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YMMV / Scream

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Works in this franchise with their own YMMV pages:

YMMV for the franchise as a whole:

  • Angst? What Angst?: Not once in the franchise does Dewey show any sadness about his own sister being brutally murdered. It gets a brief mention in the second one, and Stone makes a quip about it in the third - but it's rather shocking.
  • Awesome Music: Red Right Hand by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds appears in the first three films, to memorable effect.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Derek's singing scene in Scream 2, though it had nothing compared to the out of nowhere cameo by Jay and Silent Bob in Scream 3.
  • Catharsis Factor: Especially after the The Reveal, when the killers are not only Ax-Crazy, but also obnoxious Jerkass Hate Sinks, it is very satisfying to see them get theirs at the climix.
  • Complete Monster: The Ghostfaces in the third and fourth films, as well as those in the MTV series and one in Resurrection. See those pages for further details.
  • 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 and Welshy) 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). Finally, you will find very few fans of the movies who will defend the TV series as anything more than So Okay, It's Average.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • And Randy's expy Robbie in Scream 4 became one of the most popular characters of the fourth film. Too bad he was killed off too.
    • Ditto for Kirby in Scream 4, to the point that a massive chunk of the fanbase believes that she's Not Quite Dead.
    • Stu is often considered one of the best Ghostfaces, mainly due to Matthew Lillard's Large Ham performance and memorable lines.
  • Evil Is Cool: Ghostface, for his tactics to to get his prey and unique plans to pull off his or her schemes behind the killings. Subverted in The Reveal of each installment when the unmasked killers show off their despicable natures and end up as Hate Sinks.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Ghostface has a very distinct voice.
    • Also, for fangirls, we have Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis in the first movie, Timothy Olyphant as Mickey Altieri in the second and Scott Foley as Roman Bridger in the third.
    • For fanboys, we have Emma Roberts as Jill Roberts in the fourth.
  • Franchise Original Sin: In addition to its post-modern parody of slasher movies, the Scream series was also known for having a surprisingly strong focus on characterization for the genre it was in. Everybody had their own backstories and motivations, all the better to create red herrings and make viewers question who the killer was. In the third film, however, this turned against the series in three important ways.
    • The first problem was in how it tied everything back to the series' heroine Sidney. In the first two films, the lead killer out of the Big Bad Duumvirate had some personal connection to Sidney, but writer Kevin Williamson made sure to tie it to information that had already been revealed or otherwise implied in the story. Furthermore, the backstory was secondary to the whodunit mystery at the center of the film; the most important question in both films always concerned Ghostface's identity. The third film's plot, on the other hand, revolved entirely around Sidney's family backstory, and the killer's motivation hinged on familial relations that weren't even hinted at for that character before The Reveal. Many fans blame new writer Ehren Kruger, who had a very different understanding of the characters, for the third film's sequelitis, as well as a Troubled Production that saw substantial rewrites, including a different killer.
    • Next, Ghostface's identity was often played as a Plot Twist, especially when concerning the lead killer. In the first film, it was so heavily hinted that Billy was the killer that the fact that he wasn't a Red Herring was a twist in its own right. In the second film, the lead killer was a background character with a secret agenda. The third film used similar tricks to better disguise the killer's identity and to better shock the audience, but it was widely criticized for using a Shocking Swerve for The Reveal.
      • A criticism of the third film's lead killer was how he faked his own death to avoid suspicion by the protagonists and the audience. However, this criticism applied to the first film as well; in fact, the first film was praised for using this twist. The difference was that the first film had the subsequent revelation of two killers, which answered the question of how Billy managed to convincingly fake his own death. In addition, none of the protagonists ever checked Billy's "dead" body in the first film unlike the third film in which Gale checked the "corpse" of Roman and confirmed that the body was in fact dead.note  Thus, when the third film revealed that Roman wasn't actually dead and was the sole Ghostface, the viewers felt cheated.
      • As mentioned before, Roman's secret familial connection to Sidney was criticized by most viewers. Again, this criticism also applied to a previous film, this time Scream 2. After all, Debbie Salt had a secret familial connection and like Roman, was under a disguise. Nevertheless, Debbie's reveal was more acceptable for several reasons. For one, Debbie was a mentioned albeit unseen character in the first film whereas Roman's existence was more of a Retcon. Furthermore, the second film hinted multiple times that Billy's mother was one of the killers, meaning that savvy viewers would be on the lookout for a middle-aged woman, a description under which Debbie Salt fell, not to mention that Gale did recognize Debbie Salt as a familiar face upon first glance. While the third film hinted similarly that Sidney's half-sibling was the killer, said description was unhelpful in identifying the killer, and the film never gave clues that Roman was the half-sibling in question, which then led to accusations of Shocking Swerve upon the unmasking.
