Which characters will survive in ‘Scream 5’?
Horror movies have been part of the movie genre for decades. From the Universal original monster films to the slasher & paranormal films today, the genre has never stopped creating the beings of our nightmares. One of the things that these villains often do is continue to rage on, movie after movie, seemingly unwilling to die or even relent in taking victims.
Counter to those maniacal killers in slasher films, sometimes the main protagonist will also persevere for the entire franchise. They acquire a new cast of characters around them each time, only to find themselves the last remaining survivor. The Alien franchise has Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, Halloween consistently terrorizes Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode, and Scream never relents on Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott.
Scream 5 just dropped the trailer for the new installment, giving us a fresh look at Sidney, Gale, and Dewey (the latter two played by Courtney Cox & David Arquette, respectively). While the trio seems more hardened than their younger versions, every film brings more danger for them to withstand.
Which Scream characters will survive the newest threat?
Weathers first arrives on screen as an ambitious reporter seeking fame. She had written a novel about the murder of Prescott’s mother where she believes the man convicted of the crime was innocent. This book’s claims that Prescott was mistaken in identifying her mother’s killer are points of contention between the two characters.
In the subsequent films, Cox’s portrayal of Weathers shows a growth that took her from seeking fame to seeking closure. Having been shot & stabbed multiple times, she’s had many brushes with death and no longer craves the limelight. The trailer shows her admitting she is never ready for what is ahead.
Cox lobbied hard for the role of Weathers, a bitchy & bossy woman, to counteract her developing typecast of always playing sweet & loveable characters. The push worked. Wes Craven partially credits casting known names like Cox & Campbell with Scream’s success. Killing off Weathers would send a message to the audience that no one is safe.
Deputy Dewey Riley
Prescott’s best friend, Tatum Riley (played by Rose McGowan), does her best to protect her from the media attention caused by the murders. Her older brother, Dewey, helps to strengthen the investigation and, in the process, chases a romantic interest in Gale Weathers.
Originally written as a hunky part, David Arquette was not initially wanted for the role. He was called in to audition for Billy Loomis, the first killer, but convinced Craven to allow him to portray a softer & goofier version of the deputy.
He was written initially to die in the first movie, but Craven shot an additional scene where he survived his wounds. After audiences reacted positively to the character, Craven put it in the film. With Riley continuing to persevere stab after stab after stab and his original intent to be killed off, it may come to pass in the fifth installment.
The death of Dewey Riley would be an obvious & gut-wrenching way to unite the main characters and raise the stakes for the newest killer.
As the central tentpole to the franchise, Campbell’s Prescott has gone through a lot in her life. Her mother was murdered when she was in high school, and a year later, her boyfriend went on a violent killing spree to commemorate it. She faced copycat after copycat for four movies, each time barely escaping with her life. With each film, we see a new evolution of her character.
The trailer for Scream 5 shows a harder and more capable Prescott. After eleven years, the first dialogue we hear from her displays her new attitude, “I’m Sidney Prescott, of course, I have a gun.” She has survived six different people under the mask; Prescott isn’t about to take any chances.
Five movies in, and Prescott has remained a hardened survivor. While the prospect of her death could be a twist the audience doesn’t see coming, it may not make much sense narratively. She is more prepared now than ever, which means that this killer would have to be infinitely deadlier than them all. Also, killing the tentpole protagonist puts the franchise on shaky ground.
Does anyone remember the studio needing to find some way to resurrect Ellen Ripley so that they can continue the Alien franchise?
With the trailer showing Prescott returning to the home in Westboro and signaling a return to form, will the studio look to clear the board and start over by killing off the original trinity? Or will they once again prove themselves survivors against the newest threat?