These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Roman Bridger, Ghostface in the third film, is revealed as the instigator of the entire series. He's actually Sidney's half-brother, born of Maureen Prescott being raped during her Hollywood career. He decries his birth mother as a whore and stalks her extramarital liaisons in Woodboro. He uses the evidence to mastermind Billy and Stu's original killing spree in the first movie, killing Maureen and their own friends, and lets them take the fall. He grows jealous of Sidney's fame as a survivor and sets out to frame her for his own kills. He disguises himself as a low-budget movie director and kills off the Stab 3 movie's crew while tormenting Sidney with mind games of her traumatic past. He tries to pass himself off as tragic victim who is lashing out at the world, but Sidney points out that he's self-deluding himself and simply enjoys killing people, prompting him to fly into a rage. His sole attempt to connect with Sidney during his death is subverted when seconds later he gets up to try to kill them all again.
Sidney's cousin Jill Roberts, Ghostface in the fourth film, is a deranged copycat killer who wipes out her own friends in a twisted attempt to become Sidney and hijack her fame, and is easily the most Ax-Crazy of the Ghostfaces so far. She manipulates her lovestruck friend Charlie into helping her, then kills him when he's no longer of use to her so she can be the sole survivor and the center of attention. She has her own mother killed so as to better emulate Sidney's life with a dead mother, kills her boyfriend Trevor to take the blame for the massacre, then tries to kill Sidney to complete her status as the new "valiant Ghostface survivor". When she realizes that Sidney survived after they've both been taken to the hospital, she goes on a final murder spree in a last attempt to secure her fame.
Contested Sequel: Many fans rank the first film as a classic, the second film as a worthy sequel, and the third film as a mediocre cash-in. However, there are quite a few who feel that the third film is better than the second, and there's even a small camp (which includes, among others, Richard Roeper) who feel that the second film is the best in the whole series.
The fourth film, meanwhile, likewise holds a "middle" position according to fans — not as good as the first, but stronger than the second/third (whichever one the fan in question thinks is the weaker entry of the two).
The killer:This is how it's gonna be, Sid? The ending of the movie was supposed to be at the house; I mean this is just silly.
A number of fans apparently agree with the killer's assessment, judging by the number of Scream 4 "alternate endings" floating around on YouTube (this one, for instance — spoilers, obviously) that end the film just as Jill thinks she's pulled it off, with Sidney presumably dead and her leaving the house wounded, but alive and treated as a hero.
This comes with a touch of Fridge Brilliance when one takes into account the discussion on false endings and remakes earlier. If this is a "remake" of the events of the first film, the ending in Scream took place at the house - so in Scream 4 the house is the false ending.
Test audiences for the first film liked Dewey so much that Wes Craven put in a scene that had him survive, and he's survived for all films since.
Before the release people said that Hayden Panettiere's Kirby was the best character in the fourth film. To the actress's credit, many continued to say that after the film's release - to the point that a number of fans feel that Kirby's Not Quite Dead and is Just Hiding. If there is a Scream 5note (and despite the film's grosses it's not out of the question) do not be surprised if, as Leonard Maltin's movie guide would put it, Hayden Panettiere appears unbilled and in person, rather than on tape a la Randy.
Randy gained such a following that a sizable portion of the fanbase was furious when he was killed off in Scream 2, so much that Scream 3 explicitly lampshaded it. It has been mentioned that in several theaters during the showing of the third film, when Randy came out onscreen, the entire audience cheered.
And his Expy Robbie became one of the most popular characters of the fourth film. Too bad he was killed off too.
Jennifer Jolie of Scream 3 is hailed by several fans to be the only redeeming aspect of the movie, and is almost unanimously agreed to be the best thing about it.
Rebecca Walters of Scream 4 has a pretty solid fanbase too.
Even Better Sequel: Many fans and critics consider Scream 2 even better than the first movie.
In Brazil, the fourth film is often considered the best one.
Harsher in Hindsight: In the fourth film, Gale and Dewey are seen going through troubles with their marriage. Not long after shooting wrapped, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, the actors who play them, separated after eleven years of marriage.
The opening sequence in Scream 2 would mirror a real-life incident 15 years later, when a gunman murdered 12 people and injured 58 more during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Just like in the film, the audience first thought it was All Part of the Show.
Two movie obsessed teenagers (one a good looking sociopath and the other a goofy looking follower) going on a killing spree, which kills various students and one teacher. I could be talking about Scream or The Columbine Massacre, which happened just three years later.
Also in the original, Matthew Lillard plays a creep in a mask. Six years later he would play Shaggy. Lillard also played a killer accomplice on Law & Order: SVU. Although he lived in the episode, he unfortunately did not have parents to be mad at him, but rather somebodyfar more disturbing...
Parker Posey's character in Scream 3 is named JenniferJolie. This movie was made five years before the beginning of the whole "Brangelina" saga.note Which shall not be recapped here, since A) we're not the National Enquirer, and B) unless you've spent the last decade in a cabin in Montana, you probably know the details by now. And Jennifer Aniston co-starred on Friends with Courteney Cox, who plays Gale in all four movies. Eerie.
Oh, and in the same movie, there's also a character named Angelina.
