Scream Killers Over the Decades

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Ghostface has had many identities from the original Scream to Scream 2022, here are all the scream killers.

The Ghostface killer became a horror film icon the moment he, she or sometimes they first appeared in 1996’s “Scream,” terrorizing Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and the residents of Woodsboro. Since that Wes Craven classic has been released there have been 5 movies in the franchise. Each new and arguably clever Scream killer has had their mysterious identity reveled in the end of the film with varying responses from audiences. Much like Scooby Doo we all await the removal of the infamous Ghostface Scream Killer mask.

Scream 2022 Slasher Poster featuring ghostface and the cast

Scream (2022) Killers aka Scream 5

Scream 5 picks up in Woodsboro 11 years after Scream 4. The characters have had an entire decade of normal life since the last killers were taken care of. Dewey and Gail have divorced and Dewey has taken to the bottle. Sidney has children and a life of her own far away from Woodsboro. With calm comes the innevitable storm though.

The release of Stab 8 has fans furious with deviations from the original plot and the introduction of ridiculous new weapons and characters. And Ghostface is determined to re-write this as a proper requel.

Ghostface re-emerges bringing the original characters back together. As a requel requires a sacrifice of an original character, Dewey does not make it through this film.

Amber Freeman and Richie Kirsch are the Scream 2022 or Scream 5 Killers

The killers from Scream 5 are reveled as Amber and Richie two fanatic fans of the Stab movie that have taken the requel into their own hands. They attempt to frame Sam Carpenter (turns out this is Billy Loomis’s daughter from Scream 1) but ultimately meet the usual demise.

Scream 4 (2011) Killers

Scream 4 movie poster featuring a face blended into the number 4

Scream 4 2011 was a bit of surprise since the trilogy had been completed with Scream 3 in 2000. Wes Craven and much of the original cast announced in 2010 that Scream 4 (Scre4m) was a go and we got another chance to see the Ghostface slasher in action. Scream 4 aka Scre4m performed a bit better with audiences than Scream 3. Receiving a decent 60% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Scream 4 is fun, but more clever-clever than fiendishly ingenious

Philip French Guardian

Sidney Prescott, in order to get over the trauma of the Ghostface Killer’s murderous rampage a decade earlier, has written a self-help book. She returns to Woodsboro for her book tour and reconnects with old friends Gale Weathers and Sheriff Dewey. Sidney’s arrival home sparks Ghostface’s return, putting Sidney and everyone she loves in danger.

Jill Roberts and Charlie Walker are Scream 4’s Killers.

Jill Roberts and Charlie Walker Scream 4 killers seen kissing

This time around it is Sidney’s niece, Jill Roberts who dons the Ghostface mask and costume. Jill’s homicidal rampage is the result of growing up with the infamous Sidney and always being second to her epic tragedies and life. Her jealousy overcomes her so she decides to become the next Scream Killer. Like Billy, she betrays her co-murdered, Charlie Walker by stabbing him in the heart. Albeit more successfully than Billy did with Stu in the original.

In the closing scenes Sidney shoots Jill in the hospital even though reporters claim that Jill is the only one to survive the massacre. Did Jill somehow survive and will make a re-appearance in Scream 2022? We’ll find out January 14th!

Scream 3 (2000) Killer

Scream 3 movie poster featuring the case and an eye in a 3

Scream 3, the finale of the trilogy had a rough go with fans receiving abysmal scores on Rotten Tomatoes and other review sites. This was originally meant to be the final movie, however 10 years later Ghostface returned in Scream 4 and now in 2022 we have Scream 5 or Scream 2022 coming out. You just can’t keep Ghostface down!

The cast is good. And so are director Wes Craven’s inventive stagings of these set-tos. Not so good is the absence of hip cross-references to the classic horror tropes.

