In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for Scream, we answer questions you have about the movie. If you’re curious about plot explanations, meanings, themes, lessons, motifs, symbols, or just confused by something, ask and we’ll do our best to answer.
- Sidney Prescott – Neve Campbell
- Billy Loomis – Skeet Ulrich
- Stu Macher – Matthew Lillard
- Gale Weathers – Courteney Cox
- Dewey Riley – David Arquete
- Randy Meeks – Jamie Kennedy
- Tatum Riley – Rose McGowan
- Casey Becker – Drew Barrymore
- Ghostface (voice) – Roger Jackson
- Principal Himbry – Henry Winkler
- Written by – Kevin Williamson
- Directed by – Wes Craven
Scream | Questions and Answers
What’s the story behind the Ghostface mask? Is it inspired by Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream”?
We talk about it in our section on the title, but the mask’s original designer, Brigitte Sleiertin-Linden, said the inspiration had more to do with Max Fleischer’s ghosts in Betty Boop cartoons.
How does Scream challenge and subvert classic horror movie tropes and cliches?
Horror movies weren’t as directly self-aware as Scream. You would have references and nods to tropes and moments from canonical horror films, like the shower scene in Psycho, but nothing so overt as characters directly talking about horror movies and the genre’s tropes then incorporating or subverting those very aspects. By directly calling these things out, Scream drew a line in the sand. On one side, horror movies that keep using the old formula and seem cheesy because of it. On the other, movies that will do something new with the genre, are daring, groundbreaking. You were either the exact thing Scream was mocking or embodying its ethos. Either way, Scream was a seminal moment for the horror genre.
What happened between Gale and Sidney?
The year before the events of Scream, someone killed Sidney’s mother. Sidney believed it was Cotton Weary and gave testimony that led to Weary’s conviction. He was the most likely suspect as he had an ongoing affair with Maureen Prescott. Gale Weathers, a local reporter, made the story the focus of her coverage and took a “Weary is innocent” stance. This led to Gale creating a lot of content that was negative about Sidney and Sidney’s family. It also caused a portion of Woodsboro’s population to take Cotton’s side over Sidney’s, creating a negative tension around the Prescott family at a time when they were hurting.
Even though Gale was proven right, Cotton was innocent, the issue had more to do with how Gale reported than what she reported. Something that the Scream franchise continues to explore in every film. Gale is a seemingly good person who can’t help but take advantage of tragedy and profit from it. She embodies the way the news media sensationalizes stories to their own benefit, often turning them into something bigger and creating heroes and villains and perceptions that negatively impact the lives of innocent people.
Why did Stu team-up with Billy?
In the 90s, there was a lot of conversation about whether violent video games, movies, shows, music, would cause kids to be violent. Scream decided to be part of that conversation. Screenwriter Kevin Williamson made his position pretty clear via a line of dialogue delivered through Billy: “Movies don’t create psychos; movies make psychos more creative!” Legitimate trauma and rage caused Billy to kill. But movies inspired him to do it as Ghostface. For Stu? It was just peer pressure. Billy convinced him. That’s it. That simple. That stupid. That realistic. Rather than blaming movies, Scream takes the position that its news media, mental health woes, and peer pressure that are the true issues that society needs to address.
What questions do you have?
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