WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for Scream 6!Scream 6 may have proved the biggest opening scene kill theory right, but a major twist still subverted expectations for the trademark sequence. The opening kill scene is one of the biggest moments in every Scream movie, beginning with the unexpected death of movie star Drew Barrymore’s Casey Becker in the original film. Since then, nearly every opening scene has included Ghostface attacking a character portrayed by a popular Hollywood star, including Omar Epps and Jada Pinkett Smith in Scream 2; Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary in Scream 3; Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Lucy Hale, and Shenae Grimes in Scream 4; and Jenna Ortega in Scream (2022), though the latter survived.
Following tradition, Scream 6’s casting of scream queen Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) led to plenty of theories that she would be the major death in the 2023 sequel’s opening scene. Of course, these theories proved correct; Samara Weaving’s character Laura Crane was brutally murdered by her film student Jason, who dressed as Ghostface and used his professor as “practice” for his intended victims Sam and Tara Carpenter. Scream 6’s opening scene didn’t stop there, however, as the first two Ghostface wannabes, Jason and Greg, were then taunted and killed by the real Ghostface, later revealed to be Detective Wayne Bailey, Quinn Bailey, and Ethan Landry.
Despite The Scream 6 Theories, Samara Weaving’s Opening Scene Worked
Fan theories may have been proven right about Samara Weaving’s opening scene role in Scream 6, but the fact that the film greatly expanded on the segment made its impact even better. Laura’s death was more of an opening scene “warm-up” for audiences, as it wasn’t expected for Ghostface to reveal his true identity after killing her or for Scream 6 to follow him back to his apartment. Once Jason’s mask came off, it was clear that the opening scene wasn’t complete, revealing that Samara Weaving’s role was essentially a red herring to distract audiences from the main kills in the first sequence.
The opening scene of Jason killing Laura worked on its own with the actors’ chilling performances, but introducing a twist in which a new Ghostface is killed by Scream 6’s real Ghostface is extremely inventive for the franchise. Samara Weaving’s scene still importantly established the fact that New York City’s huge population and crowded streets made Scream 6 more dangerous than secure, as bystanders obliviously walked by while Laura was being killed in the open. However, the twist that the real Ghostface would be killing Scream 6’s first two Ghostfaces effectively increased the terror associated with the new villain and set the stage for the film’s high-stakes, brutal massacre.
Why Scream 6 Used A Big Twist For The Opening Scene
The Scream franchise is a meta satire that simultaneously plays with audiences’ knowledge of general horror movies and the Scream movies themselves. As such, following Scream 5‘s opening scene survival twist, Scream 6 needed to introduce a much bigger twist on what Scream fans have come to expect of the sequence; namely, a big-name actress being terrorized by the new primary Ghostface. The writers clearly understood that audiences expected Samara Weaving to be Scream 6’s opening scene kill, so they used this expectation, gave it to audiences, and ultimately subverted it as somewhat of an opening sequence fake-out.
Scream 4 already had a double opening scene fake-out by revealing that Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin, Lucy Hale, and Shenae Grimes’ attacks occurred within the fictional Stab 5 and 6 movies, but Samara Weaving’s death is actually part of Scream 6’s story. After Weaving’s character was killed, audience suspense likely dropped, only for it to unexpectedly return as the new Ghostface became the real victim. Even in the post-credits scene, Scream 6 truly played with expectations of Scream movies and the rules that come with such a franchise, which is why its opening scene twist had to be so surprising – it firmly established that this movie wasn’t playing by the typical set of rules.
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