Richard Schickel – TIME Magazine

Scream 3 picks up in Hollywood where Stab 3 is being shot, with Gale Weathers and Dwight Riley on set as advisors to director Jennifer Jolie. Ghostface, who has other plans, decides to kill the cast in the order of the screenplay. Sidney aka Sid Prescott comes out of seclusion to help solve the mystery and stop the latest Scream Killer.

Roman Bridger is Scream 3’s Killer

Scream 3 Killer Roman Bridger seen in a black hooded robe

Scream 3’s killer is discovered to be Roman Bridger Sidney’s half brother. Turns out her mother had another child when she herself was an actress in Hollywood. Side note – Sidney’s parent’s infidelity has certainly fueled this franchise.

Roman Bridger is the first Scream Killer to act alone. He is driven by jealousy of Sid’s fame. In the end he dies much like Billy in the first Scream.. shot in the head after several dramatic final attempts at Sid’s life.

Scream 2 (1997) Killers

Scream 2 horror movie poster featuring the cast and two faces of the main actress in the background

The horror comedy sequel did not disappoint. Kevin Williamson, who wrote the trilogy, provided a five-page outline for the sequel to Scream when auctioning his original script, hoping to entice bidders with the potential of buying a franchise. So, that worked out really well. Scream 2 fell just short of the original earning 172 million, which is a huge accomplishment for a sequel. Especially one behind such an epic release.

The rest of the cast of disposable archetypes deadpanned about why ”sequels suck” — a particularly funny joke, since this one didn’t.

Chris Nashawaty – Entertainment Weekly

Sidney and tabloid reporter Gale Weathers survived the events of the first “Scream,” but their nightmare isn’t over. When two college students are murdered at a sneak preview of “Stab,” a movie based on the events from the first film, it’s clear a copycat killer is on the loose. Sidney and Gail, as well as fellow survivors Deputy Dewey and Randy have to find out who is behind this new murder spree, before they all end up dead.

Mrs. Loomis (Debbie Salt ) and Mickey Altieri are the Killers in Scream 2

Mrs. Loomis aka Debbie Salt uses film student Mickey Altieri who wants to be caught so that he can blame violent horror movies for his crimes. Sound familiar? Mrs Loomis blames Sidney for Billy’s death in the original Scream and she plots out her revenge with the impressionable Micky. Seems the Loomis family really know how to charm accomplices. Neither killer make it out alive though and Sidney lives to fight another 3-4 movies.

Scream (1996) Killers

Scream movie poster featuring the main actress Neve Campbell

Well this was epic was it not? Loaded with twists and turns this whoidunit slasher mystery crossover breathed new life into the genre. The 80’s were the slasher golden era and by the end of the 90’s slasher flicks were headed straight to video, but leave it to none other than Wes Craven to bring something a little different to the table. Scream performed extremely well with audiences, especially for a slasher flick. . And it was the birth of the now infamous Ghostface Killer.

Through reinvention and self-awareness, Scream brought the slasher genre to new, fun, and bloody heights.

Kristy Strouse Wonderfully Weird and Horrifying

The sleepy little town of Woodsboro just woke up screaming. There’s a killer in their midst who’s seen a few too many scary movies. Suddenly nobody is safe, as the psychopath stalks victims, taunts them with trivia questions, then rips them to bloody shreds. It could be anybody…

Billy Loomis and Stu Macher are the original Scream Killers

Original Scream Killers Billy Loomis and Stu Macher seen talking with blood on their shirts and face

Billy sets out to take revenge on the Prescott family who he blames for his parents splitting up and his mother abandoning him. Both Sidney and her father are to die for her father’s affair with Billy’s mother that drove her away. In a complex plot, including framing a side character Cotton Weary for the murders, Billy and Stu go on a murderous rampage in the quaint town of Woodsboro. Stu has little excuse aside from being influenced by the charismatic Billy. Their demise is epic, but the Ghostface costume they use becomes the thread for the next 4 movies.

