Although some basic horror movie ground rules are laid out in the first film, Scream was originally intended to be not only be a satire of the slasher genre, but a deconstruction of it; and the biggest deconstruction seems to be the notion of 'purity=survival' in regards to the hugely prevalent Final Girl trope. In fact, the characters that lay the groundwork for said rules in the film leaned on this idea so heavily that Billy went to great lengths to pressure Sidney into sex just so he could try to prevent this trope. Unfortunately, Billy and Stu's strict adherence to the rules of slasher films meant that they were doomed from the get-go, for one simple reason: regardless of circumstances, there is almost ALWAYS a Final Girl; and having one that's Genre Savvy as well is never a good idea. By the final act, Billy and Stu are injuring each other more than they're injuring her, haphazardly revealing their entire scheme, stating that horror movies are scarier when nobody knows the killer's motive only to reveal the killer's motive in the very next sentence, leaving Sidney unsupervised, falling for noise distractions and other such death-defying acts of Genre Blindness; by the time Stu is uttering the words "I'll be right back," it's clear to just about everybody but the killers that - virgin or not - they'reAlone with the Psycho and not the other way around.
Additionally, Billy and Stu's insistence on De-virginizing Sydney so they're "allowed" to kill her. While the cliché of the Final Girl states that she's pure and virginal and doesn't do any of the wicked things the other girls do that get them killed, this is a case of Unbuilt Trope, many original Final Girls were "wholesome" only by comparison. Alice was implied to have had or be having an affair with Steve and participated in the Strip Monopoly game. Ginny was explicitly in a sexual relationship with Paul, and missed most of Jason's rampage because she was in town drinking at the bar. Even Nancy, while not having onscreen sex like Tina, is the closest the film comes to having a Ms. Fanservice. In short, even by the stringent rules of the slasher genre, Sydney's sexual activity or lack of same has little bearing on her suitability to qualify for Final Girl status.
In many slasher pics with teens who are so stupid and useless, we find ourselves rooting for the killer. But in Ghostface's first ever kill, we don't just see Casey run and get cut down; we watch, stab by stab, how she's just trying so hard, even completely unarmed, while her parents search in terror for her. Even as the killer drags her to the tree we hear a few rattling breaths, and realise how hard it can be to just stab somebody to death. This killer is more monstrous than any before; he has attacked the very essence of the human spirit - the determination to live.
Near the end of the first film, Billy stabs Stu to make it smooth, like they were both victims. However, instead of just superficial wounds, the latter gets seriously wounded. That might be just an indication of Billy's unstable mental state, or... Maybe he judged the severity of wounds based on what he had seen in a number of slasher films, where people have a bad tendency of surviving wounds that would be lethal in reality.
Or, alternatively, he was always planning on screwing Stu over and being the sole survivor.
Lending credence to the 'sole survivor' possibility, the look of surprise on Stu's face implies that he never knew that Billy had an actual motive for killing Sidney's mother. If this is true, then it's entirely possible that Billy only went along with the 'real-life slasher movie' premise to get Stu on-board as an accomplice, and probably saw him as more of a loose end than anything else.
The fact the Stab movies are so popular is an illustration of how sick the culture is in the Scream world. They're, essentially, true crime slasher movies. An illustration of the cultural sickness may be how all of the students wanted to see their Principal's horrifically maimed body.
What may be obvious to some but struck me was the reason movie tropes are so important is that everyone is indirectly or directly tied to film somehow but Billy and his mom. Most of the killers want to be touched by fame so they go to an obvious but psychotic source. Likewise, many of the people around the killers are fame obsessed themselves.
Ghostface, no matter the identity, is a terrible killer. His victims are constantly kicking him and damn near getting away. Who is the one person Ghostface kills nice and smooth, no muss, no fuss? Billy, in Scream 1. Hint to the viewer that his death isn't what it appears.
Also, if you watch closely, the knife has no blood on it when Ghostface is done "stabbing" Billy, he wraps the knife in his other hand, and suddenly there's blood on it. You can even see Ghostface putting something (presumably a fake blood packet) in the sleeve of his costume, before looking at Sidney and dramatically wiping the blood from the knife.
In Scream 4 after Jill is revealed to be one of the killers, she goes through a lot of trouble to pull off a Wounded Gazelle Gambit. It makes you feel a tad bit sorry for her that the whole thing would go bust, and probably sooner rather than later, given that she grabbed the Idiot Ball immediately before she started kicking the crap out of herself. Her newfound fame would have vanished and she would have likely ended up in jail or institutionalized if she was lucky. Anyone who watches Lifetime (and certainly a detective or forensics expert) knows that shooting a man in the groin is not a defense wound. It's a revenge wound. Gazelle Gambit fail.
Of course, she probably could have passed it off as a wound Charlie inflicted, claiming that the two had both been the killer and that Charlie double-crossed Trevor, being jealous of Trevor's relationship with Jill. She did think pretty much everything else through, after all.
At first it seems strange that Ghostface doesn't kill Gale, even though he had a chance, instead choosing to wound her. It makes a lot more sense once you realize that Jill not only wants to steal Sidney's "celebrity victim" fame, but also her friends.
