is much worse. It’s all just so damn mean and sharp.

Scream Real Best Friends Stab Each Other

I know what you’re thinking. The reveal at the end of Scream? But it’s full of hilarious one liners like “You hit me with the phone, dick!” or “Let’s face it Sid, your mom was no Sharon Stone!” But, that is the beauty of Scream. Scare me with one line, make me laugh with the next.

If you can try to take yourself back to the first time you saw the movie and didn’t know what was to come next, it was much more tense. The killers have just been revealed and our lead character just moments earlier unwittingly slept with one of them. Billy really unleashes his inner psycho personality for the first time and it’s an angry, invasive one.

Sure all this is par for the course scary wise but when they start actually taking turns stabbing each other it gets completely fucked. It’s just a very unsettling thing to watch. Imagine watching two killers who have you cornered doing this to each other. Oh and by the way, they killed your mom. Just something about this scene taking place and the utter bloodbath that was the house around them was pretty damn gnarly at the time.

Scream 2 – The Opening Scene

In what turns out to be the second scariest in front of an audience moment of Jada Pinkett Smith’s career, the opener to Scream 2 carried the meanness of its predecessor into the theater. It’s a very simple death and not even a likeable character getting the axe. I mean, who talks in a theater like that? Even worse, who orders a popcorn with no butter? But it’s not Ghostface providing the scares this time around. It’s the audience.

After Ghostface dispatches of her boyfriend in the bathroom and disguises himself in his clothes, he returns to his seat and promptly stabs her in the stomach. This has to be a trip for her because she was already deathly afraid of the movie and the mask. To be already on edge from fear and have that exact fear come to life and stab you in the stomach had to be a nightmare on ice skates. But wait! There’s more!

The true genius and horror of this moment is that while Ghostface follows her and stabs her throughout the theater, not only does the crowd not help her but they unknowingly taunt her. Imagine being stabbed by someone and then you look up and see hundreds of people re-enacting it wearing the same face as your attacker. Laughing, jumping, stabbing and cheering. She finally lets out a blood curdling scream and everyone in the audience is forced to realize they just witnessed a murder. What a way to go!

Scream 4 – Olivia’s Death Scene

The most brutal scene the franchise had seen since Casey Becker’s initial death sequence- but it’s not all about brutality! This moment had all the great Scream-isms in one scene. From the Ghostface phone call to Kirby to the rope-a-dope move he pulls on her (“I never said I was in YOUR closet!”). Ultimately ending in Ghostface proving he once again means business this time around.

Ghostface pops out of Olivia’s closet, throws the knife right into her hand and then Jean Claude Van Damme kicks her right into the dresser. He throws her around the room viciously like a rag doll before finally Undertaker choke slamming her and stabbing her to death. THEN he throws her into her own window and leans out of it to show her off to her friends. What Wes Craven did next however was extra shocking for a franchise that hadn’t had much gore in it up to this point… as Sid rushes into her room she’s greeted with Olivia’s stomach gutted and her intestines hanging out all over the bed. You’re never getting the stains out of those sheets.

Scream 5 – Dewey’s Death Scene

David Arquette scream 5

I struggled a touch with this one simply because it’s probably more suspenseful than purely scary and I specifically omitted the Scream 2 “The Ghostface is Lava” car escape scene for that very reason. HOWEVER, this scene had an added scar bonus as they did the exact thing many of us were most afraid of them doing. Killing Dewey. It still hurts so much.

A lot of the scariest moments in Scream come from their meanness and there isn’t a kill in the franchise that was as mean to fans as Dewey’s death. The meanness was three-fold.

A) His character was in such a bad way when we meet him in Scream 5. It was painful to see him go out like that.

B) It was literally painful to watch him go out like that. The way Amber gutted him and the blood just fell out of his body like that was horrific.

C) The fact that Gale’s phone call is what ultimately got him killed? Ouch, Radio Silence. Damn.

The entire scene in that hospital hallway just felt wrong from the jump. Every move Dewey made in the initial fight sequence had me on the edge of my seat because it was as if the movie had a secret it couldn’t divulge yet. Like it was TRYING to tell you it was his time to go. From the relief of him telling Ghostface “Not today” and escaping death, to the stomach plummet of him stopping at the elevator to go back and be sure. Damn it, it just hurts too much.

The post The Five Scariest Moments in the ‘Scream’ Franchise appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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