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"It's an honor."
Ghostface
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Scream, or as it's colloquially known, Scream 5, is a 2022 Meta Slasher Movie directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett, from the filmmaking collective known as Radio Silence (V/H/S, Ready or Not). It is the fifth film in the Scream franchise, and the first to not be directed by Wes Craven after his death in 2015, as well as the first film not to be distributed by Dimension Films, with Paramount taking over distribution after acquiring the franchise following the collapse and liquidation of The Weinstein Company.

After another decade since the last Ghostface attack, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) are faced with a new string of murders revolving around a familiar-looking ghost-faced killer who seeks to uproot the town's dark secrets.

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Kevin Williamson, writer of the first, second and fourth films, returns as an executive producer. Marley Shelton returns as Judy Hicks from Scream 4, while new additions to the cast include Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sonia Ben Ammar, Mikey Madison, Mason Gooding, and Kyle Gallner.

The film was released on January 14, 2022, delayed from a previously intended 2021 release. It also has a release gap of nearly eleven years between it and the last installment, just slightly shorter than the gap between the third and fourth films. Due to the film’s critical and commercial success, a sixth installment was greenlit within a month of its release, set for release on March 10, 2023. Actors confirmed to return are Courteney Cox, Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, and Jenna Ortega, alongside Hayden Panettiere from Scream 4. Neve Campbell later announced that she wouldn't return due to a pay dispute, making 6 the first Scream film without Sidney Prescott.

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Previews: Trailer.


This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sidney makes her return in classic fashion, and Sam follows in her footsteps.
    • Tara lands several hits or kicks on Ghostface during the first scene/attack and at the climax attempts to beat Amber with the crutches for her broken leg, succeeding for a short time. This possibly makes her the series' most tenacious secondary female character since Tatum Riley.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Affectionate Parody: Stab 8 is basically a parody of The Last Jedi since both of them are divisive 8th installments of a series directed by Rian Johnson. Radio Silence stated in an interview that they liked The Last Jedi, so the jokes made about Stab 8's controversial reception are clearly done in good fun.
  • All There in the Script: The original script contains more details about Stab 8: the film had three killers, and the protagonist was an Action Girl who can easily beat up men with heavier builds.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The silver/chrome Ghostface mask was just a joke prop specifically made for the in-universe Stab 8 Ghostface, right? Nope, FunWorld (the owners of the mask’s copyright) created silver variants of the mask to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the mask’s conception. Considering that the silver masks were limited edition collectors' items, it's most likely that the mask for the Stab 8 Ghostface was custom-made.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Both Mindy and Amber joke while in the basement getting beer that the other is the killer and has lured them down to commit another killing. Later proven to be true in Amber's case.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Wes says that his mom was a character in one of the Stab movies. Stab 8 isn't based off the actual events of Scream 4 (though that doesn't mean she couldn't have appeared in Stab 8), so either a fictional version of Judy Hicks appeared in a Stab film between Stab 3 and Stab 8 or Wes was using a metaphor to describe how his mother was a survivor of a prior Ghostface killing spree.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Played straight with the various missing parents. Judy Hicks is raising Wes alone, with no indication of a father figure present. Martha also seems to live alone with Chad and Mindy, though their double-barreled surname suggests that Mr. or Ms. Martin is around, albeit offscreen. Sidney is mentioned as the mother of Mark Kincaid's kids, though Mark himself never shows up.
  • Ambiguously Brown:
    • Sam and Tara are both played by actresses of Mexican heritage (Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega) but have the Anglo-Saxon last name "Carpenter". We never see what their parents look like, although Sam's biological father is revealed to be Billy Loomis, meaning she is most likely biracial. The most likely explanation for the siblings’ last name is that Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter were also in an interracial relationship, making Tara biracial as well.
    • Chad and Mindy, the twin children of the white Martha Meeks, are both visibly at least part-Black (both Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown are biracial), though we never see what their other parent looks like or even if they are Martha's biological children.
  • And Starring: The picture credits end by highlighting the legacy characters as:
  • Anyone Can Die: Used verbatim by one of the characters as they explain the new raised stakes. The promo material also teased the possibility of one of the main trio dying, just like Scream 4. This time, one of them does, and it's Dewey.
  • Arc Words: "It's an honour" and "For Wes". Both are said and invoked multiple times.
  • Artistic License: The portrayal of how fire works is almost embarrassing to watch. Amber bursts into flames by simply being up against a stove burner which while it could realistically start a fire would not spread that fast, although she had previously been doused in (presumably alcohol-based) hand sanitiser. And Gale and Sidney leave her burning in the kitchen without the least bit concern the fire could spread.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: There is no way, even in a small town like Woodsboro, that a hospital floor would be as completely deserted as it was when the killer came after Tara again. Even if there did happen to be an empty floor (the explanation given) in the first place, already a stretch, there would still have to be several employees and police officers around.
  • Ascended Meme: A lot of the promotional material featured "For Wes", a clear reference to initial series director Wes Craven. But it also has a strong presence in the final film too, as Wes, Craven's namesake, is killed, and the third-act massacre takes place at a party masquerading as his memorial, with "For Wes" banner and toasts featuring heavily.
  • Ax-Crazy: As to be expected from a Ghostface killer. In fact, both Richie and Amber are deranged "fans" of the Stab movies determined to bring the franchise back to its former glory by making a new movie.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The movie's Recycled Title mimics those of Candyman (2021) and Halloween (2018), implying that it is a "true" direct sequel to the original Scream that ignores or even retcons the controversial sequels. However, elements from the other three sequels are pivotal to this film's plotnote , making this installment closer to an ordinary sequel, albeit a belated one.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: As per tradition, there are two killers running amok as Ghostface: Richie and Amber. Unlike the previous films, however, they're a true depiction of this trope in the franchise, as neither betrays or treats the other poorly. While Billy, Mrs. Loomis, and Jill were all the dominant Ghostfaces compared to their respective partners, Amber and Richie appear to be equals in the scheme.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Inverted. All of the non-white characters (Sam, Tara, Chad, and Mindy) survive, all of the victims (Vince, Judy, Wes, an unnamed cop, Dewey, and Liv) are white, the killers (Richie and Amber) are white, and both are killed by the end.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • "Welcome to act three." Said by Amber after shooting Liv in the head, revealing herself to the group to be the killer.
