‘Scream’: Every Horror Easter Egg in Wes Craven’s Slasher

Horror movie fans can’t wait until the release of Scream 5 in 2022. Until then, many Ghostface fans are rewatching the movies in the Scream franchise. To celebrate one of Wes Craven‘s masterpieces, we’re highlighting every horror Easter egg the director used in the original Scream.

Wes Craven, the director who hid several Easter eggs in 'Scream'
Wes Craven | Virginia Sherwood /Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

‘Scream’s opening scene mimics ‘When a Stranger Calls’ and ‘Black Christmas’ 

Scream is a slasher that pokes fun at all of the horror movie tropes featured in movies that came before it. One of those classic tropes is introduced in the movie’s opening scene when Casey (Drew Barrymore) gets a call from her killer. This same method of torture is used time and again in slasher movies like Black Christmas and When a Stranger Calls.

John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ is referenced the most in ‘Scream’ 

Casey making popcorn in the beginning of Scream is a nod to the 1978 horror movie HalloweenScream references John Carpenter’s classic film several other times, including the tracking shot used in the opening scene. Casey also says her favorite movie is Halloween. 

Another Halloween reference is made later. As Casey lay dying in her yard and calling to her mother for help, the shot mimics Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween II. And when Casey’s dad told her mom to go to the MacKenzie’s and call the police, that was a direct line ripped from Halloween

What’s more, the Blue Oyster Cult song “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is used in Halloween and Scream. When Billy (Skeet Ulrich) climbs into Sidney’s window, an acoustic version of the song is playing.

Additionally, Billy’s last name is Loomis — the same last name as Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael Myers’ psychiatrist in Halloween. Ironically, Sam Loomis is also the name of the boyfriend in Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ inspired several Easter eggs in ‘Scream’ 

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror movie Psycho also heavily influenced Scream. Craven and writer Kevin Williamson’s decision to kill Barrymore off so early in the movie is a nod to Hitchcock killing Janet Leigh early on in Psycho

Plus, the way Randy (Jamie Kennedy) eats in Scream mimics Norman Bate’s eating habits in Psycho. And as Principal Himbry (Henry Winkler) dies, the shot of Ghostface in his eye mimics the iconic and pivotal scenes from Psycho and Strangers On a Train. Later, near the end of the movie, Billy says “We all go a little mad sometimes” — a direct quote from Psycho

One of ‘Scream’s Easter eggs is a diss to the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ franchise 

Craven directed the first Nightmare on Elm Street — but not the sequels. So when Casey says, “the first one was good, but the rest sucked,” it’s Craven’s way of poking at the franchise in a fun Easter egg.

Craven makes another nod to the Freddy Krueger movies later in Scream. Craven’s makes a cameo dressed in Nightmare on Elm Street garb, just like Hitchcock used to do in his movies.

Plus, Billy climbed through Sidney’s (Neve Campbell) window just as Johnny Depp did in Nightmare on Elm Street. And actor Joseph Whipp plays a cop in Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street

Even more horror movie Easter eggs in ‘Scream’ 

Scream has dozens of other nods to horror movies, including a cameo by the one and only Linda BlairThe Exorcist star is credited as a reporter in the movie. 

RELATED: ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’: Why the Controversial Horror Film Is Getting a Reboot

Scream also features Easter eggs nodding other classic horror movies. 

  • Mutilator (1984) — When the killer threatens Casey and says, “Don’t hang up or I’ll gut you like a fish,” it’s a nod to the killer in Mutilator who “guts” his victims like fish. 
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) — When Casey tries to outrun Ghostface in the opening sequence, the shot is based on Leatherface chasing one of his victims. Also, Randy calls Billy “Leatherface.”  
  • Suspiria (1977) — Casey’s death mimics the iconic death by hanging in this film. 
  • Dementia 13 (1963) — Casey getting dragged across the lawn mimics a shot in this movie. 
  • Basic Instinct (1992) — Tatum (Rose McGowan) says: “The killer could easily be a female — Basic Instinct?” 
  • The Shining (1980) — Tatum’s red Volkswagon Beetle is the same car from the Stephen King movie. 

Scream also references camera angles, characters, and lines from horror movies including: CandymanAre You In the House Alone?, Prom Night, Mother’s Boys, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, I Spit On Your Grave, Casper, Silence of the Lambs, Friday the 13th Part III, Night of the Living Dead, Carrie, and The Thing With Two Heads

Stream Scream on HBO Max now.