Do you like scary movies? Well, if you’re reading this, we’d hazard a guess you do! So you’re no doubt delighted that Scream is back in theatres. Yes, 25 years after Wes Craven delighted us all with his meta-horror movie, a new Ghostface is terrorising Woodsboro.
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, this new chapter is bloody good fun, boasting some of the most gruesome kills in the series, and a commentary on elevated horror, toxic fandoms, and Hollywood’s new favourite thing ‘requels’. Of course, in all the grisly fun of Scream 5, it’s possible you may have lost the thread slightly or maybe need a refresher.
Well, don’t worry we were taking notes and can explain everything you need to know about the Scream 5 ending, including who’s behind Ghostface’s moaning mask, what their motive was, and which characters didn’t live to see a sequel. Obviously, there’s going to be plenty of spoilers ahead so if you’ve not seen Scream 5 yet don’t read on, this thriller movie is best when you don’t know the answer to the mystery.
Scream 5’s ending explained?
As is tradition, Scream 5 opens with Ghostface attacking a teen girl who’s home alone in Woodsboro. Unlike previous movies, though, the teen in question, Tara (Jenna Ortega), survives the attack but is hospitalised, forcing the police to alert her estranged sister Sam (Melissa Barrera).
Worried for her sister Sam sets off home bringing her boyfriend, Richie (Jack Quaid), along with her. When they arrive, it soon becomes clear that whoever the new killer targeted Tara to get to Sam, who admits that she is the illegitimate daughter of Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) – the first murderer to adopt the identity of Ghostface. What Sam doesn’t admit to is seeing visions of her late father offering her advice, seemingly from beyond the grave.
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As the killer tears through the town, Sam and Richie try and figure out who the murder is. Out of ideas, they turn to the only person in Woodsboro who’s gone through this before Dewey Riley (David Arquette). While initially reluctant to help them, Dewey eventually agrees to help Sam, but not before warning Sidney (Neve Campbell) and his estranged ex-wife Gale (Courtney Cox) that the killings have started again.
Dewey tells Sam that the killer is likely to be someone she knows and probably part of Tara’s group of friends. Sam then gathers the suspects – Amber (Mikey Madison), Wes (Dylan Minnette), Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), and Liv McKenzie (Sonia Ben Ammar)- for questioning. Mindy believes that the killer is trying to make a ‘requel’ and take things back to the ‘original’ killings.
Soon after, Ghostface attacks again, killing Sheriff Judy and her son Wes. With the killings ramping up, Gale returns to Woodsboro to check in on Dewey and to report on the murders. The killings of Wes and Judy turn out to be a clever distraction designed to draw the police away from Tara’s hospital, though, and the killer calls Sam to taunt her.
As Dewey and Sam race to the hospital to protect Tara, Ghostface stalks the corridors of the hospital, attacking the injured teen. Thankfully Richie manages to stop the killer before he finishes her off, and Dewey arrives just in time, shooting and seemingly killing Ghostface.
Unfortunately, while Dewey manages to help Sam, Richie, and Tara escape, when he tries to finish off the killer, Ghostface manages to stab him in the stomach, finally killing one of the franchise’s best-loved characters.
As Gale mourns the death of Dewey, Sidney returns, and the pair agree to end Ghostface’s killing spree. Sam, however, has had enough and tries to leave town with Tara and Richie. As they’re about to leave, though, they realise they’ve left Tara’s inhaler behind, and they’re forced to drive to Amber’s house to pick up a spare.
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Meanwhile, at Amber’s house, a party is taking place for Wes, and all the suspects are gathered. Ghostface inevitably makes an appearance stabbing Chad and seemingly killing him. As Sam, Richie, and Tara arrive, they force everyone out of the house (which is revealed to be Stu’s house the location where the first film ended), and the third act begins.
As the friends turn on each other, Amber outs herself as the killer and shoots Liv in the head. Sidney and Gale – who followed Sam, Richie, and Tara – make it to the house make their way inside. After a brief tussle with Ghostface, the second killer reveals themselves, and it’s none other than Richie.
Stabbing Sam and subduing Gale and Sidney, the pair explain their motive. Basically, they think the Stab series has lost its way, and they want to bring the franchise to its roots. That’s why they began their killing spree with the plan being to pin it all on Sam, the daughter of the original killer.
Amber and Richie didn’t bet on the resourcefulness of Sam, Tara, Sidneyand Gale, though, and they manage to turn the tables on the killers. Sidneyand Gale overpower Amber, accidentally setting her on fire in the process. While Sam – encouraged by a vision of her father – brutally executes Richie before cleaning her knife with Billy’s trademark theatricality.
As the film draws to a close Sam and Tara make a pact to stick together while Gale tells Sidney she won’t write about this new killing spree so no one else will be inspired to put on Ghostface’s mask. We also see that Mindy and Chad survived their injuries. The screen then fades to black, and the words “For Wes” fade-in, a poignant tribute to the man who brought the Scream franchise to life.
Who is Ghostface in Scream 5?
Richie Kirsch (Jack Quaid) and Amber Freeman (Mikey Madison) are ultimately revealed to be the two new killers. The pair were superfans of the in-universe Stab series but believed the franchise had lost its way after Stab 8.
In an attempt to try and salvage the series, they resurrected Ghostface and began a new killing spree to give a creatively bankrupt Hollywood (their words, not ours) source material for a new Stab movie.
Their attack on Tara at the beginning was a deliberate ploy to lure Sam and the other ‘original’ characters to Woodsboro. They planned on blaming the murders on Sam believing she was the perfect bad guy as the daughter of the original Ghostface.
Who dies in Scream 5?
Scream 5 has quite the body count, and a lot of the cast, both new and old, don’t make it. Here’s a complete list of who dies and how Ghostface kills them:
- Vince Schneider – stabbed by Ghostface in a bar car park.
- Sheriff Judy Hicks – Scream 4’s deputy sheriff, meets her end when Ghostface attacks her in broad daylight.
- Wes Hicks – Poor Wes probably has the second-worst death in the film, being slowly stabbed in the neck.
- Unnamed police officer – One of the police officers guarding Tara finds himself on the wrong end of Ghostface’s knife.
- Dewey Riley – Woodsboro’s unfortunate former sheriff, has been on borrowed time since the first Scream movie. This time, though, his luck runs out when he tries to kill Ghostface early in the film, and he ends up being gutted in the film’s most gory kill.
- Liv McKenzie – Shot in the head by Amber.
- Richie Kirsch – Stabbed multiple times by Sam before being shot several times to ensure he doesn’t come back.
- Amber Freeman – Amber manages to survive an accidental burning, but like so many former killers, she survives for one last scare, only dying after Tara shoots her.