    • "Enjoy that torch." Said by Sidney as she and Gale watch Amber burn alive, as a response to Amber telling Gale to "pass the torch". Subverted, as Amber initially survives and tries to kill again before Tara finally finishes her off, which leads to the example below.
    • "I still prefer The Babadook." Said by Tara after she kills Amber in a bookending call-back to their first interaction in the opening scene, where she named that film as her favorite scary movie.
  • Book Ends: The killing spree begins with Ghostface (Amber) attempting to murder Tara, and ends with Tara shooting Amber dead.
    • Their first interaction via phonecall has Tara reveal her favorite scary movie to be The Babadook, as she's more a fan of "elevated" arthouse horror than slashers, much to Ghostface's disappointment. Their final interaction, Tara finishing off Amber, contains Tara reinforcing her preference for The Babadook after the events of the film.
  • Boom, Headshot!: A recurring rule of surviving Scream movies spouted by the original trio to the new group.
    • Dewey stays behind at the hospital to make sure the new Ghostface is dead with a bullet to the head. He never gets the shot off, though.
    • Amber puts a bullet right in Liv's head during the panic in the viewing room after the attack on Mindy, revealing herself as the killer.
    • Sidney quickly tells Sam to shoot Richie, even after he's been stabbed over a dozen times.
    • Amber is also finally put down with a bullet to the head courtesy of Tara.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. In the hospital, Dewey fires six shots from his revolver, then reloads as he prepares to finish Ghostface off.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • This time, the victim in the Cold Open actually survives the first scene, the next scene revealing she was able to be rushed to the hospital and that the surgery went well. Not only that, she survives the whole movie, becoming the Final Girl the original audience probably assumed Drew Barrymore was going to be.
    • This is the first movie with a Ghostface duo where the killers never clash or turn on each other, instead working as a team and seeming to be genuine friends.
    • Dewey's Plot Armor finally fails him, after he survived multiple attacks in previous movies that, by all rights, should've killed him.
    • Every scene following the opening kills starts with a pan to Sidney. The first character we see after the title fades is Sam, establishing her as the new lead.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Right before the credits, a brief scene flashes of Ghostface bowing his head and doing his signature blade swipe. While previous films had him menacing the audience, this time, he seems to be respectfully acknowledging the late, great Wes Craven.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Sort of. Although Patrick Dempsey doesn't appear in the film, we finally learn what happened to his Scream 3 character Mark Kincaid after Scream 4 rendered him a Sequel Non-Entity. Turns out Sid and Mark got married and had kids.
    • In a more straightforward example, Martha Meeks returns after her appearance in Scream 3.
    • Billy Loomis unexpectedly appears several times as part of Sam's hallucinations, marking his first appearance in the series since all the way back in 1996.
  • Call-Back: Enough for its own page.
  • The Cameo:
    • The popular horror movie review channel Dead Meat and its hosts, James A. Janisse and Chelsea Rebecca, make a quick appearance as a commentary channel blasting the new Stab movie.
    • Drew Barrymore, Matthew Lillard, and Jamie Kennedy, who played Casey, Stu, and Randy, have voice-only cameos. Barrymore is also the voice of the principal on Woodsboro High School's PA system, Lillard does the voice of "Chromeface" in Stab 8 and had a brief line ADR'd into the party scene where somebody tells Amber that she has a cool house, and Kennedy was the voice of the party-goer who says that "somebody's dad" is kicking them out.
  • Car Fu: Subverted. When Ghostface takes control of Vince's car, they act as if they're going to run Vince over, only to disappear to bait their victim into walking into an ambush.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Popular horror YouTubers James A. Janisse and Chelsea Rebecca cameo in the movie as hosts of a fictional Caustic Critic channel Film Fails. However, their real channel Dead Meat also has a cameo in the movie as a YouTube thumbnail underneath Kirby's interview.
  • Central Theme:
    • Legacy, or how the past affects the present. Fitting for a film about "re-quels".
    • The balance between being true to the past and not falling back on just repeating it.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Chad and Liv discuss becoming friends on the "Find My Fam" app with Wes warning them how dangerous it is share their locations to each other when there's a killer on the loose. Wes is right because Ghostface later uses said app to hunt Chad.
    • Tara’s inhaler, which is used to lure the Carpenter sisters to the Macher house.
    • A literal example in the dead deputy’s gun, which Tara finds is missing when she encounters Ghostface at the hospital, and is later used by Amber to kill Liv and wound Gale.
  • Chekhov's Skill: When Amber pins Dewey down to the ground, he escapes her hold by headbutting her face. Later, when Amber puts Gale in the same situation, Gale too gets out by headbutting her attacker.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Dewey is stabbed both in the chest and the back and has both knives dragged up through the stomach, resulting in a very bloody death.
    • Amber is shot twice, has a sanitizer bottle broken over the head, and is shoved onto a stove and set ablaze. However, not even that kills her until she gets another bullet to the head.
    • Richie gets it almost as bad as Amber, being stabbed numerous times all over, and then, as he's bleeding out from the stab wounds, his throat is slashed and he's shot in the head.
  • Darker and Edgier: The movie pulls no punches in showing how serious a Ghostface attack can be even if you survive, as shown with Tara in the opening. The film also portrays a more effective and darker Ghostface, who sheds the more theatrical kills of their predecessors and instead goes for quick and efficient attacks. One of the main trio also ends up suffering one of the most brutal deaths in the franchise.
    • Generally, the film also features a grittier colour palette, a slower pace, and a much more emotional story than the other films.
  • Daylight Horror: Ghostface kills Judy in broad daylight on the front lawn, then goes inside for her son Wes.
  • Dead Star Walking: As is tradition with most movies in this franchise.
    • Subverted with the opening kill, where Tara, played by Jenna Ortega, actually survives, albeit with serious injuries.
    • Vince is played by Kyle Gallner, most famous for another horror franchise. He has two scenes before meeting his end at Ghostface's knife.
    • There's also Wes, played by Dylan Minnette, who is the first death of Tara's friend group.
  • Death by Genre Savviness:
    • Dewey remembers that it's better to go back and shoot Ghostface in the head to ensure he's really dead. Unfortunately, the killers have already set up a trap for him in the meantime.
    • The new-gen characters quickly realize that at least one of them could be Ghostface, so they spend a lot of time suspecting one another, which culminates into conflicts within the group dynamic that result in some characters splitting off from the group in anger, giving Ghostface opportunities to pick them off one by one.
