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  • Alas, Poor Villain: Roman's final moment with Sidney is almost touching, but ends up ruined by the tacked-on Not Quite Dead moment.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: A fourth Scream movie, after how much the third one sucked[1], and a decade after the films were last relevant? Puh-leezzz... wait, Kevin Williamson is coming back to write it? Time to mark April 15 on the calendar, this is gonna be awesome! [2]
    • And this trailer seems to have gotten the fans pretty pumped, judging by the comments.
  • 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.
  • 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) 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).
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: Following a conversation between Perkins and Hoss about Bruce Willis being a frequent surviving cop, Perkin's exclaims "F*** Bruce Willis" just before dying.
    • Jill running headfirst into a picture at the climax.
  • Ending Fatigue: Lampshaded in Scream 4.

   Jill: This is how it's gonna be, Sid? The ending of the movie was supposed to be at the house; I mean this is just silly.

  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • 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.
    • Before the release people said that Hayden Panettiere's Kirby was the best character in the fourth film. To the actress's credit, many continued to say that after the film's release - to the point that a number of fans feel that Kirby's Not Quite Dead and is Just Hiding. If there is a Scream 5[3] do not be surprised if, as Leonard Maltin's movie guide would put it, Hayden Panettiere appears unbilled and in person, rather than on tape a la Randy.
    • 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 his Expy Robbie became one of the most popular characters of the fourth film. Too bad he was killed off too.
  • Even Better Sequel: Many fans and critics consider Scream 2 even better than the first movie.
    • In Brazil, the fourth film is often considered the best one.
  • First Installment Wins: Which of the films in the series featured Drew Barrymore's iconic death scene and Randy's slasher film rules (the most famous ones, anyway)?
  • Follow the Leader: See Genre Turning Point.
    • Also, the film itself qualifies slightly, as Wes Craven's New Nightmare was arguably a precursor to Scream.
  • Fridge Brilliance: 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.
  • Genre Turning Point: It single-handedly revived the slasher genre after nearly a decade of being Deader Than Disco, and kicked off the Post Modernism craze in horror.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the fourth film, Gale and Dewey are seen going through troubles with their marriage. Not long after shooting wrapped, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, the actors who play them, separated after eleven years of marriage.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the original Scream Billy stating that the Powers That Be never decided why Hannibal Lecter likes to eat people. Cue Hannibal Rising.
    • Also in the original, Matthew Lillard plays a creep in a mask. Six years later he would play Shaggy.
    • In Scream 2, the character played by Sarah Michelle Gellar has a sorority sister named Dawnie. Flash forward several years later when another Dawnie appears in Sarah's life.
    • Parker Posey's character in Scream 3 is named Jennifer Aniston Jolie. This movie was made five years before the beginning of the whole "Brangelina" saga.[4] And Jennifer Aniston co-starred on Friends with Courteney Cox, who plays Gale in all four movies. Eerie.
    • Oh, and in the same movie, there's also a character named Angelina.
    • In light of the fourth film, many events and scenes in the third become this. The plot of Stab 3 is about the main characters returning to Woodsboro... which is the exact plot of Scream 4. Just before her death, Sarah complains to (who she thinks is) the director about how the script is constantly being rewritten... and production on Scream 4 saw several rewrites to the script. One of the characters in Stab 3 is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Randy, who was killed off in the second film (in both the Scream and Stab universes)... and in Scream 4, the character of Robbie serves the exact same purpose as the film's replacement Meta Guy, complete with a name similar to Randy's. Honestly, it's a miracle that none of the cast got killed during production.
  • Hype Backlash: A lot of horror fans, especially those from The Eighties (such as Moviebob), see this film as having killed the horror genre, feeling that it made it impossible to take seriously anymore while causing studios to cram their horror films with Post Modernism humor and target them increasingly at teenagers. Others, however, believe that it saved the genre from the burnout that it experienced in the early '90s, creating a new generation of horror fans.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Casey's death was originally meant to be a surprise twist.
    • The identity/identities of Ghostface becomes this shortly after the release of every movie. Be warned: if you have not seen Scream 4 yet, then do not go to the IMDb boards unless you want the killer's identity to be spoiled for you.
  • Narm: Jada Pinkett's... operatic death in the opening of the second movie. Hilariously spoofed in the first Scary Movie.
    • In Scream 4, Jill's self-harming of herself to appear more like the victim after The Reveal is quite hilarious when its suppose to be serious.
  • Narm Charm: Of course.
  • Older Than They Think: The franchise's basic premise of horror savyness 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 and Pandemonium, both released in The Eighties.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Nowhere is safe enough. The killers manage to butcher people inside 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 Problem with Licensed Games: The film received a cell phone tie-in game that had some very wonky controls and featured none of the characters from the films except Ghostface, the player character (who goes unnamed and doesn't employ his trademark tactics). That said, it only costs 99 cents, and it does get some kudos for awarding the player extra points for following the "horror movie rules" in how they kill (getting the slut first, the nerd last, the jock and the cheerleader together), showing that the people who made it at least knew why the films were so popular.
  • Replacement Scrappy/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.
  • Rewatch Bonus: For a first time viewer, it seems like Stu's mockingly declaring "I'll be right back!" just seconds after being warned not to by Randy is just another instance of many of Stu being a dumbass. On repeat viewings, we realize that the real reason for his confidence and prankish tone is because he knows he genuinely has nothing to fear from breaking any of Randy's rules -- as he is the killer himself.
    • Not only that, Randy even mentions he'll see him later with a kitchen knife. And where's Stu later and holding?
    • Every movie contains hints as to the identity of the killer Besides the third, in which The Reveal was a gigantic Ass Pull with no buildup that are easier to spot upon repeat viewing.
  • Sequelitis: The third film for many, and the second for some.
  • She's Just Hiding: Kirby, seemingly on the basis that she is 'merely' very strongly implied to have died rather than having it outright stated.
  • Tear Jerker: Randy's video will in Scream 3 for some fans. Especially the end.
  • The Scrappy: Roman is by far the least favorite killer, and not very liked at all as a character.
  • Unfortunate Implications : The revelation in Scream 3 that Maureen Prescott was raped at a party years before she married Sydney's father seems to be heavily connected to the fact that she was sleeping around before she was murdered
    • And then there's the way that every single character seems to pin the blame for the adulteries purely on Maureen, not saving any of the blame for the often married men involved.
  • The Untwist: In the first film, Billy is the main suspect, acts obviously deranged and has lots of evidence stacked against him, leading you to believe he's just a Red Herring. Even if you're able to figure out he's Ghostface, the true twist is that there are two Ghostfaces.

Notes

  1. though Your Mileage May Vary, many just saw it as merely weaker than the first two.
  2. Some explanation -- Williamson wrote the first two Screams, but not the third. Guess which one is the Black Sheep of the original trilogy.
  3. (and despite the film's grosses it's not out of the question)
  4. Which shall not be recapped here, since A) we're not the National Enquirer, and B) unless you've spent the last six years in a cabin in Montana, you probably know the details by now.
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