It’s been 11 years since the gravelly tones of Roger L. Jackson last asked us, “What’s your favourite scary movie?” While it sounds like The Babadook has overtaken Halloween in the horror movie stakes, the corn syrup is once again flowing in Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Scream 5.
Although the confusingly titled ‘requel’ continues the story of Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, Scream 5 does what Scream 4 couldn’t – setting up a new era for the slasher series. Why anyone would live in that tormented town is beyond us, but yet again, there’s another young cast of fresh-faced teens ready to be sliced and diced by Ghostface.
Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scream takes a similar route to Halloween Kills and stuffs its body with a whole host of blood-soaked throwbacks to the franchise’s 26-year history. So put the Jiffy Pop on the stove and rummage out an old VHS because here are all the Scream 5 Easter eggs you might’ve missed.
Before Scream (2022) even came out, there was a sombre cloud handing over the long-awaited fifth outing. Horror maestro Wes Craven sadly passed in 2015, meaning this is the first Scream not to have him directing.
Thankfully, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett packed their debut with nods to the dearly departed franchise overseer. As well as Dylan Minnette’s Wes Hicks being a clear homage to Craven, the camera pans over Woodsboro’s Elm Street. Remember, Craven himself cameoed as “Fred”, the caretaker in the OG scream.
If that wasn’t enough, the movie’s end credits follow the formula of 1996’s movie. Before they roll, there’s a heartfelt in memoriam that simply reads, “For Wes.” Gone but not forgotten in Woodsboro.
It was goodbye to Deputy (sorry, Sheriff) Judy Hicks, as Marley Shelton’s comedic woman of the law kicked the bucket early on. Judy has stepped up to keep Woodsboro safe in the decade between massacres, and it turns out, she’d kept her penchant for baking.
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While Judy was meeting her maker out on the porch, Wes found a cute note from his mum, telling him her famous lemon squares were in the fridge.
Heading back to Scream 4, Judy and Gale had a war of words, with the ever-quotable Ms Weathers telling Hicks, “Your lemon squares taste like a**.” Sadly, Judy won’t be entering The Great American Baking Show anytime soon.
They finally did it. After five movies, Dewey Riley bowed out in style. Scream gave Dewey a tragic send-off, with Gale even slipping up and admitting her name was still Gale Riley.
The ‘shish kebabed’ survivor took up the mantle of Scream’s Randy Meeks and was the one to deliver the rules. As well as the killer always having a connection to the past, rule two stated a close-knit group of friends is hiding the killer, while Dewey was right on the money that Jack Quaid’s Richie was the love interest murderer in disguise.
Giving a final tribute to the Riley name, Dewey’s trailer featured the ashes of Tatum Riley. A big complaint is that Dewey seemed to forget his sister after her demise in the original, so it’s touching that Tatum lived on in his memory.
Passing the torch
One of the big talking points of the trailers was a seemingly gnarly kill where Ghostface gets to roast one of his victims with a flamethrower. Complete with metallic mask, long-term fans questioned how/why the classic mask would be swapped out for a Jason X-inspired version.
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We now know the barbecue scene was actually saved for Mikey Madison’s Amber and had nothing to do with a flamethrower-wielding Ghostface. Instead, the masked murderer’s new piece of kit was a divisive plot device of the maligned Stab 8 – but more on that later.
It was touch and go whether Scream was going to go full Halloween: Resurrection and kill off its final girl. Thankfully, Sidney Prescott has limped on to fight another day. Better yet, Scream finally gave her a happy ending.
When Dewey first phoned, he asked Sid, How’s Mark?” It’s presumably a clever throwback to Patrick Dempsey’s Mark Kincaid from Scream 3. Even though we don’t get to see Sidney’s baby daddy, the Easter egg fills in the blanks about her life and whether she found love outside of Woodsboro.
The eighth time’s a charm
The Stab movies have become an icon in their own right. While some might call out a flimsy premise of two movie-obsessed geeks going on a murderous rampage in Scream, it’s fitting in this era of toxic fandom.
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In one scene, there’s a mention of “that guy” who directed Knives Out – being a pointed jibe toward Rian Johnson. You might remember Johnson also directed the controversial Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Some die-hard fans of the galaxy far, far away hated the movie so much; they called for it to be refilmed or erased from canon.
Is it just a coincidence that The Last Jedi was the eighth Star Wars movie, and it’s Stab 8 that spurred the new Ghostfaces into action?
Red Right Hand
It just wouldn’t be a Scream movie without Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ ominous rumblings of ‘Red Right Hand’. Some might associate the song with Peaky Blinders, but for many, it’s the sound of Scream. Sadly, ‘Red Right Hand’ doesn’t get much airtime in 2022’s requel.
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During the brief scene where the sleazy Vince has his throat slashed in a bar car park, there’s a snippet of ‘Red Right Hand’ playing on the radio. We’d love to have heard more of it, but it’s still classic Scream as Vince bleeds out to this iconic tune.
Justice for Kirby Reed
Scream 4 might’ve divided critics back in the day, but most agree Hayden Panetierre’s Kirby Reed was a shining star. Kirby was one of the unlucky victims of the Act 3 bloodbath… or was she?
On the movie’s commentary, Craven confirmed he’d always imagined Kirby survived. Scream makes that canon thanks to a hidden detail when Richie is watching a breakdown of Stab 8 with Dead Meat’s James A Janisse and Chelsea Rebecca. The watch next suggestion is “Interview with survivor Kirby Reed.”
Many expected Kirby to physically appear in Scream, and although the credits thank Panitierre, she just misses out on fully reprising her role. Oh well, there’s always Scream 6.
Easily highlights of the cast were Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown as Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin. In particular, Brown gets the nod as the franchise’s first queer character.
The twins came off on the stabby end of Ghostface, but with a final shot of them giving each other a thumbs up, it confirmed their survival. The Meeks-Martin twins’ last-minute save is a clever throwback to Dewey in the original.
Williamson’s script called for the loveable deputy to be killed off. Instead, Dewey was a fan-favourite of early screenings, meaning Craven added an alternate scene where he did a thumbs up to scrape through to the sequel.
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Sam Carpenter already has her horror roots, thanks to the character being named after Halloween’s John Carpenter. However, the connections don’t end there. Sam’s tie to the latest killings come from the fact she’s the illegitimate daughter of Billy Loomis.
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Cue a de-aged Skeet Ulrich reprising his role from 1996, with Sam being haunted by the ghost of her father in a nod to Sid’s visions of her mum in Scream 3.
If this wasn’t enough, after Sam brutally murdered Richie, she wiped the blood off her blade just like the OG Ghostface did. The theories that Sam will continue daddy dearest’s legacy in a potential sequel seem far-fetched, but let’s be honest, stranger things have happened.