Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Scream (1996)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Scream (1996)

In Wes Craven's significent, self-reverential, tongue-in-cheek horror/slasher thriller film and spoof - a post-slasher 'slasher film' - it revived the tired-out horror film sub-genre by satirizing some of the over-used cliches found in the most popular slasher films (i.e., Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)). The violent film's premise was that a threatening, costumed, Ghostface(d) serial killer was terrorizing the small California town of Woodsboro.

There were quite a few sequels: Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011), Scream (2022), and Scream VI (2023).

  • in the opening 12-minute prologue scene, all-American girl, sweatered Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore in a cameo) was alone preparing Jiffy Pop pop-corn to watch a video at home when she received a number of initially playful phone calls from an unidentified caller, when he asked: "Do you like scary movies?" She was asked a trivia question: what was her favorite scary movie? She replied Halloween (1978)
  • then, when she was asked her name, she wanted to know why and received a very chilling reply: "Because I want to know who I'm looking at." Then, he changed what he had first asked when confronted to: "I want to know how I'm talking to"
  • shortly afterwards after having up again on the caller, the repeated terrifying calls turned obscene, threatening and ugly on his next call: "No, you listen, you little bitch! You hang up on me again, I'll gut you like a fish, understand?...Can you handle that - Blondie?"
  • as she rushed around to lock all the doors, and demanded to know what the caller wanted, the caller simply replied: "To see what your insides look like"; when the doorbell rang, the startled Casey asked: "Who's there?", she was reminded by the caller: "You should never say 'Who's there?' Don't you watch scary movies? It's a death wish"; she then threatened that her boyfriend would be arriving soon: "He's big and he plays football, and he'll kick the s--t out of you!" Casey was instructed to turn on the patio lights, where she saw her bruised boyfriend Steve Orth (Kevin Patrick Walls) tied up and gagged with duct tape across his mouth
  • in a game of movie trivia, the phone-caller then asked two questions - if she answered correctly, Steve was promised to live: "Name the killer in Halloween?" (She answered correctly, Michael Myers.) "Name the killer in Friday the 13th?" (She answered incorrectly. Her answer: "Jason."); she was corrected with the proper answer explained by the phone caller: " should know Jason's mother, Mrs. Voorhees, was the original killer. Jason didn't show up until the sequel. I'm afraid that was a wrong answer"
  • Casey's boyfriend was killed for her wrong answer. She was asked one further question about where the caller was located: "What door am I at?" (front door and two sets of patio doors); when the killer crashed through the patio doors, Casey fled, grabbed a knife in the kitchen, snuck out the second set of patio doors, and hid
Casey Jump-Scared by Ghostface With a Knife - Then Stabbed to Death and Hung From A Tree Limb in the Front Yard
  • outside, Casey was jump-scared and grabbed through a broken window in the patio door by Ghostface (wearing a Halloween costume - a black hooded robe with an elongated deathly ghost-mask), who then chased her across the lawn as her parents pulled into the driveway nearby
  • in the very disorienting sequence (with murderous, ultra-sadistic intentions), she was grabbed from behind, choked, and stabbed directly in the upper chest. After falling to the ground, she kicked Ghostface away, who attempted a few more fatal stab wounds as her parents got out of their car, stepped onto the front porch and entered the front door - without ever seeing or hearing her. Ghostface raised his bloody knife a few final times and plunged it deep into Casey - slaughtering her in the front yard
  • she was dragged on the lawn and hung from the front yard's tree for her shocked, screaming parents to view. Later, student Tatum Riley confirmed what the caller wanted: "Her mom and dad found her hanging from a tree limb, her insides on the outside."
  • in the remainder of the film about the continuing, systematic murder of individuals in the small California town of Woodsboro by Ghostface, traumatized teenaged heroine Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) was introduced; Sidney's mother had been killed a year earlier; although she had testified and identified Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) as the convicted killer, he proclaimed his innocence
  • Sidney's boyfriend was horror film expert Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) who was best friends with clownish, eccentric flunky Stuart "Stu" Macher (Matthew Lillard) (who used to date Casey Becker, but was now dating Sidney's best friend Tatum Riley (Rose McGowan)); Sidney was experiencing both threatening phone calls from Ghostface and one brief physical attack
