Scream‘s foundation lies in its meta moments, which have helped it succeed for over two decades. The slasher franchise has always differentiated itself from other slasher films because Scream has a sense of humor and self-awareness that other slasher films don’t have. Its ability to mock itself and films like it is what’s kept it going on these years. Scream doesn’t follow any of the typical slasher film rules. For example, Scream‘s original final girl Sidney Prescott didn’t appear in Scream 6 since actress Neve Campbell stepped away from the franchise over pay disputes. It seemed impossible for a franchise to go on without its final girl but Scream survived.
Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), who first appeared in Scream 5, officially stepped in as the new final girl in Scream 6. The movie had many references to past films with Ghostface’s lair full of memorabilia, including Ghostface’s knives and clothing. The film also saw Randy Martin’s cousin Mindy Meeks Martin stepping into his shoes by listing out the sequel rules just as he did in Scream 2. Throughout the six Scream installments, the franchise has had some unforgettable meta moments.
6 Billy Loomis Slasher Film Quotes
Scream cements itself as a meta franchise from its opening scene. At the time, viewers didn’t know it was Billy behind the mask, but when Ghostface calls Drew Barrymore’s Casey Becker at the start of Scream, he makes his love for slasher films known. “What’s your favorite scary movie?” he asks, a question that would become one of Ghostface’s signature phrases. Casey tells Ghostface Halloween is her favorite scary movie and then guesses that Nightmare On Elm Street is Ghostace’s. Anyone familiar with the films would understand this reference as Scream‘s original director Wes Craven was also the mastermind behind the Freddy Krueger film.
Casey tells Ghostface she liked the first film but not the sequels. This plays into Scream‘s ongoing joke that slasher film sequels aren’t good, despite there now being six Scream films. It’s also comedic because Craven only directed the first Nightmare On Elm Street, besides his meta 1994 installment. Ghostface then warns Casey of all the things she’s not supposed to do according to other scary movies, like asking, “who’s there?” or going outside to investigate strange noises. Of course, Ghostface’s iconic scary movie trivia plays into its meta nature too.
Toward the end of Scream, Billy proves he was the one on the phone with Casey when he shuts the door to Stu’s house and shoots Randy reciting Norman Bate’s famous line in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, “We all go a little mad sometimes.” Billy then licks the blood off of his fingers, revealing it’s actually corn syrup, which was used as pig’s blood in Carrie. He later mentions Hannibal Lecter when he tries to kill Sidney, stating not every killer needs a motive. The original Scream built its foundation on meta slasher film references.
5 Randy’s Rules
Randy’s scary movie rules are one of Scream‘s most meta aspects, especially since the film and its sequels go on to break all these rules he so firmly believed in. According to Randy, if someone wants to survive a scary movie, they have to be a virgin, which was quickly debunked when Sidney survived. His next rule is that a survivor can’t drink or do drugs. Randy states this rule while holding a beer bottle in his hand and then goes on to survive the film.
His final rule is that no one should ever say “I’ll be right back” before leaving a room. Stu mocks him, immediately using this phrase, and while he dies just like Randy says he will, he’s also revealed as one of the Ghostfaces, half proving Randy right but also challenging his rules. In Scream 2, Randy has a new set of sequel rules.
Unfortunately, with everything he thought he knew about horror films, he didn’t list any rules about his own death. However, in Scream 3, his sister shows Sidney, Gale, and Dewey a video he recorded before his death, where he seemingly did foresee his murder. Randy tells them all the rules of the concluding film in a trilogy, and many did come true, like everything going back to the beginning, proving what they thought they knew wasn’t the truth.
4 Scream 2 Opening Scene
Scream 2 introduces the movie within a movie format when a couple in the opening scene goes to see Stab, a slasher film based on the events in the first Scream. The opening scene of Stab is an exact recreation of the iconic Drew Barrymore opening scene. The actress playing Casey has the same blonde bob that Barrymore’s character has been known for.
It also mocks Hollywood’s “sex sells” concept by having the Stab movie version of Casey walking around in a robe and then getting into the shower, which didn’t actually happen in the Scream world. The opening gets more meta when the couple is murdered, and the girlfriend is stabbed to death right as the Stab character is being murdered on screen.
3 Scream 3’s Setting
The Scream franchise took meta to another level with its third installment, which took place in Hollywood. More specifically, the film took place on the set of Stab 3, meaning Ghostface was killing off actors portraying characters that Ghostface had killed off in previous Scream films. The film sees the actors running around a recreation of Stu’s house from the first Scream and even makes a reference to one of Craven’s projects.
Roman Bridgers, the director of Stab 3 who was later revealed as Ghostface, complains that shutting down the production due to the recent murders would ruin his dream of creating a real love story. This was a reference to Craven, who received a three-movie deal with Miramax after the success of the first Scream. One of the three films he could choose, and he chose a musical called Music of the Heart. He needed the Scream films to create something he was really passionate about.
2 Scream 4 Opening Scene
While Scream‘s original opening scene remains the most iconic, Scream 4 has a pretty unexpected one. Scream 4 tricks fans twice with its opening. Lucy Hale and Shenae Grimes star in what appears to be the opening scene but is then revealed to be the Stab 6 opening scene. Kristin Bell and Rachel Barnes then appear watching the film on the couch, seemingly the real stars of the opening scene. This quickly ends when Bell’s character stabs Barnes,’ and the film is revealed as Stab 7. Finally, the real opening scene begins with Aimee Teegarden as Jenny Randall and Britt Robertson as Marnie Cooper. Ultimately, both girls are murdered.
1 Scream 6’s Post-Credit Scene
Mindy shares a lot of qualities with her uncle Randy. She loves horror movies, she has a great sense of humor despite the Ghostface killings going on around her, and she loves listing out the horror film rules for her friends, even though the film will inevitably break them.
One of the most meta-rules is at the end of Scream 6 when the film reveals its first ever post-credit scene. Post-credit scenes became very popular with Marvel movies, but they weren’t utilized much when the original Scream came out in 1996. Scream 6’s post-credit scene doesn’t reveal much and is actually just mocking other films and itself for having post-credit scenes. Mindy stares right into the camera and says, “Not every movie needs a post-credit scene.”