    • Liv even lampshades the trope by saying that “the expert” always dies.
  • Digital Deaging: This is applied to Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis during Sam’s hallucinations to make him appear as he did in the original movie.
  • Dirty Coward: Amber and Richie both smugly taunt the heroes when they have the upper hand, and then pathetically beg for their lives when they lose that advantage.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Rian Johnson directing the divisive eighth installment of a long-running series.
  • Enemy Rising Behind:
    • After checking out his malfunctioning car, Vince is confronted with the new Ghostface rising up behind him.
    • Ghostface is also shown appearing from the darkness behind Tara, in a shot that serves as a nod to the original Halloween.
  • Everyone Knew Already: Sam's deep dark secret that she is the daughter of Billy Loomis is not nearly as secret as she thinks it is, considering it's a small town and her mother has a drinking problem.
  • Everything Is Online: All of the locks in Tara's house are smart locks that can be locked or unlocked via smartphone. Ghostface hacks into them to prevent her from locking him out of her house.
  • Evil Is Petty: The motives for the killers this time are somehow even pettier than the killers in Scream 4. They want to inspire a "true" Stab 8 after they didn't like the eighth installment in the film series, which defied the franchise's usual conventions.
  • Evil Overlooker: Lampshaded by the final poster. Not only does Ghostface loom large over the entire cast, but the tagline is "The Killer is On This Poster". It's right, as Richie is right there towards the front of the cast, while Amber is on the left, towards the back.
  • Fame Through Infamy: The final objective of the Ghostface in this film is to generate enough of this through a new set of murders to bring the Stab series back to its "based on true events" roots (the fact the other Ghostface killers obtained this in the media circus that followed their sprees, even if they didn't live to enjoy it, also helps them make their decision). Gale makes clear that she will do her absolute damnedest to prevent it from happening this time, starting by writing a book about the event that will only talk about the victims and never mention the names of the Ghostface killers.
    Gale: Those fuckers can die in anonymity.
  • Fan Dumb: In-Universe, it's mentioned that while practically everyone agrees the Stab movies have gone downhill, certain fans are noted to be petty, nitpicky, and entitled. To the point where two of these fans are the killers! It simply doesn't get more Fan Dumb than going on a killing spree because you don't like the direction your favorite franchise has taken.
  • Fictional Fan, Real Celebrity: Tara and Amber are both huge fans of so-called elevated horror, with Tara saying The Babadook is her favorite scary movie and Amber praising Jordan Peele. In Tara's case, it explains why she wouldn't know anything about Stab; in Amber's case, it's pure misdirection, since she's actually a Loony Fan of the fictional Stab.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • Sam’s first hallucination of Billy Loomis at the hospital immediately leads to the revelation that Billy is her biological father.
    • Richie limps down the stairs like Billy immediately before revealing himself as the killer.
  • Foreshadowing
    • When Ghostface calls Tara, he pretends to be her mother's friend from an unspecified drug addict group, to which Tara asks if he's from Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Later, Richie and Amber reveal that they know Sam's familial link to Billy Loomis because Mrs. Carpenter said some things while drunk at a bar.
    • When explaining the rules, Dewey correctly assumes that Richie is the killer since he is the protagonist's suspicious boyfriend. Normally, it would be easy to dismiss Dewey's guess since his reasoning only applies to the first Ghostface, but Mindy indirectly backs up Dewey by noting that a requel will follow the original film's structure for nostalgia points.
    • There's something fishy about Ghostface's threat in the opening. He sends Tara a video of him watching Amber and threatens to kill her if Tara loses his "Stab" trivia game. However, he sends Tara a video file, meaning that he's not really watching Amber, because if it was a live feed, he would have most likely started a video call or sent a link instead of a whole file, and the video would also have some sort of watermark indicating that it was recording live. Furthermore, Amber is revealed to be alive after the opening; since when has Ghostface ever let their target live after failure to win one of their games?
    • Richie claims he has never seen the Stab films, which is meant to indicate his Genre Blindness in regard to slasher movies. However, Richie also makes meaningful allusions to Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th and watches a YouTube video bashing Stab 8, which foreshadows that his Genre Blindness is an Informed Flaw.
    • After meeting Dewey for the first time, Richie says that he's much nicer in the Stab movies than in real life, despite having earlier claimed to have never seen any of them.
    • Richie's interest in a video insulting Stab 8 gives away his and Amber's motive in conducting a new murder spree.
    • In one of her hallucinations, Billy tells Sam to let loose and “cut some throats”. By the end of the film, Sam has finished off one of the Ghostfaces, Richie, by cutting his throat.
    • When Ghostface calls Sam, the caller ID on her phone guesses that it could be Amber instead. Apparently, the number might have belonged to her after all.
    • When they attack Tara at the hospital, Ghostface verbally berates Sam for being a "selfish bitch," saying that she doesn't care about her sister's life. Earlier, Amber had cited Sam's "selfishness" as a reason for their distrust of her, supposedly out of concern for Tara's well-being.
    • Amber, like Stu, hosts a party while a killer is on the loose.
    • Richie says that he'll "be right back" before getting a beer like Stu.
    • Ghostface attacks Mindy while the latter is watching the Stab recreation of Ghostface sneaking up on a similarly distracted Randy. In the original Scream, Randy survives that very exact scene, meaning that his niece is going to pull through too.
    • The Stab 8 Ghostface uses a flamethrower as a new weapon. The new Ghostfaces hate Stab 8 for diverging from the formula, and Gale and Sidney use fire to severely injure Amber.
    • A subtle one. All of the new major characters have either established (Sam, Chad, Mindy, Wes, Vince), tangential (Tara being the sister of Sam, the daughter of Billy Loomis), or possible connections (Liv having the same surname as Casey Becker’s neighbors) to characters involved in the two previous Woodsboro killing sprees, with the exceptions of Richie and Amber. Guess who the killers are.
    • Amber claims to like elevated horror movies, even stating "Jordan Peele fucking rules". The problem is that the movie playing at her party is Stab instead of something like It Follows or Get Out!.
    • After Mindy deduces that Ghostface is going after people related to the legacy characters, everyone else looks at Dewey, who is related to Tatum. That said, Ghostface kills three more people before finally murdering Dewey.
