Wednesday, May 25, 2022

‘Scream’: Some Of The Frighteningly Fun Easter Eggs & References In The Fifth Installment

This article contains major spoilers for Scream (2022).

The Scream franchise has returned to theaters after eleven years. Scream released exclusively into theaters January 14, 2022 and was brought to screen by an incredible cast and creative team who took special care to make a worthy “requel”, appropriately full of Easter Eggs and references.

Kirby From Scream 4 Is Alive

This is probably the Easter Egg that will receive the most attention from fans, and rightfully so. Following Scream 4‘s release, a common complaint was the supposed slaughtering of Hayden Panettiere’s fan-favorite character Kirby Reed. While fans have spent the last 11 years debating Kirby’s true fate (she was never actually confirmed as dead, just shown being stabbed by Charlie Walker), the debate can now be laid to rest. While Richie Kirsch (Jack Quaid) is watching videos on YouTube, on the side of the page the column of suggested videos was incredibly intentional. One of the videos is titled “Interview with Woodsboro Survivor Kirby Reed”, confirming that Kirby did in fact survive. With the success of Scream, hopefully fans are able to see the horror expert in a future installment.

Sidney’s Husband Isn’t A New Face

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One of the biggest reveals in Scream (2022) is that Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott is all grown up and finally has a family of her own – a husband and daughters. While conversing with David Arquette’s Dewey Riley about the new string of murders, Sidney mentions her husband by name — Mark. Fans of the franchise will recognize the name Mark from Scream 3, as Detective Mark Kincaid was a main character for the movie.

“A Young Meg Ryan”

In the first Scream, Dewey Riley jokes that he can see Sidney Prescott being played by a young Meg Ryan in the eventual movie-adaptation of her life. While this isn’t a carved out and planned Easter Egg or reference, per se, Meg Ryan’s son Jack Quaid stars in 2022’s Scream as Richie Kirsch. How’s that for a casting coincidence?

“It’s Like Jodie Foster In The Silence of the Lambs

In 2022’s Scream, we see Sam Carpenter hallucinating visions of her real father, Billy Loomis, talking to her and taunting her into unleashing the Loomis inside and going on a stabbing-spree of her own. While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen our final girl hallucinate a dead parent (Sidney has visions of her dead mother in Scream 3), this time there is a definite call-back to the original Scream. In 1996’s Scream, Skeet Ulrich’s Billy Loomis tells Sidney, “It’s like Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs, when she keeps having flashbacks of her dead father.” This line is certainly more ominous now, as twenty-five years later Billy’s own daughter Sam is going through the same thing.

Gale Weathers Aesthetics

Not only does Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers reference how horrible her bangs were in Scream 3, she also continues on the legacy of the brightly colored ensembles, specifically the red suit. Gale is known for wearing various red outfits throughout the franchise, which was thankfully brought back for Scream, wearing a red suit when she returns to Woodsboro to reunite with her husband, Dewey, and cover the new string of murders.

“Red Right Hand” Returns

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The song “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds was featured in the original trilogy but was notably missing from Scream 4. Thankfully, 2022’s Scream remedied this loss by featuring the song once again during the murder of can’t-take-no-for-an-answer Vince, the nephew of Stu Macher, played by Kyle Gallner. In the scene, Ghostface slips into Vince’s car while Vince pees a wall and turns the song on the radio. While the song may now be more recognizable thanks to Peaky Blinders, it has always felt like the perfect song for Scream‘s tone and it was enjoyable to hear it in the franchise once again.

Rian Johnson

Scream ends up being a commentary on toxic fandom, which is immensely needed in 2022, as you all know if you’ve ever been on the internet. Toxic fandom cannot be mentioned without mentioning the fandom response to Rian Johnson following Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Hilariously, Johnson is mentioned in Scream as being the director for Stab 8, the in-franchise movie that received horrible fan reactions and ultimately leads to Amber and Richie trying to remake the movie themselves.

The Blood Wipe

The signature Ghostface blood wipe from the Buck 120 hunting knife has returned. This became an iconic shot of Ghostface in the original Scream, as both Billy Loomis and Stu Macher wipe the blade in the same fashion after committing their murders. After Sam Carpenter finishes her now very-ex-boyfriend off through multiple stabbings, she stands over his body and wipes the blade in the same fashion.

“With Pleasure!”

If you’re in a Scream movie, you probably don’t want to antagonize whomever is behind the Ghostface mask anymore than you need to. If you’re Sidney Prescott, of course, this doesn’t apply as we originally saw in Scream 2. While Sidney is being taunted on the phone in the sorority house, she taunts the killer to come and get her, to which the masked killer replies “with pleasure”. Now in 2022’s Scream, we see Barrera challenge Ghostface the same way, which is met with the same response Sidney received in Scream 2.

The Stab Franchise Cast List

The Scream franchise has always been incredibly meta. In Scream 2, it is revealed that there is an in-franchise horror movie franchise about the Woodsboro killings and Sidney’s life thanks to Gale Weathers’ book. This franchise-within-a-franchise is called Stab, and as of 2022’s Scream there have been eight Stab movies made, though the eighth was a huge disappointment. The Scream 2022 opening sequence includes Jenna Ortega’s Tara being interrogated over-the-phone in a series of (you guessed it) horror movie related questions. Rather than asking questions about different movies in the genre like past Ghostfaces have done, this iteration of the killer chooses to ask questions only about the original Stab movie.