In light of the fourth film, many events and scenes in the third become this. The plot of Stab 3 is about the main characters returning to Woodsboro... which is the exact plot of Scream 4. Just before her death, Sarah complains to (who she thinks is) the director about how the script is constantly being rewritten... and production on Scream 4 saw several rewrites to the script. One of the characters in Stab 3 is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Randy, who was killed off in the second film (in both the Scream and Stab universes)... and in Scream 4, the character of Robbie serves the exact same purpose as the film's replacement Meta Guy, complete with a name similar to Randy's. Honestly, it's a miracle that none of the cast got killed during production.
Ho Yay: Billy and Stu ('Give it to me, babe! Get it up!') Also noted by Sidney: 'Pansy assed momma's boy!' and Randy, who calls Billy 'homo-repressed'.
Hype Backlash: A lot of horror fans, especially those from The Eighties (such asBob Chipman), see this film as having killed the horror genre, feeling that it made it impossible to take seriously anymore while causing studios to cram their horror films with post modern humor and target them increasingly at teenagers. Others, however, believe that it saved the genre from the burnout that it experienced in the early '90s, creating a new generation of horror fans. It should be noted that the first movie was intended to kill the genre, or at least slashers (but instead revitalized it), making such a backlash expected.
Magnificent Bastard: Jill, her plan requires much more manipulation and deception then any other Scream killers, and it nearly worked.
Roman, aside from setting the events of the series in motion, was also the smartest killer as he utilized more creative tricks and manage to easily manipulate everyone in the movie to be exactly where he wanted, especially for the final act. And much like Jill, he almost would have gotten away with the murders.
Narm: Jada Pinkett's... operatic death in the opening of the second movie. Hilariously spoofed in the first Scary Movie.
In Scream 4, Jill's self-harming of herself to appear more like the victim after The Reveal is quite hilarious when its suppose to be serious.
Older Than They Think: The franchise's basic premise of horror savviness and applying "the rules" of the genre to reality was first used in an obscure little flick called There's Nothing Out There, though that was admittedly more a creature feature than a slasher. Even earlier proto-examples include slasher spoofs like Student Bodies (which is amusingly name-dropped in the sequel) and Pandemonium, both released in The Eighties.
The popular "Ghostface mask" was not invented by this movie, as is commonly believed. It first appeared in costume shops in 1991, around five years before the original Scream was released (the creators even had to alter its design slightly to avoid copyright issues). The success of the film contributed so much to the mask's iconic status, though, that it's often erroneously referred to as a "Scream mask" by trick-or-treaters who commonly buy it as a costume accessory around Halloween.
Drew Barrymore only gets fifteen minutes of scream time, but it's easily the most famous scene in the first movie.
In the third film, Kincaid's partner is easily one of the most entertaining characters in the film, but gets less screen time than most of the others.
Henry Winkler has a wonderful but brief performance in an uncredited role as the principal in the first film.
Paranoia Fuel: Nowhere is safe enough. The killers manage to butcher people in a crowded movie theater, in a crowded campus in broad daylight (getting their merry way out before anyone notices, in both cases), get past policemen watching the victim's house or viciously attack them in a hospital.
The Problem with Licensed Games: The fourth film received a cell phone tie-in game that had some very wonky controls and featured none of the characters from the films except Ghostface, the player character (who goes unnamed and doesn't employ his trademarktactics). That said, it only costs 99 cents, and it does get some kudos for awarding the player extra points for following the "horror movie rules" in how they kill (getting the slut first, the nerd last, the jock and the cheerleader together), showing that the people who made it at least knew why the films were so popular.
Replacement Scrappy/Scapegoat Creator: Scream 3 writer (and Scream 4 rewriter) Ehren Kruger is basically this to Kevin Williamson among the fanbase, being viewed as responsible for most of the problems with those two films.
Rewatch Bonus: For a first time viewer, it seems like Stu's mockingly declaring "I'll be right back!" just seconds after being warned not to by Randy is just another instance of many of Stu being a dumbass. On repeat viewings, we realize that the real reason for his confidence and prankish tone is because he knows he genuinely has nothing to fear from breaking any of Randy's rules — as he is one of the killers himself.
After Casey Becker gets killed, the five main characters sit around discussing her murder, and Stu starts to describe in graphic detail how one would go about gutting her, at which point Billy admonishes him to shut up. At first glance, you might think that Billy just thinks Stu is being rather tasteless, but in retrospect Billy told him to shut up because he realized the fact that Stu knew so much about how to gut someone could in itself be a giveaway.
Every movie contains hints as to the identity of the killer that are easier to spot upon repeat viewing.
Ghostface's final trivia question to Casey: "What door am I at?". "He" was at bothdoors.
Sequelitis: The third film for many, and the second for some.
She's Just Hiding: Kirby, seemingly on the basis that she is 'merely' very strongly implied to have died rather than having it outright stated.
Unfortunate Implications: The revelation in Scream 3 that Maureen Prescott was raped at a party years before she married Sidney's father seems to be heavily connected to the fact that she was sleeping around before she was murdered. And then there's the way that every single character seems to pin the blame for the adulteries purely on Maureen, not saving any of the blame for the often married men involved.
The Untwist: In the first film, Billy is the main suspect, acts obviously deranged, and has lots of evidence stacked against him, leading you to believe he's just a Red Herring. Even if you're able to figure out he's Ghostface, the true twist is that there are two Ghostfaces.