    • The Ghostface killer is brutally efficient, using surprise and fear in order to kill their victims. This because most of the murders were done by Amber, a 5'2" petite high school girl, who can't overpower most of her victims. It would make sense that she would need to sneak up on most of them, as well as take advantage of their fear-stricken states. The only hink in this is with Dewey as she takes him by surprise and overpowers him, but that can at be handwaved by Dewey being practically disabled at this point from surviving many stabbings.
  • Franchise Zombie: Deconstructed in regards to the In-Universe Stab franchise. In the previous film, it was implied that the Stab franchise was Jumping the Shark after abandoning the "Based on a True Story" premise of the first three movies and retooling into a series of fictional slasher movies with outlandish elements, such as Stab 5 featuring time travel. Here, Stab 8, the latest installment, changes up the format by giving Ghostface a new costume and a new weapon, both of which prove unpopular among Stab fans, as do much of its "social commentary" and "Mary Sue lead". While exaggerated to the point of psychopathy, the new Ghostfaces' motives are reminiscent of actual fandom reactions, and the new Ghostfaces genuinely believe they can improve the Stab franchise by returning Stab to its roots just so the franchise can redo the same Recycled Plots. In any case, the Stab franchise has nothing left to say and is better off dead with the lack of public knowledge of the motives of these Ghostfaces, and the fact that Sidney forbade them from turning the true stories of Ghostface into films means that it probably will die, or at least won't receive a follow-up like what Richie and Amber wanted.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Tara scrolls through the cast list for Stab, one can spot Kenny the cameraman's full name: Kenny Brown.
    • While Richie is watching a YouTube video about Stab 8, one of the thumbnail recommendations besides it is an interview with Woodsboro survivor Kirby Reed.
    • At the bottom of the same screen, a sharp-eyed viewer can also see a video thumbnail called ”Did the real-life Stu Macher survive?”
  • Freudian Slip: When Gale meets Sam for the first time outside the Hicks residence crime scene, she starts to introduce herself, only for her to spot Dewey (whom she hasn’t seen in several years), resulting in her referring to herself as “Gale Riley” before quickly correcting herself.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: Poor Dewey suffers from this fate after the new Ghostface gets the drop on them. Interestingly enough, the film shies away from showing heavier Gorn, though it’s clearly what’s happening onscreen.
  • Harassing Phone Call: The opening scene, like the original film, plays out with Tara getting a call from an unknown caller. She then walks over and turns the phone off, forcing the killer to resort to hacking her texts.
  • Hate Sink:
  • If I Can't Have You…: Suggested by Mindy as a potential motive if Wes were the killer. He isn’t.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: Dewey isn't particularly surprised to see that Gale brought her news crew with her to the latest murders. She insists her producers demanded it, and she's "90%" here out of genuine concern. He isn't impressed. In the end, Sidney and Gale both declare that the killers can "rot in anonymity", and any story should focus on Dewey instead.
  • Impaled Palm: Tara stops a fatal stab from Ghostface by holding her hand up, though the blade goes right through her palm.
  • Improvised Weapon: Tara uses her crutches as clubs in the climactic scene in Amber's home against Ghostface.
  • It's Personal: For both Sidney and Gale once Ghostface kills Dewey. Sidney originally had no intention of setting foot back in Woodsboro, but when she learns of her friend's death, she comes back to put an end to things. Fittingly, Gale is the one who fights Amber at the end, since she was the one who killed Dewey.
  • Kill It with Fire: Amber is doused with alcohol and tossed into a lit stove. It seems to kill her at first, but we know there is always a Ghostface that comes back...
  • Knight of Cerebus: Ghostface is, while quicker in their killings than several of their predecessors, still considerably more cruel than them in many ways, ultimately even killing one of the original trio.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The killers want to inspire a new Stab film as part of their motivation. Not only do they face brutal ends for such a selfish motive, but Sidney and Gale both decide not to cover their stories and choose to leave their identities undisclosed.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
  • Little "No": If you listen closely, you can hear Gale whisper one upon seeing Dewey being wheeled out of the hospital in a body bag.
  • Loony Fan: The new Ghostface utters the page quote right as they brutally kill Dewey. It also turns out that this is their motive, deciding to inspire a new Stab movie through a brutal killing spree to bring the franchise back to its glory after a divisive eighth installment.
  • Made of Iron: Just like the fourth film's killer before them, Amber and Richie take a massive amount of damage before they're both finally put down with bullets to the head.
    • Doubly so in Amber's case, since she was beaten around, shot twice, lit on fire, and still somehow had enough energy to make a final charge towards Sidney, Sam, and Gale before getting shot in the head by Tara. Plus she had previously been shot multiple times by Dewey in the hospital, causing her to crash backwards into a glass-covered bookshelf. Even if she was probably wearing a Bulletproof Vest, that still would've hurt like hell.
    • Richie, meanwhile, gets shot in the leg, stabbed in the cheek, then stabbed over a dozen times by Sam, and still somehow has enough breath to ask about his "ending" before she finally slits his throat. Oh, and just for good measure, he also gets shot in the head.
    • Poor fucking Tara! In the opening, she gets slashed and stabbed all over by Ghostface, who goes as far as to also break her leg hard enough to cause a compound fracture. Amazingly, she manages to escape danger in the hospital, attack Amber with a crutch, and later finish her off with a headshot.
    • Chad, who despite being stabbed about half a dozen times and left to bleed out, survives the events of the film.
  • Menacing Stroll: Ghostface marches slowly but powerfully towards many of their victims throughout the film.
  • More Diverse Sequel: This film has far more prominent characters of color in the cast than previous installments, with Mindy and Chad being biracial and black, and the Carpenter sisters being Latina (with Sam, at least, also being biracial, since her father Billy was white). Mindy is also a lesbian.
  • Never My Fault: Sam mentions to Tara that their mother never forgave her for revealing to their dad that Sam's biological father was Billy, which caused him to walk out. She ignored that she cheated on her then-boyfriend with Billy and lied to him about Sam's parentage for 13 years.
  • No Kill like Overkill:
    • Dewey is brutally gutted and stabbed in the back with two knives. Possibly justified in that Dewey has already made it clear that he’s survived being stabbed before, so Ghostface is most likely making sure he actually dies this time.
    • Richie is stabbed about a dozen times, has his throat slashed, and finally shot three times (including once in the head) to make sure he’s dead.
