Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette aren't the only familiar faces we're thinking about after watching the horror franchise's fifth film. (Warning: spoilers ahead!)

Warning: This article contains some very big spoilers for the fifth installment of Scream.

As the credits — and obligatory freeze-frame cast photos — rolled at the end of the new Scream, we were left with a lot to process.

The "requel" is the first movie in the horror franchise not directed by the legendary Wes Craven, who gets a touching dedication, "For Wes," at its conclusion. Original Scream scribe Kevin Williamson says he encouraged new co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett to take "big swings" — and they certainly followed through on that.

The new film enjoyed an initial wave of praise, though our own Joshua Rothkopf was less thrilled, giving it a B-. But love it or not, there's plenty to digest. So please Indulge us while we pose our burning questions — and take a stab at answering a few.


Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream."
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott in 'Scream' (2022)

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) doesn't need a man in her life… and, to be honest, who wouldn't have commitment issues given how her relationships ended in the first two films? But it was sweet to see her in Scream 3 still sporting the Greek-letters necklace given to her in Scream 2 by her ill-fated boyfriend Derek (Jerry O'Connell). By Scream 4, the necklace was gone, and new memoir author Sidney returned to Woodsboro with no mention of a romantic interest. Cut to 2022's Scream, and Sidney is not only married, she's got a full-on stroller. We never see her little ones or meet their father, but she does refer to her husband as "Mark." So who is Sidney married to?

Now, Mark is a pretty common name (it was one of the 30 most popular baby boy names in 1979, the year Sidney was born), but there is one Mark in the Scream Universe: Patrick Dempsey's LAPD detective Mark Kincaid from the third film. While Det. Kincaid was clearly meant to be a red herring, with his menacing demeanor and a clear love of film noir, he also made an impact with his longing glances and a clear fondness for Sidney. So, while we can't say for certain, can we all agree it's now canon that Sidney and Det. Kincaid are living happily ever after somewhere far away from landlines?

Mommy Issues

Melissa Barrera as Sam in 'Scream'
| Credit: Paramount Pictures

"It's complicated" could describe every relationship in every Scream movie, but new heroines Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) and her sister Tara (Jenny Ortega) certainly earn their spot in the franchise's family trees. It's revealed in the new movie that Sam's father is Skeet Ulrich's original Scream baddie Billy Loomis (more on him in a bit). But who is Sam's mother?

Sam's last name is likely an homage to Halloween mastermind John Carpenter (and her first name might be an homage to Donald Pleasence's Halloween character, Dr. Samuel Loomis, who shares a last name with Ulrich's Billy). There doesn't appear to be any Woodsboro character with that same last name, but that doesn't mean we didn't meet Sam and Tara's mother in a previous film.

Allow us to put Barrera and Ortega's Latin heritage aside and present a theory: In the original Scream, actress Leonora Scelfo plays a bitchy cheerleader in the bathroom who is credited only as "Cheerleader in Bathroom." We hear her call Sidney's mom a "slut," but is her sex-negative criticism simply masking her own affair with Billy? She also goes on to disparage Sidney, even accusing her of being Ghostface… Or maybe it's Cheerleader in Bathroom's friend — simply named "Girl in Bathroom" (Nancy Anne Ridder) — who goes out of her way to call Billy Sidney's "bubble-butt boyfriend."

"Bathroom" is clearly not these girls' last names, so we're gonna go with one of them being a Carpenter.

(Sidenote: Billy is undeniably sexy, but he did not have anything close to a bubble butt… at least not in those '90s jeans.)

Aw, Skeet, Skeet

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) embraces boyfriend Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) in 1996's 'Scream.'
| Credit: Paramount Pictures

Scream is known for its shocking moments — and maybe none have been more shocking than the decision to include Skeet Ulrich in full Luke Skywalker-in-The Mandalorian CGI. Some have found the addition of a character conversing with a "ghost" to be a step too far outside what makes Scream Scream, but fans will recall Sidney spent half of Scream 3 hearing and seeing visions of her mother. (Scream 3 is much better than most people give it credit for being, but yeah, that was one of its weaker elements.) So why bring Billy back?

Finding a way to resurrect him was a commendable instinct; unfortunately, technology has not caught up with creativity, and Ulrich ended up looking like a Snapchat filter brought to life. Much like in Scream 3, it wasn't so much the idea as it was the execution. It's fascinating to have Sam guided through the film by her dead dad, but perhaps it was a concept best heard and not seen. Rather than showing him at length in broad daylight, maybe Billy's ghost could have been presented in quick flashes (a fleeting moment in the rearview or hallway mirror) and voiceover could have been the main vehicle to convey his message from beyond. The end result was almost worth it for that final-act glance, but just almost.

Dewey's Demise

Scream 2022
David Arquette as Dewey Riley in 'Scream'
| Credit: BROWNIE HARRIS/ Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group

It's incredible that Scream has reunited the franchise's main trio of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette for five films — especially given that Cox and Arquette's full relationship life cycle played out while filming the first four movies. That real-life parallel made it all the more bittersweet to see Dewey (Arquette) pining after Gale Weathers (Cox) at the start of the film, and their clearly real-life candid photo sitting on his shelf and on his phone.

But it's even more impressive that the writers hadn't succumbed to the temptation to kill off one of the three until this fifth film: Though no longer a lawman, Dewey successfully stops a Ghostface attack by shooting the assailant down to the ground. But instead of unmasking him, he first ushers the would-be victims to the elevator. That can be accepted as reasonable — it's more important to keep people safe than solve the mystery. But then Dewey decides to go back to make sure Ghostface is gone for good — and that's when he becomes the first of the "untouchable trio" not to make it to the final frame.

"Why kill Dewey?" one might ask. And it's a fair question. He's one of the characters who always seems to capture the balance of horror and comedy that makes the Scream films so great. But Scream has always put its heroine in the driver's seat in the final act, and the film's last moments are all the more powerful when not just one, but three women stand over the destroyed body of the killer behind all the terror. If one of them had to die, it had to be Dewey — and it's easy to picture the character and the actor not wanting it any other way.

Wonder Women

Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), left, and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream."
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott and Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers in 'Scream'

It's only a movie, and they've survived much worse, but we have to ask: How are Gale and Sidney okay at the end?! Despite being more than three times the age of the teens seen carted off on stretchers, the two survivors are just sitting there (literally sitting upright!) nursing their bullet and stab wounds at the end.

Special shout-out to the paramedic not even touching Gale who claims the news anchor's vitals "look good."

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