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Friday, March 10, 2023

Ghostface Glossary: A Guide to Every Horror Reference in ‘Scream 3’

Welcome to the Ghostface Glossary, a guide to every horror reference and nod throughout the first five films of the Scream franchise.

After a lot of pausing, rewinding, and zooming in, as well as researching, we’re catching all of the many horror-specific references Williamson, Craven, and Co. included in this beloved postmodern slasher franchise. If we’ve forgotten any glaring ones, kindly let us know.

This guide will exclude homages from previous Scream films and their respective sequels— we’re only looking at outside horror franchises and inspirations, because any red-blooded Ghostface fan is likely already aware of those. (Goes without saying that the beloved faux franchise ‘Stab’(s) 1-8 will also not be counted, since, even though our neon green ‘Stab’ t-shirts and mock VHS tapes feel very real, it’s still a very fake franchise). If we’ve forgotten any glaring ones, kindly let us know.

“Mother will protect you from the Boogeyman!”

Infamously rewritten and rushed due to Kevin Williamson’s other commitments and studio impatience– as well as the events of the Columbine High School tragedy of 1999– Scream 3 is the first film (and arguably only film) within the franchise to feel as if…it wasn’t written by a horror movie fan. With fewer and lesser-inspired horror trivia questions and innuendos, writer Ehren Krueger salvaged what he could of 3’s production troubles and, instead, focused on the rules of a movie trilogy and the darker side of Hollywood, in which Maureen Prescott had once been a wannabe starlet who was assaulted at the home of a horror filmmaker. It’s all relevant subject matter– but the film sorely lacks that horror-loving Kevin Williamson charm, and often contains the exact horror movie clichés its preceding films satirized. (Even the opening sequence with Cotton doesn’t really call back to much of anything horror-related.)

Regardless, here are the horror movie homages that we did get in Scream 3!


Christine (1983): With no “What’s your favorite scary movie, Cotton?” in sight, we settle for this first reference in the opening sequence of Scream 3: Cotton’s girlfriend Christine, named after John Carpenter’s adaptation of our favorite killer Plymouth Fury movie.

The Shining (1980) and Funny Games (1997): Christine barreling through the door and swinging at Cotton with a golf club evokes Jack and Wendy energy in the Kubrick classic, as Wendy swings around a bat to defend herself against her husband in a matter similar to Christine in 3. In Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, the monsters in the form of a pair of young men take this golf-club-used-as-weapon trope to an insanely chilling level, in order to torture an innocent family. 

Halloween H20 (1998): When we first get a glimpse of Sidney’s whereabouts in 3, she’s living alone, in an isolated, gated area in Northern California, with her golden retriever and high-end security system. So is another final girl, Laurie Strode, twenty years after Samhain night in 1978, within fellow Dimension film H20. Additionally, producer John Milton’s mansion, featured in the third act, was also used as a set piece in H20

Roger Corman (director of The Little Shop of Horrors, Dementia 13, The Pit and the Pendulum, etc. etc.): “King of the B-Movies” Roger Corman makes an appearance on the set of ‘Stab 3.’ The list of horror movies that Corman has directed/produced/starred in/been associated with is endless. The ironic humor lies in his role of being an uptight studio exec that discourages Roman from violence in film. If you recall, he’s the producer of Dementia 13, in which Casey’s dragging body scene takes inspiration from in the first Scream

Psycho (1960), Psycho II (1983), and Psycho III (1986): When Sidney gets a dreamy visit from her dead mother during one of Scream 3’s hokiest scenes, the film recalls Norman’s interactions with Mother, especially in III. The scratches against Sidney’s window also have Salem’s Lot (1979) written all over it. 

Vertigo (1958): The laughably cringe Sarah Darling mixes up “Vertigo” with Psycho, when talking about the shower scene. Come on, even a rookie would know that one. 

‘The Silence of the Lambs’

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Se7en (1995): Detective Kincaid (who would later become the future Mr. Sidney Prescott) tells his partner that the killer’s habit of leaving a photograph at the scene of each body is very Hannibal Lecter-esque. And his and partner Wallace’s plight, he notes, is very reminiscent of Mills and Somerset, in Se7en

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994): The Scooby Doo 3 gang receives a deadly fax of the ‘Stab 3’ script, a la Heather Langenkamp stumbling upon a script for the movie-within-the-movie in Craven’s first meta slasher classic.

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932): Kincaid is apparently a big classic horror guy, as this movie poster can be seen inside his office walls.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) and Alien 3 (1992): In the late Randy’s post-mortem video taped speech regarding the rules of movie trilogies, he warns that anyone can die, including the main character, like Nancy in Dream Warriors and Ripley in Alien 3. That means you, Sid. 

Psycho II again, (1983): When Sidney hears the “voice” of her mother Maureen calling her, we get another callback to the underrated Psycho follow-up, in which Norman believes he’s hearing Mother. Similar to II’s antagonist Lila Crane, Roman is also trying to mess with Sidney’s psyche with a fake version of her mother’s voice. Norman, Roman, and Sid = mommy issues.

‘Halloween’ (1978)

Halloween (1978): The fake voice of Sidney’s mother assures that she will protect her from “the Boogeyman.” Nobody in horror movie history encompasses the Boogeyman more than Myers. 

The Devil’s Advocate (1997): Producer John Milton, who worked with/had known Sidney’s mother during her brief stint in Hollywood and whose house Maureen was sexually assaulted in, is named after Al Pacino’s Satan character in The Devil’s Advocate

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973) and Teen Wolf (1985): While Angelina and Tyson explore the Milton mansion, they notice a movie poster for the fake film ‘Weredad!’ 

Clue (1985): In attempts to escape Ghostface, the cast of ‘Stab 3’ and the rest of the gang discover secret passageways inside the Milton Mansion. 

Evil Dead 2 Halloweenies

‘Evil Dead 2’

Evil Dead II (1987): In fellow slapstick fashion to ED II, Ghostface chucks a knife at Dewey’s head, to which he catches the handle to his forehead and clumsily tumbles down the stairs.

Halloween II (1981): Roman revealing himself to be– surprise!– Sid’s murderous, abandoned brother, just like Laurie discovers with Mikey. But neither Roman or Michael ever manage to get the best of their sisters. 

Happy Birthday to Me (1980): The night of the party at Milton’s mansion is Roman’s 30th birthday. It’s Roman’s party, and he can kill if he wants to!

Basic Instinct (1992): Sidney defeats Roman with an icepick, exactly like Tatum said she could in the first movie.

Thanks to IMDb and the Zack Cherry YouTube channel for picking up a couple this writer had missed for this comprehensive guide. 

‘Scream 3’

The post Ghostface Glossary: A Guide to Every Horror Reference in ‘Scream 3’ appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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