    • Amber meanwhile gets sprayed by alcohol, is doused by fire, and then finished off by a gunshot for good measure.
  • Mythology Gag: An early draft of Scream 4 revealed Kirby was an occupant of a renovated 261 Turner Lane, the former Macher residence, in keeping with the "remake" theme. Amber not only becomes the occupant of Stu's old house, but is also one of the killers, just like him.
  • Nonconformist Dyed Hair: Inverted. Liv has prominent neon red streaks in her hair. She is also widely agreed upon in-universe by her own friend group to be so bland and forgettable that she actually becomes a Red Herring because of it.
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: A full three movies after his death, Randy saves the life of his niece Mindy. She's watching his Stab self talk about the need for characters to look behind them (as he watches Halloween (1978)), which prompts her to look behind her as Ghostface creeps up on her. She defends herself and lives.
  • Oblivious to Their Own Description: Richie wonders aloud how anyone could ever think fandom is toxic, saying it's ultimately about love for art and it's beautiful that that love unites people... while covered in blood, holding a knife, and trying to finish off a killing spree he started over his fandom.
  • Oh, Crap!: A constant for the series.
    • Sidney realizing Amber lives in Stu's old house.
    • Notably, Richie gloats to Sam about how he tricked her into thinking Tara was the killer, at which point Amber calls out that Tara is suddenly missing...
  • Police Are Useless: Deputy Vinson leaves Tara alone at the hospital, despite the fact that the killer who had attacked her and murdered several people is still on the loose.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • "Yes today." Said by Ghostface while killing Dewey, as a spin on him previously saying "Not today!" while fending the killer off.
    • "It's an honor." Said by Ghostface before getting their finishing blow in on Dewey.
    • "I know." Amber seconds before shooting Liv after the latter desperately tells the group she is not the killer, thus revealing herself as Ghostface.
    • "It’s all yours, bitch!" Gale to Amber after she taunts her with the line "Time to pass the torch!", and before enacting a plan with Sidney to set her on fire.
    • Sam gets two in on Richie as she kills him.
      • "Never fuck with the daughter of a serial killer." Sam says this before stabbing Richie with Amber's abandoned knife, calling it a "new rule" in rebuttal to his insistence that her death as the designated villain of his and Amber's plan falls in line with "the rules".
      • "Here it comes!" Sam says this when Richie asks "What about my ending?" after stabbing him a dozen times, after which she slits his throat.
  • Really Dead Montage: After Dewey is killed, we get a Dies Wide Open shot of him. Then we see his body being taken out of the hospital in a bodybag by coroners, while Gale screams and cries and tries to run towards him, only to be held back, with everything in slow-mo and no dialogue. All of this hammers into the audience that this time, Dewey isn't going to miraculously pull through like he did in the other movies — he really isn't coming back.
  • Reboot Snark: The film uses the concept of "requels" (sequels Revisiting the Roots so closely that the result feels like a Soft Reboot or remake) as its main theme. The killers are called out for how closely they're mimicking the crime spree that started it all, and are such Loony Fans of the Stab series that ruining Sid's life again is part of their plan to bring the franchise back to its Based on a True Story heyday.
  • Recycled Title: The film is simply known as Scream, just like the first installment. However, given the franchise's meta aspect, this is a form of commentary on how modern franchise sequels use the name of the original films, most notably with Halloween and Candyman.
  • Red Herring: Lampshaded.
    • Vince is a creepy guy who had a romantic encounter with Liv in the past and pulls his knife out when meeting the main cast at a bar, marking him as the obvious suspect. He is killed off fairly quickly to demonstrate the franchise's love for misdirection. Ironically, he is established as a relative of previous Ghostface Stu Macher, but only after his death.
    • Sam Carpenter is related to Billy Loomis and occasionally has hallucinations of him, seemingly building up to a The Killer in Me scenario. Said scenario does happen, but she savagely brutalizes the new Ghostface instead of an innocent victim.
    • Wes points out that Dewey has a good motive as the killer, since he is currently a Jaded Washout whose marriage didn't go well.
    • Dewey immediately suspects Richie, as he's the love interest of Sam, just like Billy Loomis. He's later attacked in the hospital looking for Tara by Ghostface, clearing his name. Except this was simply a diversion, and he is actually the second killer.
    • Liv is stated numerous times to be too boring to be the killer, seemingly setting up a reveal similar to Scream 3's with the unassuming figure as the killer. Not only does she have a good motive for killing Vince, she also leaves the house just before Ghostface attacks Chad. Except she's innocent, and is shot in the head by Amber, the real killer.
    • Wes is indicated to have an unrequited crush on Tara, which would give him a believable motive for trying to kill her.
    • Amber points out that Chad's bruises, which he explains as being from football practice, could be the result of his time as the man behind the Ghostface mask. In addition, he has a good motive for killing Vince, a creep bothering his girlfriend. Chad is not the killer, and Amber was simply diverting attention to him.
    • Much like Randy, Mindy’s Meta Guy tendencies can draw suspicion towards her, since her monologue about requels makes it sound as if she's Saying Too Much, and Mindy, like Ghostface, is not too fond of Stab 8. Mindy also has a creepy encounter with Amber in the basement, and when caught, jokes in a very cryptic manner that she's the killer.
    • Since Ghostface was texting from Amber's phone, Richie suggests that she could obviously be the killer. This is a subversion similar to the first film, as the killers want to attract attention to themselves, then destroy this suspicion by having "evidence" of their innocence clear them.
    • The new Ghostface knows about Sam's secret, which makes Tara, Sam's half-sibling, a likely culprit, since she is the only other Carpenter to appear on-screen. Furthermore, the movie seemingly sets up Tara as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Roman Bridger from Scream 3, since she resents Sam for abandoning her. Ghostface's attacks on Tara are also very off, since Ghostface strangely takes his time when delivering the coup de grâce against her, which lets Tara survive not just once but twice against Ghostface before the finale at Stu's house. This turns out to be intentional on Ghostface's part, since Richie later invokes this trope to give Sam doubt as to Tara’s innocence... which doesn’t work.
    • For viewers who think Tara is too obvious, Sam's mother, who definitely knows Sam's secret, is a viable person of interest since she's conveniently away on a trip while Ghostface is wreaking havoc on Woodsboro, but she never properly appears in the movie.