Ghostface has already gone down in history. You can find the costumes everywhere these days and in 2022 we expect that trend to continue. Once we know how Scream 2022 ends we will update this list. Is that really going to be the end or are we going Jason, Freddy or Michael Meyers here? TBD

Scream’s Ghostface Mask History and Variations

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Much as Jason Vorhees forever changed the hockey goalie mask Ghostface has brought fame and fortune to the Scream movie mask or is it the Ghostface mask, well really it was called “The Peanut-Eyed Ghost,” but we’ll get to that. Since the original Scream movie the mask has taken off in popularity and there are dozens of variations, fan versions, and remakes available. In the mid 1990s it is widely considered the highest selling Halloween mask and continues to sell thousands a month and even more in September and October.

History of the Ghostface Scream Mask

Scream was originally going to be called “Scary Movie,” but after the Scream’s Ghostface mask was discovered the movie title was eventually changed to “Scream.” Mostly likely due to mask’s inspiration from the impressionistic painter Edward Munch´s “The Scream” – 1893.

Edward Munch´s “The Scream" oil painting

Ghostface’s Scream mask was originally discovered at a scouting location once used by an Alfred Hitchcock film, by Marianne Maddalena. Much like there are different killers in the Scream franchise, there are different stories as to where the mask was found from a box to draped over a chair, but what remains consistent that it was discovered on a location scouting mission.

This is like the famous Scream painting

Wes Craven

After the generous home owner let them take the mask the production team set to making their own variation. The script called for a mask that you might find at a “dime store” and after 20 variation attempts the team was still not able to create something satisfactory.

They must’ve done 20 different designs. Every one of them was rejected by the studio, and finally we were like, why don’t we just get the rights to this mask?

Behind the Scenes Scream

Concept Art of the Variations

ghostface scream mask concept art
ghostface scream mask concept art two designs
ghostface scream mask concept art with scary teeth
ghostface scream mask concept art 12 variations

Finally, it was suggested that they simply get the rights to use the mask. The original mask was created by “Fun World” and it was called “The Peanut-Eyed Ghost.” Fun World currently sells 9 variations of the mask but they are a retail distributor so you cannot buy just one directly from them, sorry. The Ghostface scream mask was originally designed by Brigitte Sleiertin for the “Fantastic Faces” series somewhere around 1994. She noted that she was influenced by the Scream Painting but also:

I just loved all vintage animation and that fluid, almost rubbery movement

Brigitte Sleiertin original Scream Mask Designer

But the saga continues. Her boss at the time, Alan Geller, has claimed he actually created the mask, but nothing has surfaced to date to prove that.

Scream Behind The Scenes Documentary

Ghostface Scream Mask Variations

Fun World made a guide of many of the face mold options, but there is more than just the molds. There are color variations, themes, and anniversary editions all out there for your collection.

Scream mask variations

2022 Ghostface Mask Variations

The Patriot, Pumpkin, Pride, Blood, Dead by Daylight Ghostface mask and more.

Older Ghostface Mask Variations

2018 Ghostface Mask Variations

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2017 Ghostface Mask Variations

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Scream the Series Masks

MTV’s adaptation of the movie franchise ran for 3 seasons. For the first two seasons the series did not use the official Ghostface Mask. Instead it ran with a variant of sorts. More of a post surgical mask, but with some reference to the original. This did not go over well with die hard Scream fans so in season 3 MTV got the rights from Fun World to use a proper Ghostface mask.

Scream mask from MTV series with a man holding a knife

The future of the Scream mask seems certain, more variations! Until then stay creepy and enjoy the upcoming 5th release this week.

The Legendary Wes Craven

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Wes Craven has been praised as one of the most imaginative and exciting horror creators in cinema. His legendary Nightmare on Elm Street series which birthed the insidious dream-weaving villain Freddy Krueger, and the hyper-self-aware Scream series which spawned the knife-wielding Ghostface killer, are just two of the many properties Craven has used to scare audiences the world over. Everyone who owns a television can probably tell you at least what these two aforementioned mass-murderers look like, but did you know prolific terror maestro Wes Craven actually started his film career in pornography? Or that Elm Street was actually based on the deathly nightmares of Cambodian refugees who had witnessed the American bombing of Cambodia?