    • Lastly, there was the specific plot element of the murder of Maureen Prescott, Sidney's mother who had been killed a year prior to the events of the original film over her promiscuous and adulterous ways. Even many fans regard this aspect of the backstory as carrying a strong tinge of Slut-Shaming, though it's generally agreed that the quality of The Reveal helped temper the Unfortunate Implications, particularly with how the lead killer was portrayed as a complete and utter psychopath who was just using Maureen as an excuse to kill people. The third film made Maureen the focus of most of the plot, and with that film's drop in quality, it was a lot harder to ignore, even with Sidney's immensely gratifying Shut Up, Hannibal! moment during The Reveal.
    • As for the TV adaptation, that show returning to the well of relying on the Final Girl's family backstory likewise became one of its most highly criticized aspects. While the Brandon James storyline in season 1 lacked the Unfortunate Implications of the Maureen Prescott storyline from the films, it was still seen as a retread of many of the most unpopular plot elements of Scream 3, this time without even a decent performance from the actor playing the killer. This may be why, despite season 2 ending on a cliffhanger, season 3, titled Scream: Resurrection, was a full Continuity Reboot with a new cast and show runners.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Fans of Scream may also be fans of its parody, Scary Movie.
  • Genre Turning Point: It single-handedly revived the slasher genre after nearly a decade outside the mainstream, and kicked off the Postmodernism craze in horror.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Santa Clarita Diet is especially hilarious for fans of this series, with Drew Barrymore, the first film's opening victim, as a murderous monster and Timothy Olyphant, one of the second film's killers, as a regular guy dragged into her mess.
    • Two separate Ghostface killers have mocked the idea that violent horror movies drove them to kill. Billy in the first film had the famous line that "movies don't create psychos, they make psychos more creative", while in the second, Mickey planned to exploit the public's disdain for horror movies by cynically using them as an excuse for his actions, guaranteeing himself a sensational trial. In Scream: Resurrection, on the other hand, Beth claims that she became a sociopath because she watched too many horror movies.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Some people think Ghostface's name is "Scream" due to the series' title and the killer/s iconic screaming ghost mask. Ironically though, the killers have only been called Ghostface a few times in the franchise, instead being more commonly dubbed as "the killer".
  • It Was His Sled: The identity/identities of Ghostface become this shortly after the release of every movie.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Anytime after the second movie where it seems as if Sidney, Dewey, or Gale will die.
  • Love to Hate: Billy Loomis, his mother, Roman Bridger and Jill Roberts are all definitely intended to be Hate Sinks, but Stu, Mickey and Charlie all fall into this due to their Laughably Evil and quirky portrayals by their actors.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Many fans blame the problems with Scream 3 on the absence of Kevin Williamson.
  • 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 '80s at the height of the slasher boom.
    • 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.
  • 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 biggest Fridge Horror factor is that in the movies, Sidney is almost killed by her boyfriend and his horror movie-obsessed friend in the first movie, her dead insane ex-boyfriend's mother in the second one, her half-brother in the third, and then her cousin in the fourth. All while they go around killing her friends/loved ones just to get revenge on her. ANYBODY you care about could be the killer!
  • Rewatch Bonus: Every movie contains hints as to the identity of the killer that are easier to spot upon repeat viewing.
  • 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.
  • Sequelitis: The third film for many, and the second and fourth for some.
  • Values Resonance: Kate Gardner has written a series of articles for The Mary Sue on the series, and how its portrayal of its villains anticipated a lot of the public debates held over various social issues in The New '10s.
    • In the first film, Billy Loomis is a very handsome teenage boy who pressures Sidney into sex, disrespects her feelings and pain, and spends the entire film lying to her. It's also strongly implied that Casey and Steve, the opening victims, died because Casey rejected Stu (the other killer), and he took it out on her and her boyfriend. And a year prior to the events of the film, Billy and Stu murdered Maureen Prescott because Billy blamed Maureen for destroying his parents' marriage, even though it takes two to tango, and his father was just as much to blame as Maureen was. Gardner describes the killers as "angry men who think the world owes them something and that they can kill who they want to get revenge for slights", foreshadowing numerous real-life spree killers (quite a few of whom were driven by misogyny) who became notorious in the 2010s.
    • Gale Weathers may have been an old-media tabloid journalist, but the arc of her career in the first two films, in particular her If It Bleeds, It Leads nature, is arguably more relevant than ever in a time when the True Crime genre has seen a resurgence of popularity in the form of podcasts and documentaries, especially with the films' exploration of how Sidney was affected by the media circus that Gale's books generated, and with how Mickey's motive in the second film, and Jill's in the fourth, is to chase the media attention that comes with such.
    • The third film got a major second look in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement revealing the extent of sexual harassment and assault throughout Hollywood and many professional industries more broadly. Here, it's revealed that Maureen Prescott was an aspiring actress in The '70s, only to quit the industry in disgust after getting raped at a Hollywood party by a high-powered producer.
  • The Woobie: Sidney. The girl's mother was murdered, and virtually everyone she knows either dies or turns out to be a full-fledged psychopath wanting to kill her for selfish reasons. She's the Butt-Monkey of the Scream Verse, and it's surprising she herself hasn't gone completely insane and/or gone on a murderous rampage. Also veers into Iron Woobie considering she's able to stand her ground throughout the films, especially when the third one kicks in.


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