  • Retired Badass: Retired Sheriff Dewey qualifies as this, especially during his brawl with Ghostface in the hospital. Regrettably, it leads to his Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Frequently discussed as part of what the characters refer to as a "re-quel", a sequel that borders on a remake through exploited nostalgia and copied beats, down to exploiting connections to characters from the original and replicating its scenes.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Before Richie introduces himself to Amber at the hospital, he covertly glances in Sam's direction to make sure that she is still fooled into believing that he and Amber are total strangers.
    • Richie suggests Amber could be the killer, because it appears like an obvious solution despite evidence suggesting otherwise. Of course, Richie is right, since not only is Amber the killer, so is he.
    • Richie watching the first Stab film on Netflix in the same room as a sleeping Sam and Tara after the latter has been attacked by Ghostface and put in the hospital seems like a shockingly insensitive action for Sam's supposedly caring boyfriend. In hindsight, the character is most likely mocking the sisters for failing to deduce that he is one of the killers.
    • The meetup at the Meeks-Martin house gets a different interpretation on a repeat viewing.
      • When the main cast starts talking about how hardcore Stab fans hate Stab 8 for its Mary Sue protagonist and elevated horror elements, Richie and Amber are the first to start asking questions, with Richie asking what a Mary Sue is and Amber praising Jordan Peele's elevated horror movies. On a second viewing, it is easier to tell that Richie and Amber were playing dumb to draw attention away from themselves.
      • Wes is killed shortly after Mindy reassures him that his family is safe because "no one cares about the [Stab] sequels". Both the killers, Richie and Amber, are in the room when Mindy and Wes have this conversation, and likely got the idea to attack both Wes and Judy next to throw them off.
      • After Mindy explains what a requel is, Richie suggests that she is the killer trying to cover her tracks. At first, it may seem that Richie was guessing randomly for a suspect like Wes was doing, but in retrospect, Richie was hastily throwing suspicion onto Mindy because Mindy's accurate description of he and Amber's requel plan worried him.
    • Ghostface's attack at the hospital plays out differently on rewatch.
      • Why does the Ghostface that's attacking Tara and Richie in the hospital use the voice changer instead of the second killer? Because the second killer was one of the victims that was just attacked.
      • In addition, it's easier to tell that Ghostface's threat to kill either Richie or Tara depending on Sam's choice to save one was a bluff all along. Richie is the second killer, so obviously Amber wouldn't follow through with killing him. On the other hand, killing Tara is too risky, since Richie would look too suspicious for Sam to trust if Ghostface left him alone, not to mention that it would be harder for Richie to manipulate Sam's next move without Tara weighing her down. Thus, it was more practical for Ghostface to leave both victims alive.
      • It seems kind of boneheaded of Richie to just sit there instead of trying to escape while Dewey is fighting Ghostface. It makes more sense later on when it’s implied that Richie is seeing all of the murders through the lens of a real-life slasher film.
      • As Dewey is carrying Richie to the elevator, Richie turns around to look back at Ghostface. Initially, it seems that Richie is being Properly Paranoid by making sure Ghostface is actually down for the count but in reality, it's actually because he is worried that Dewey may have killed Amber.
    • Amber goes off into the basement alone despite knowing a killer is on the loose. Like Stu in the first film, she has no reason to worry about that.
    • Richie states "I'll be right back" before getting a beer. He does come back, and tries to kill Mindy.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Downplayed. Sidney has moved on from Woodsboro and declines to get involved, and while Gale was originally fine with just visiting Woodsboro, covering the murders, and checking in on Dewey, all that goes out the door when Dewey is killed. Sidney arrives, and from that point on, the two of them are hellbent on seeing the new Ghostface dead; Sidney because she has kids and believes the killer may well come after her family, and Gale because her best friend was just killed.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Dewey bites the dust in this one. Ghostface even lampshades this by stating "It's an honor" when killing him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After the attack at the hospital and Dewey's death, Sam decides that enough is enough and tries to get out of Woodsboro with Tara. The killers accounted for this and make sure she doesn't make it out of town.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • The YouTubers reviewing the last Stab movie criticize it for not including a number in the title and simply calling it by the original movie's name, which is exactly what this movie does.
    • The Stab franchise, an In-Universe analogue of the Scream franchise, is past its prime at this point and should have ended a long time ago. More pointedly, Richie states that the Stab franchise went off the rails with the fifth film - in the middle of the fifth film of the Scream franchise.
    • Sidney calls out the new Ghostface for mimicking Billy and Stu too closely, and is not impressed that she is at Stu's house once again.
    • On a more meta level, at one point the requel concept is referred to derisively as "fanfiction," the least charitable acknowledgement possible of the fact that death has occurred — not only with Wes Craven but even the Weinstein Company itself.
  • Sequel Escalation: Played with. At first, it seems that Richie and Amber killed a lot of people, but Chad's and Mindy's survival meant that they only killed six people, matching the body count of Billy and Stu. Thus, this is the first Scream movie in which the new Ghostface has less kills than the previous one, since Jill and Charlie killed nine people, ten people if counting Jill's betrayal of Charlie.
  • Sequel Gap: In-universe. Stab 8 came out a year before the events of the film (in 2020), while Stab 7 was already out on video when the events of Scream 4 occurred in 2011 (confirmed by Sam), meaning there’s about a decade-long gap in between these Stab films.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Show Within a Show: Stab 8 is the most recent movie in the Stab franchise, and took various risks with the typical formula, resulting in a major backlash from fans that fuels the motive behind the new killers.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis never appears in the trailers, but shows up several times in this film as part of Sam's recurring hallucinations.
  • Slashed Throat: The new Ghostface is extremely fond of this method of murder, using it on several victims throughout the film. Fittingly, this is how Sam ultimately kills Richie.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Sheriff Judy Hicks and her son Wes are the only blond characters in the film. Both of them are murdered by Ghostface. Since Wes is killed third, it also fits the series tradition of the third victim being blond.
  • Soft Reboot: The film focuses on a new cast, but is still set in the same timeline as the previous films, and features the principal trio of Sidney, Gale, and Dewey. Unlike Scream 4, which thoroughly mocks the whole idea of reboots superseding the originals by killing off nearly its entire new cast, this film's story ultimately revolves around the new characters, and Sam, Tara, Chad, and Mindy become the final girls/boys just as Sidney, Gale, Dewey, and Randy did in the first film. That said, it's not above poking fun at this trope; many characters call out the trend of newer installments of age-old franchises that love to reference things from the originals just for the sake of nostalgia.