Here we take a look at some of the most influential, and also the more obscure of Wes Craven’s directorial works, in order to pay tribute to and properly learn about a man who caused more sleepless nights than European Techno.

Last House On The Left (1972)


Craven clearly wanted to shock the world from the get-go. His first horror outing centred around two girls looking for drugs after attending a concert in the city. They run into a gang of escaped convicts who kidnap them for a night of rape, torture and their eventual muder. When the convicts later hide out at the home of one of the murdered girls, her parents soon work out what happened and plot their revenge. Last House managed to land itself on the Video Nasties list and was actually refused a certificate for cinema release by the British Board of Film Censors for its depictions of horiffic sadism and sexual violence.

The script, written by Craven in 1971, was originally intended to be a hardcore pornographic feature before filming began, whereupon it was decided that a much softer approach would be taken. One can only imagine what the original idea had in store for viewers. The story is inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s Swedish film The Virgin Spring (1960), which in turn is based on a Swedish ballad, Töres döttrar i Wänge. Who would’ve thought such classic and artistic inspiration could have gone into what is now an infamous rape/revenge horror?


The Hills Have Eyes (1977)


This is one of the rare occasions in horror where I actually prefer a remake to the original. Perhaps it has something to do with the similarities of Craven’s Hills with Tobe Hooper’s classic (and far more expertly crafted) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), or perhaps I simply didn’t feel that the gut-wrenching implications of some scenes could be fully realised with this particular cast of actors. That being said, this is still a fairly competent and satisfyingly violent film based on the legend of Sawney Bean, a scottish clan leader said to have lived in a sea cave and cannibalized over a thousand people in the 16th Century. Craven’s depiction features the Carter family on their way to Los Angeles who crash their camper in an area of the Nevada desert inhabited by murderous cannibals. When they start to die off the family must fight back against the savages, which they do in quite spectacular fashion. Craven’s vision was raw and unflinching with this piece, even if some of it did need to be trimmed due to an X-rating. While it doesn’t jump out as a masterpiece in the genre, it would be a crime to write it off as just another cheap shock-horror.


The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

The Serpent and the Rainbow Movie Poster
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)


Bill Pullman is excellent in this mystifying mashup of Live and Let Die (1973) and In The Mouth of Madness (1944). Anthropologist Dennis (Bill Pullman) heads to Haiti, in a time of severe social and political unrest, to study an alleged voodoo drug that has been bringing the dead back to life. With the help of a witch doctor (Brent Jennings) and a fellow researcher (Cathy Tyson) Dennis must dodge Haitian authorities and solve the deadly mystery before it consumes him completely. With some genuinely unsettling imagery, fantastically engaging performances from its lead cast and implications around life, death and madness that have the potential to chill viewers to the core, The Serpent and The Rainbow proves itself to this day one of the more original and enthralling of Craven’s back-catalogue.


The People Under the Stairs (1991)


I’ll start by saying that I had no idea what to expect from this film. Having borrowed the dvd from a friend and basing my expectations on its goofy cover art, I was expecting something akin to other campy 70s and 80s horrors like Fright Night (1985) or perhaps even Beetlejuice (1988). After multiple viewings I now class this as one of Craven’s darkest films, straight-up shocking in many places while crawling under your skin in others. Craven was adamant to portray a respectful account of class warfare and personal struggles in poverty-stricken ghettos, and has expressed in other films such as Scream 2 his views on the need for “black representation” in horror, so what better villain than a couple of rich, incestuous white landlords? The violent psychopathy displayed when things start to kick off is unrivalled, with much of the terror being derived not from monsters or ghosts, but the potential of pure evil from humans. With a stellar performance from Brandon Adams as ‘Fool’ and Everett McGill and Wendy Robie as the nameless, psychotic Landlord and Lady, this is close to the top of a list of personal favourites, not just of Craven’s work but of horror in general, and should not be missed.


Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)


Everyone is familiar with the Nightmare on Elm Street legacy, from the original breakout hit all the way to Freddy vs Jason, but I’d rather talk about what I consider the most interesting and underrated in the series. Now I’ll admit that when I first watched New Nightmare I was far too young to really be able to appreciate horror, never mind understanding any of the meta-layers underlying this gory flick. It still managed to shock me, and stick in my mind to this day, and it was one of my later revisits that helped me realise just what Craven was going for. Heather Langenkamp plays herself, years after the shooting of the original Nightmare films, when visions of Freddy begin to plague her in real life. This was definitely the beginning of Craven’s more self-aware phase which led onto the Scream series, and his playfulness in flirting with the fourth-wall more than pays off in breathing new life into Freddy as a villain, and the Nightmare series in general. I won’t give away too much, as there are several payoffs in Craven’s 1994 rethink that scream for multiple viewings.


Scream (1996)

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Scream is such a fun ride. Somehow Craven managed to craft a film that is blatantly self-aware yet balanced enough so that the self-referential comedy doesn’t once get in the way of bloody scares. It is witty and clever in similar ways to New Nightmare but a lot more playful and sometimes goofy in execution. Some references and nods to horror tropes and even Craven’s earlier pictures are terrifically on the nose, and more than welcome in that, though repeated viewings are warranted with plenty of subtleties to find. Matthew Lillard is brilliant as Stu Macher, wacky and on the border of being a complete clown while somehow retaining an imposing and intimidating air through his sheer size and intensity. Scream gleefully and violently subverts expectations set by genre greats, while paying homage to all that inspired it, and somehow having a better ending to many of the films it parodies.


Scream 2 (1997)


Somehow this one passed me by until very recently, though I’m almost ashamed to admit it now. Scream 2 is one of the better horror sequels out there, majorly due to its self awareness (as if it only exists as a punchline to scream’s continuous mention of a sequel) though also due in part to Craven’s consistency in style and substance. I found myself overjoyed when characters from the first began popping up and reuniting, and enjoying the introduction of new characters that, like the film itself, feel more an extension of Scream rather than a tacked-on rethink. Featuring possibly a better ending than even its predecessor did, all while retaining the meta-layers in almost every scene that made the first great.

Full Filmography

1972The Last House on the LeftHallmark Releasing / American International Pictures
1977The Hills Have EyesVanguard
1981Deadly BlessingUnited Artists
1982Swamp ThingEmbassy Pictures
1984A Nightmare on Elm StreetNew Line Cinema
1985The Hills Have Eyes Part IICastle Hill Productions
1986Deadly FriendWarner Bros.
1988The Serpent and the RainbowUniversal Pictures
1989Shocker
1991The People Under the Stairs
1994Wes Craven’s New NightmareNew Line Cinema
1995Vampire in BrooklynParamount Pictures
1996ScreamDimension Films
1997Scream 2
1999Music of the HeartMiramax
2000Scream 3Dimension Films
2005CursedMiramax
2005Red Eye
2010My Soul to TakeUniversal Pictures
2011Scream 4Dimension Films
from wikipedia.com

Was the Inspiration for the Scream Movies & Ghostface Killer Real?

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Is Scream Based On a Real Story?

“What’s your favorite scary movie?” Ghostface can be heard around the world by countless fans mimicking his famous catchphrase. Ghostface taunts his victims by telephone and with a voice changing device to help hide his identity (which ultimately changes every movie).  He then stalks and chases them with a scary looking dagger to ensure a violent death.  Ghostface is certainly one of the horror genre’s favorite slashers.