The supposed Ending Fatigue in 4. They discuss how the original ending in the first film will be the false ending in this one. They say that the party is the false ending. However the original film's ending was the house, therefore the house is the false ending in 4. Thus the extra bit at the hospital.
Billy's callous disregard for Maureen's death, evidenced by him telling Sidney (her daughter) that she should just "get over it already" makes perfect sense considering that he's the one who killed her.
As noted above, Ghostface is a lot worse at killing people than other slashers. Why is this? Because the Scream series is a Deconstruction of Slasher films! The victims are not Too Dumb to Live, unlike other slasher victims.
One has to wonder why every Ghostface has the same personality under the mask. It's because the post- Billy and Stu Ghostfaces saw the Stab films, and therefore know how Ghostface acts.
How was it that Casey's boyfriend got overwhelmed when he's a big jock-guy? Because there's two killers there - Stu and Billy! Billy pressured the lower-IQ Stu into thinking he should kill his ex-girlfriend, then used him to help with everything else!
During Randy's rules for horror movie sequels, Dewey cuts him off as he starts explaining how to make the sequel into a franchise. Why? Keeping the same character as the lead helps build a franchise, and if Dewey let Randy finish, it would spoil the fact that Sidney lives throughout the series.
"They're all the same: some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It's insulting." The first victim in the film is, of course, portrayed by an award-winning actress and is killed after escaping the house. Meanwhile, the first place Sidney flees to when confronted by Ghostface is into her room to barricade herself. This shows that Sidney may not have initially been as Genre Savvy as she thought, and that her Action Survivor tendencies may have initially been given time to develop thanks to the killers' insistence that Sidney had to be the last person to die in order to satisfy both Stu's pathological desire to adhere to slasher tropes and Billy's need to fulfill his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the girl he blames for destroying his family.
The reason she runs upstairs is that she'd locked the door, thinking that Ghostface was outside. When he attacks her she manages to fight him off long enough to go for it, but she's forced to run upstairs when he corners her. This does add another layer to the whole encounter, though; she mentions that the girl always runs upstairs instead of out the front door, and then Ghostface actively manipulates her into a position where she's forced to run upstairs anyway. Not only do the killers abide by slasher rules, they manipulate events so that their intended victims are forced to do so, too.
The garage door / cat door death is by far the silliest death in the first movie that is otherwise full of simple knife killings, an seems kind of out of place. But in a meta sense it fits in perfectly with a movie that parodies slasher tropes, as Slasher movies compete so much over creative murder methods that almost every slasher film has "that one kill". That's what the garage scene is for the first Scream.
In a movie packed with deaths that make you want to cry and beg for the victim's life, the cat-door death is the one that that stands out - you see Ghostface tilting his head and even with the mask on you can imagine his face. He's not thinking how easy this is, he's thinking, just like you are, "Seriously, dude?"
Also, while it is a bit silly, it's also completely horrifying. Once the garage door starts, Tatum's survival chances drop to zero, the rest is just marking time until she actually dies. Being caught and unable to escape, seeing your death coming ever closer. . . brrr.
The main theme of Scream 4 can be summed up as "originals vs. remakes". The killer, Jill, is pushed for most of the film as the remake version of Sidney, and her motive involves trying to steal her cousin's fame and replace her in the public eye. In other words, it's one of the most common criticisms of movie remakes made manifest — the remake is out to defile the original film and usurp its place in the public eye.
Also, while intended to be the start of a new trilogy, it failed in that respect. None of the reboots of the slasher franchises Scream was poking fun at have revived their franchises as planned, either. The meta commentary goes super meta.
In Scream 4, the opening victims of Stab 6 are on a much lower rung of the ladder of fame than those of previous films. Drew Barrymore in the first film (and her counterpart Heather Graham in the first Stab) was a genuine star at the time, while Omar Epps, Jada Pinkett, and Sarah Michelle Gellar in the second and Liev Schreiber in the third were all rising stars and the most recognizable names in the cast outside the core Power Trio. Lucy Hale and Shenae Grimes, on the other hand, were TV Teen Drama actresses not much more famous than the rest of the cast of an average Scream (or Stab) movie. Then you realize that this is Stab 6. Either Hale and Grimes were the only famous actors they could get and the rest of the cast was stuffed with unknowns, or they had started to abandon the Dead Star Walking conceit of the franchise; either way, it's a sign of the growing sequelitis that gripped the Stab movies, even on top of the highly rushed and We're Still Relevant, Dammit! nature of the scene. (As for the question of Scream 4doing the same thing with Aimee Teegarden and Britt Robertson... well, when you've just featured Kristen Bell murdering Anna Paquin in Stab 7, you've already hit the quota by then.)
The T.V Series
In Episode 3, an exasperated Jake tells Brooke about a viral video in which a bobcat mauls a Great White Shark, suggesting that Brooke might not be as in control of things as she thinks she is. The kicker comes when you remember Brooke and Jake were going to be reenacting a Game of Thrones Jaimie/Cersei scene for English class. Cersei Lannister is also a beautiful blond woman who isn't as in control of things as she thinks she is.