  • Spin-Offspring: In a way. The film focuses on "legacies" of characters from the previous films, involving both children and more distant relatives. The main character, Sam Carpenter, is the daughter of Billy Loomis, the Big Bad of the original Scream. Her half-sister's friends include Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin (nephew and niece of Randy Meeks by way of his sister, Martha, who was introduced in Scream 3) and Wes Hicks (son of Judy Hicks, introduced in Scream 4). A minor character, Vince Schneider, is a nephew of Stu Macher, Billy's accomplice as Ghostface.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Scream 4, the previous installment.
    • Both movies are literal sequels and metaphorical remakes of Scream (1996); however, in Scream 4's case, this was a subversion in a time when remakes like Friday the 13th (2009) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) were in a different continuity from the original films, whereas this movie came out in a time when "re-quels" like Halloween (2018) are the new trend. Both films also differ greatly in their ruleset and Plot Twists. Scream 4 states that remakes need to subvert the original films to shock an audience familiar with the latter, which is why the boyfriend is the victim rather than the killer; on the other hand, this movie states that exploiting nostalgia is the key, which is why the boyfriend is once again the killer. On a meta level, Jill could be seen as a representation of a remake cynically attempting to be the original film whilst not understanding how it worked just for the sake of attention, whilst Richie and Amber can be seen as representations of a re-quel forcefully trying as hard as possible to pay love to the original film at the expense of doing anything new, whilst showing a disdain for it through their murderous ways and petty motive. This is why they lure the main characters to Stu's house, why they mostly target relatives of original characters, and why they even kill Dewey and plan to kill Sidney and Gale. One is the worst representation of a remake, the other is the worst representation of a "re-quel".
    • Both of these film's Ghostfaces also have an interesting subtextual parallel to internet culture, with this film's Ghostface being more overt but still having a representational/satirical/symbolic element that one could miss. Jill's desire for stealing the (practically forced upon) spotlight from Sidney has had the interesting effect of predicting famous YouTube influencer culture, especially since it's made clear that she doesn't need to be talented or a good person to become well-known. She just needs to make sure all the Ghostface killings (that she caused/planned) are uploaded to the web and that she comes across as an innocent victim, therefore instantly gaining the fame she wanted. The amount of terrible people becoming internet famous, not to mention social media fame being a gateway to bad actions in real life, should both make it clear that Scream 4 was both of its time and ahead of its time. This film's Ghostface is the duo of Richie and Amber, who through their desire to see another Stab film end up killing and harming multiple people, including the real world characters that were portrayed in the very first Stab that they love. The paralells to modern toxic fandom are clear and even invoked (even the fact that these two take up the mantle of a fictional/real-in-their-world villain could be read as invoking Misaimed Fandom), but these two's killings could be swapped out with any form of internet cyberbullying or even outright physical harmful behaviour, and it would be more clear that they represent those kinds of internet fans: the ones who will do more harm than good in favour of honouring the franchise they love, whether it be pushing people off social media, sending death threats, making inflammatory videos, creating lies and conspiracies, attacking others, all of that. Not to mention doing it to both new characters and old represents the kind of harassment that can befall both anyone creatively new to a franchise that wants to do anything different, and those who have been a part of it for a long time. The killing of Dewey is even preceded by Ghostface saying "It's an honor", showing how fundamentally backwards they and many fans who behave in a similar manner are.
  • Stock Audio Clip: When Richie is watching Stab on Netflix, you can clearly hear audio from the first movie being played. Specifically, it's the clip when Casey knocks the knife out of Ghostface's hands.
  • Straw Fan: As mentioned above, the Stab fans are really vocal about their dislike of what the movies had become. None more than the killers, who are doing their murderous rampage specifically to inspire a new, better installment!
  • Strictly Formula: Invoked and deconstructed. The requel rules demand that the requel follow the first movie beat for beat with the occasional variation to spice things up. Richie and Amber invoke this in their murder spree to inspire a Stab sequel more akin to the first three Stab movies. However, this ends up screwing over Richie and Amber, since the requel rules mean that they had to follow Billy and Stu to the grave, and that their derivative tactics couldn't surprise Sidney and Gale, who have already Seen It All. Not only that, but faithful adherence to the first movie also meant that Richie and Amber could only murder six people, just as Billy and Stu did in their killing spree, so once Amber killed Liv, their hands were tied. From a meta standpoint, the previous Ghostfaces had a much better chance of winning against the protagonists since their rulesets allowed for greater creativity.note 
  • Stylistic Suck: Stab 8 features a Ghostface using a flamethrower, spinning around duel machetes, and wearing a sleeveless hoodie with a chrome Ghostface mask to demonstrate how far the Stab series jumped the shark.
  • Sucksessor: Zigzagged with this film's Ghostface. While Richie and Amber do rack up quite a body count (at six, equal to the original killers), they do seem to fail just as much as they succeed. They are the first ones to fail at the cold open kill, with Tara surviving to the end, whereas all their predecessors killed two people in their cold opens. The film also has the highest number of survivors (Sam, Sidney, Gale, Tara, and the twins). And while they do succeed in killing Dewey where so many have failed, that could be seen as a case of Dented Iron.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Because she's faced over half a dozen psychotic killers in the last twenty years or so, Sidney's apparent preparation for the situation shouldn't come as much of a shock. She's also been able to dispatch the various prior killers.
    • The film reveals that fighting copycat killers took a major toll on Dewey’s health; being stabbed and beaten so many times has left him with severe nerve damage, and the bottles in his house imply he’s become an alcoholic due to the pain of that and his divorce from Gale. Because of all this, he was forced to retire from being sheriff.
    • The fact that many people survive attacks from Ghostface due to several circumstances such as police arriving or nearby witnesses. Regardless of how close the victim is to death, if Ghostface gets caught by the police, their entire plan will be ruined.
    • Despite Ghostface already killing Judy and Mindy's reassurances, Wes is still killed when Ghostface stabs him through the throat only minutes after his mother's death. No matter the rules of the series, a crazed serial killer isn't going to pass up the chance to claim an extra victim.
    • The film is less violent than other installments, though for good reason. Security is far tighter around Woodsboro compared to a couple of decades prior, which means a swifter reaction from police. When not in places such as a locked-down hospital, Ghostface aims for areas that would most likely prove fatal, such as quick stabs to the heart and throat.