The Scream franchise did very well, with the first movie raking in more than $103 million in the United States alone (that’s great for an estimated budget of only $14,000,000)!  But where did the story get its start? What is the Scream movie origin and is Ghostface based upon a real life killer? Horror Enthusiast has dove deep to untangle some wires and figure the true origin of the Ghostface killer and Scream movies.

The Real Story that Inspired Ghostface & Scream

The Real Life Unnerving Murders

The writer of Scream, Kevin Williamson, created the story line surrounding his fascination with the Gainesville Ripper.  While watching a news story about the terror, he realized his very own window was open, and that he could be susceptible to the same horrible fate that had already befallen a number of people.  The horror script was born that very day as Kevin completed the first 18 page draft of what would be Scream. 

The initial script featured a young woman who was alone at home (where she should be safe), being taunted by a killer over the phone.  The woman would then be chased by the slasher, who would be a scary-masked villain with a knife. Shortly, Kevin had completed a full-length script for the movie. He even planned the concept of Scream becoming a franchise right away.  In addition to his full-length script, Kevin provided suggestions that outlined two possible sequels. 

The Gainesville Ripper

Danny Harold Rolling is the Gainesville Ripper, a serial killer responsible for murdering 5 students in the Gainesville, Florida area, as well as 3 others in Louisiana.  Rolling is the initial inspiration  (although somewhat loosely fit) for the plot horror enthusiasts all know as the Scream movie today.  Rolling was a gruesome killer, mutilating his victims after raping them and even decapitating one body. He would also pose his victims in sexually provocative positions before leaving the scene. Hardly Ghostface, however, nonetheless the Gainesville Ripper would scare Kevin Williamson so bad he’d come up with the basis for a truly scary plot with a real-life feel. 

Rolling was put to death by legal injection in 2006.

Where Did the Ghostface Mask Come From?

ghostface masked killed from the movie scream

The Ghostface mask was discovered by Wes Craven himself as he were hunting for filming locations.  He noticed the mask hanging on the wall of one of the rooms within a possible film house and knew it was a perfect fit.  The mask could not be exactly similar as he could not obtain the rights and so he had one made to resemble the mask as closely as possible based upon a photo he took.

Where Did the Ghostface Cloak Come From?

Ghostface was designed, originally, to be cloaked in a white robe, not a black robe.  The costume only changed to a black robe after the crew realized he resembled a member of the Ku Klux Klan when wearing white.

Where Did the Title “Scream” Come From?

Scream was originally going to be called “Scary Movie.” This is super ironic, as that title would later be used for a parody that pretty much featured the Scream franchise. The (now more famous than ever before in light of their sexual harassment scandles) Weinstein Brothers decided to rename the film to Scream towards the end of filming.

What Made Scream More Interesting?

Scream was (basically) the first horror movie that featured characters who understood horror movies existed and even referenced real-life horror movies throughout the film.  With characters that understood how people die in horror movies and the common mistakes to avoid…it made the audience feel as though anything could happen.

Additional Inspirations

There is a lot of inspiration behind Scream that appears under the surface, as well.  Scream script writer, Kevin Williamson, had been a huge horror movie fan his entire life before beginning the Scream script. He loved popular horror franchises Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Prom Night, and many others.  His passion for these films is evident via a number of references and obvious homage throughout the Scream movies.

Scream Still Scares Even Today

painting of ghostface from scream

Ghostface today is still a very popular slasher horror icon.  He makes several appearances throughout popular media (other movies included, even comedies like ‘Scary Movie’).  And almost everyone knows who Ghostface is, or has seen at least one Scream movie.  He is even a very popular Halloween mask choice more than 20 years after his first cinematic appearance (the original Scream being released in 1996).  And very recently, more interest slasher favorite, Ghostface, has spawned a rebooted Scream franchise in form of a TV series. The TV series first aired in June of 2015, but is currently three seasons strong.  The third season has yet to air (begins in March of 2018). 

Whether on the big screen or on TV, one thing is clear: Ghostface is here to stay and wants to know what is your favorite scary movie?

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