Stab, which is based on the events of the first Scream movie, features known celebrities playing versions of Sidney, Gale, Dewey, and others characters from the original Woodsboro killings. Ghostface asks Tara who plays Casey Becker in Stab, which prompts Tara to Google the cast list. Before deciding the answer is Heather Graham, Tara scrolled through the cast list, calling back others who appeared in the in-universe Stab franchise like Luke Wilson, David Schwimmer, Tori Spelling, and more. The cast list also shows Gale Weathers as being played by Jennifer Jolie, the fictional actress played by Parker Posey in Scream 3.

The Friend Group Introduction

Following the opening sequence in both 1996’s Scream and 2022’s Scream, we meet the friend group of the movies’ leading lady — in 1996 we were introduced to Billy, Stu, Tatum and Randy while in 2022 we were introduced to Wes, Amber, Chad, Mindy and Liv. Introducing the friend group suspect list isn’t the only similarities these two scenes have — in 1996 we see Tatum and Stu sharing a bag of green grapes between themselves. In 2022, Wes and Amber are sharing a bag of the same fruit while being introduced.

Will Hollywood Ever Stop Setting Mikey Madison On Fire?

No, they will not. Mikey Madison was first set on fire in Quinten Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood in which she plays a member of the Manson Family, Susan “Susie” Atkins. In the Tarantino film she is set ablaze with a flamethrower, while in Scream she is doused in a flammable substance and pushed onto an ignited gas stove. Nobody can flail around like they’re on fire like Mikey Madison can at this point in Hollywood.

Legacy of Scream (1996)

Tatum Isn’t Forgotten (Finally!)

Rose McGowan’s Tatum Riley from 1996’s Scream is an icon and fans of the franchise still faun over how wonderful of a character she was. Tatum even speaks one of the franchise’s most iconic lines, “Please don’t kill me, Mr. Ghostface, I want to be in the sequel!”. Despite how popular of a character Tatum was following release, Tatum has really not been mentioned or remembered in any meaningful way until now. Thankfully, when we see the interior of Dewey’s mobile home, Dewey appears to have her ashes on his mantle in a lovely memorial to his sister.

Randy Meeks Lives On

As it is established that the victims in this new set of Woodsboro killings are somehow related to the original killings, it’s no surprise that there would be characters related to the original horror nerd Randy Meeks featured in the movie. Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin are members of the main friend group and are the twin niece and nephew of Randy, who tragically died at Ghostface’s hand in Scream 2. Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) even takes after her uncle in her love of horror. Not only are Randy’s niece and nephew present, their home interior shows a plaque on their mantle along with several photos dedicating their living room as the “Randy Meeks Memorial Home Theater”.

These two tributes aren’t enough for Randy, however. In 2022’s Scream third act, Mindy Meeks-Martin is watching Stab, particularly the scene where Randy is watching Halloween and telling the characters in that movie to turn around, failing to take his own advice and realize Ghostface is directly behind him. While this is happening on-screen in Scream, Mindy is shouting at the portrayal of her uncle that he needs to turn around, failing to do so herself as Ghostface creeps up on her in real-life. Thankfully, she realizes her near-fatal mistake before it’s too late and is able to turn around and save herself from being stabbed too badly.

Horror Homages

What’s In A Name?

The most obvious character name that was meant as a loving dedication is Dylan Minnette’s character, Wes Hicks, so received the name Wes in honor of the late Wes Craven. Tara and Sam also pay homage to a horror giant with their last name Carpenter after Halloween creator John Carpenter. Since Billy Loomis is revealed as Sam’s real father, her true last name would be Loomis making her name Sam Loomis, another homage to horror as both Psycho and Halloween have a character named Sam Loomis. Additionally, Mikey Madison’s Amber Freeman receives her name from the wife of James Vanderbilt, one of the Scream writers.

Psycho-esque Shower Scene

Shortly before the deaths of Sheriff Judy Hicks and her son Wes Hicks, Judy receives a call from Ghostface while on her way to pick-up dinner. Ghostface is brutal during this call, promising Judy that her son is going to be dead by the time she returns home and that there’s no way she will make it in-time. During this phone call, Wes is in the shower in a Psycho-esque scene, which Ghostface even points out. Despite building tension thanks to Ghostface’s taunting, Wes ends up not dying in the shower, after all.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Wes Craven wasn’t only the mind behind Scream, he was also behind another famous horror franchise A Nightmare on Elm Street. In the 1996 movie Craven had a cameo appearance as a janitor named Fred, wearing the iconic red-and-green striped sweater. This time around in 2022, there is a quick shot of a street sign while audiences receive a look at the town of Woodsboro. The street name is none other than “Elm Street”.

For Wes

Not only did the late Wes Craven receive a character named after him, there are references to him throughout the entirety of the film. After Wes Hicks is murdered by Ghostface, the school has a wake party to honor his memory, and shots are taken with a cheer of “For Wes!”. Finally, when Sidney enters Stu Macher’s old house in the third act of the movie we see Craven’s signature hat hanging next to the door. At the end of the movie, the screen reads “For Wes” before the credits role, paying one final and touching tribute to the horror giant without whom the Scream franchise wouldn’t be what it is.

You can read our review for the movie here. Scream is playing now exclusively in theaters.

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