    • When Tara is forced to answer trivia questions about Stab at the beginning of the film, she has the advantage of using the Internet to answer them. Not that it stops Ghostface from attacking her when she only answers a question half-right.
    • While Tara is able to get the drop on Amber, a petite woman just out of the hospital and with a leg in a cast is automatically at a disadvantage in a fight.
    • After the second attack and Dewey's death, Sam promptly does what any sane person being chased by a serial killer would do and tries to get the hell out of town with Tara and Richie. She is only sidetracked by Tara's lost inhaler, which Richie took, to lead them to the planned finale at the original house.
    • Firing a gun right next to someone’s head is a good way to disorient them.
    • Richie tries to plant the idea of Tara being the killer in Amber's head as a way of turning them against one another. Sam not only doesn't believe him but his attempts to do tip her off that he is behind everything. As fractured as their relationship has been, Sam and Tara are still sisters and there's no way Sam is going to trust her boyfriend of only a few months over the sister she's known her whole life.
  • Take That, Audience!: The film has one to a specific type of audience as opposed to Scream fans specifically, but the trope still qualifies. The movie skewers the idea of toxic fandoms and fandom entitlement, especially those who want controversial endings and installments re-done. Richie and Amber launch a new wave of Ghostface killings as part of a "re-quel" to inspire a new Stab film after a divisive eighth installment.
  • Technology Marches On: In-Universe; in the opening, Ghostface forces Tara to go through the movie trivia game the original killers made Casey go through in the first movie. However, unlike Casey, who lived during the late ‘90s, Tara lives in the 2020s and has access to a smartphone and websites with the information she needs to answer the questions she doesn’t know the answers to. However, just like Casey, her overconfidence and fear gets the best of her when she falls for a trick question, only getting it half right.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • When Dewey calls Sidney to let her know that the Ghostface murders are happening again, he warns her to not return to Woodsboro, no matter what she hears on the news. Sidney responds, "I have no intention of ever setting foot in that town again." Unfortunately, Ghostface went and made it personal by slaughtering Dewey, giving her no choice but to come back and end it once and for all.
    • Mindy tells Wes that he is likely not going to be the next target of Ghostface because “no one cares about inferior sequels”. In the next scene, both Wes and his mother become the next victims — and the "tempting fate" part comes in very literally because she does it in the presence of Amber and Richie, who care very much about the sequels.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After four movies of dealing with Ghostface, Gale is transparent that she's not looking forward to the fifth go-around.
    Sidney: Are you ready?
    Gale: For this? Never.
  • This Is the Part Where...: After finding out that Richie was listening in on her family confessions to Tara, Sam outright advises him to run away and points out horror movie logic in her reasoning.
    "You know that part in horror movies where you want to yell at the characters to be smart and get the fuck out? This is that part, Richie. You should get the fuck out."
  • Time Skip: The film is set a decade after Scream 4.
  • Trailers Always Lie:
    • Some of the things shown in the trailers, specifically scenes of Ghostface wearing a metal mask and wielding a flamethrower, turn out to be scenes from the in-universe film Stab 8.
    • The "it's an honor" line sounded like it was directed toward Sidney in the trailer, but in the movie, Ghostface says it after killing Dewey.
  • Un-Reboot:
    • The characters refer to this as a "re-quel" and discuss the possibility that Ghostface is trying to create one of these, with one of them comparing the killer to a fanfiction writer. This is, in fact, the killers' motive. They hated Stab 8 so much that they came up with a new killing spree that, when adapted to film, would take the Stab series back to its Based on a True Story roots.
    • For added measure, the film itself is an Unreboot that goes back to the original storyline after the MTV reboot series.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Rian Johnson of all people, despite never even appearing in the film. In-Universe, his changes to the Stab franchise in Stab 8 produced such a visceral anger in a pair of psycho toxic fans of the franchise that they decided to stage a whole new Ghostface massacre just to bring the franchise to its Based on a True Story roots.
    • Gale during the hospital confrontation. She contacts Dewey right as he is about to finish off Amber, distracting him long enough for her to mortally wound him.
    • Amber claims that her parents moving into the house where the climax of the first killing spree took place caused her to develop an obsession with the film series based on those crimes. This leads to her to don the Ghostface mask, kill a recurring hero, and die herself. Her parents probably would have found a different house if they'd had any inkling of all that.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: Invoked by the new Ghostface, who states that the problem with the Stab franchise is that it doesn't have a consistent villain like Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees, hence they went after Sam, who is the daughter of one of the original Ghostfaces.
  • Wham Line:
    • In one scene, Sam sits down at Tara's hospital bed and reveals some devastating truths about their family, but none likely more shocking than one particular bombshell:
      Sam: I just couldn't be around you anymore, Tara. Not only because I destroyed our family that night, but because...[Mom's] diaries told me who my real father was. It was Billy Loomis.
    • Sidney realizes where the final showdown is going to be.
      Sidney: That's Stu Macher's old house.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Billy Loomis appearing in a mirror behind Sam, revealing she has hallucinations. This is also the major clue that he's her father.
    • Amber abruptly putting a bullet through Liv's head, revealing herself to be the killer.
    • After Sidney's Wham Line about Amber living in Stu's old house, the camera pans out from Sam to show the audience, hammering in that we really are right back where we started.
    • Richie stabbing Sam, revealing himself to be the second killer.
  • Where It All Began: The climax is deliberately in Stu's old house, where the last third of the original movie happened. Sidney and Gale even immediately realize the final battle will be there, and Sidney calls the killer "The most derivative Ghostface yet".
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Sam and Tara are five years apart in age (it is explicitly said their parents split when Sam was 13 and Tara 8). However, at the end of the movie, a reporter claims that 25 years almost to the day have passed since the events of the original film, meaning that, since Sam is Billy's biological daughter, she can't be younger than 24, making Tara 19... despite she and her friend group still being in high school. It might be possible if Tara was held back for some reason, but nothing to this effect is ever stated in the film, and it still seems unlikely.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Subverted. Amber tries to lure in Gale and Sidney by feigning a heavy injury and limping out onto the porch. It’s practically played for laughs as they both immediately realize it’s a trap before a small shootout commences.

Alternative Title(s): Scream 5

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