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Scream is the fifth installment in the popular horror movie franchise. Social media is exploding with fan excitement to see Ghostface on the screen once again. It’s the first entry in a decade since 2011’s Scream 4, so there’s a lot to remember. Here’s a quick look at what you need to know from Wes Craven’s original Scream series going into 2022’s newest installment.

The iconic ‘Scream’ series opening

'Scream' movies' Ghostface and Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter trying to slam the door against a knife-wielding killer
L-R: Ghostface and Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter | Paramount Pictures

1996’s Scream opens on the iconic scene with Drew Barrymore as Casey, who is presented as the lead character. She gets a call from a stranger who wants to talk scary movies and play a game. However, it quickly turns deadly as she’s forced to fight for her survival. Casey is killed within the opening scene, which shocked audiences around the world.

This is likely one of the most memorable scenes from the franchise, so this is an easy one to remember. However, that doesn’t make it any less important. The new Scream isn’t a carbon copy of the original, but it certainly has a thing or two to say about classic horror and the 1996 original’s big opening.

The ‘Stab’ movie franchise

Stab is a fictional film series in Craven’s Scream universe. They’re based on Sidney Prescott’s (Neve Campbell) life and her various run-ins with various Ghostface killers. The longtime-running franchise has 7 installments, but Prescott sued the studio. As a result, all of the movies after the third entry are purely fictional.

The Stab movies are an important reference throughout the new Scream. The characters regularly talk about the slasher franchise and how it fits into the modern world of “elevated horror” seen from A24, such as Hereditary and The Witch.

Billy Loomis and Stu Macher were the original Ghostface killers

The upcoming Scream film makes constant reference to Craven’s original. It’s important to know who the first killers were. Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) and Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard) were the first deranged murderers to wear the mask and costume. The classic film’s third act reveals that Billy wanted to ruin Sidney’s life as a result of her mother sleeping around. Billy’s father cheated on his mother, destroying his family.

In addition to the Stab movies, Scream is meta in the way that it talks about the previous killers. However, it specifically focuses on what made Billy and Stu snap and how that impacted future generations in Woodsboro. Scream calls itself a “requel,” which makes constant reference to its original source material.

Who is Sheriff Judy Hicks?

Sheriff Judy Hicks makes her first appearance in Scream 4. She was a deputy working under Sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette). She was Sidney’s former classmate and has feelings for Dewey. As a result, she resents his love for Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) for how she treats him. Hicks ultimately earns the title of sheriff.

Judy’s son, Wes (Dylan Minnette), is among the friend group that centers around the new Scream‘s Ghostface killings. Judy is overprotective of her son and arms him with the knowledge and tools to protect himself. However, everybody in this friend group is a suspect, including Wes. Judy is a crucial character in the universe of the new Scream, so it’s important to remember who she is.

Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, and Dewey Riley are legacy ‘Scream’ series characters


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The upcoming Scream wants audiences to remember all of the legacy characters, including Sidney, Gale, and Dewey. They all make a return in the newest installment. This isn’t their first rodeo coming face-to-face with a Ghostface killer and they’re determined to stop this from happening again.

Sidney, Gale, and Dewey haven’t talked in quite some time. So, this is as much a reunion for the characters as it is for the audience. It’s crucial to understand the trio’s dynamics, behaviors, and attitudes leading into this horror film. They aren’t the main focus of the newest Scream, but they’re certainly a pivotal component to the story and Ghostface.

Scream stabs into theaters on Jan. 14.