  • during a party at Stu's home to celebrate the high school's closure after the stabbing death of Principal Arthur Himbry (Henry Winkler), wise words were offered about how to avoid being murdered by the knowledgeable horror movie aficionado and video geek fanatic Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy): "You can never have can never drink or do drugs...and number three: never, ever, ever under any circumstances say, 'I'll be right back'"
Murder of Tatum Riley in Garage Door's Cat Door Entry
  • in the midst of the party, busty and feisty "beer wench" Tatum Riley went to the garage refrigerator for more beer; she was confronted by the ghost-faced killer at the kitchen door, and asked: "Is that you, Randy?" He shook his head negatively from side to side; when he drew a sharp knife and sliced into her left forearm, she staggered backwards, fled, and bashed the killer in the face with the top freezer door; she threw beer bottles at the figure, then raced for the cat door in the closed garage door; she dove to the floor and wedged her upper body through the cat-flap, including her head, shoulders, and torso, but then became stuck halfway through; the figure reached for the garage opener switch and activated it; as the door began to rise open, she kicked and jerked wildly as the door took her upward; her arms and legs kicked frantically as she tried to free herself, but it continued to carry her up; her neck was snapped and head was crushed when the garage door reached the rafters
  • in the blood-soaked reveal, Sidney learned that the two psychotic pals (Stu and Billy - both working together) had brutally raped/killed her mother Maureen Prescott exactly one year earlier, and framed it on someone else - her father Mr. Neil Prescott (Lawrence Hecht). In a crazed tone, Billy explained how they had no motive, except for Sidney's mother, whom he regarded as "a slutbag whore who flashed her s--t all over town like she was Sharon Stone or somethin'...Your slut mother was f--king my father. And she's the reason my mom moved out and abandoned me." Because Sidney's mother had an affair with Billy's father and broke up his parents' marriage, Billy had sought revenge
  • during a concluding confrontational scene, Billy admitted to Sidney, Stu (his accomplice) and Randy (who had suffered a gunshot wound by Billy) that his own bloody back-stabbing by Ghostface had been faked with corn syrup blood on his T-shirt: ("Hmm, corn syrup. Same stuff they used for pig's blood in Carrie"); the two high-school killers also explained how they had bound and gagged Sidney's father Neil and stashed him in the closet; he was pulled out as they described how they were planning to frame him as the "chief suspect" for the town's many murders: "What if your father snapped? Your mother's anniversary set him off and he went on a murder spree killing everyone"
  • the two killers Billy and Stu also expected that they would be "left for dead...Everybody dies but us"; to look convincingly bloodied as victims by Mr. Prescott, the two stabbed at each other, and then their intention was to kill Sidney and her father; however, they inflicted flesh wounds a little too realistically and seriously hurt each other; Stu's abdomen knife wound turned out to be slowly lethal: ("You cut me too deep. I think I'm dyin' here, man")
  • when the two were distracted, Sidney escaped inside the house, wore the "Ghostface" costume, and injured Billy by stabbing him in the chest with the end of an umbrella to incapacitate him; when Stu tackled and wrestled her, claiming: "I always had a thing for ya, Sid," she grabbed a vase from a TV cabinet and smashed it over his head. She then toppled a heavy TV set (suitably playing Halloween) onto him, mocking him: "In your dreams!" - it both crushed him and electrocuted him to death as his body convulsively jerked in spasms
  • in another room, wounded film buff Randy Meeks regained consciousness and joked that he was still alive due to his virginal status: ("I thought I'd never be so happy to be a virgin"). Suddenly, a bloodied and unconscious Billy also miraculously revived, punched Randy in the face, and lunged at Sidney; he attempted to strangle her to death like he had murdered her mother a year earlier: ("Say hello to your mother!") and as he raised his knife to kill her, investigative tabloid TV newswoman Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) shot him and he was presumed dead

Billy vs. Sidney

Billy Shot by Gale Weathers

Billy Dead? But He Miraculously Revived!

Billy Decisively Shot in Forehead by Sidney
  • as the three survivors staggered to their feet (Gale, Sidney, and Randy) and looked down at Billy's body, Randy cautioned ("Careful, this is the moment when the supposedly dead killer comes back to life for one last scare") - and Billy predictably came to life, but Sidney decisively shot him in the forehead: (Sidney: "Not in my movie!")

Casey Receiving Threatening Phone Calls From an Unidentified Caller

Steve Bound and Gagged After She Turned On the Patio Lights

Steve Murdered After Her Wrong Game Answer

Casey About to Hide Outside with Knife

View of Casey - Hanging in Front Yard

Crazed Killers Stu and Billy

Billy Shooting and Wounding Randy

Billy With Sidney, Threatening With a Knife

Sidney Smashing a Vase on Stu's Head

TV Set Playing Halloween

Sidney Also Toppled The Heavy TV Set onto Stu, Killing Him

Three Survivors (l to r): Gale Weathers, Randy, and Sidney


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