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‘Scream’s’ Best Callbacks to the OG Films

‘Scream’s’ Best Callbacks to the OG Films

Since its first release in 1996, the Scream franchise has cemented its legacy across five films — soon to be six. With each installment, we get intelligent and amusing meta-commentary, subverted horror tropes, and Ghostface killers who love a good monologue. Throughout the franchise, you’ll find plenty of homages to the past. So, ahead of the March 10th 2023 premiere of Scream VI, check out these killer callbacks in its 2022 predecessor Scream.

A (Literal) Callback to the Original’s Opening Scene 

Twenty-five years later, we’re introduced to Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) cooking at home by herself. She also gets a call on her landline but doesn’t bother answering at first (because it’s 2022). When she picks up the second call, she chats with who she thinks is a friend of her mom’s while she casually checks out her kitchen knives. Like with Casey (Drew Barrymore), the topic quickly turns to horror movies, leading to Tara’s critique of schlocky slashers and praise of elevated horror. While Casey was grilled about Friday the 13th, Tara has to answer questions about the Stab films, the Scream-verse’s franchise within a franchise based on the Woodsboro murders.

Legacy Characters and Connections

One of the best aspects of Scream was the return of franchise regulars Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette). Their presence alone was a treat but we also got some fun easter eggs, like Sidney mentioning her husband Mark, presumably Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey) from Scream 3. When Dewey watches his ex’s show, Gale makes an on-air joke about her infamously terrible bangs, also from Scream 3, and we can hear the morning show host cleverly mention an upcoming segment about reuniting with old friends.

Along with the core trio, the film featured two characters from the sequels who have important connections to the new cast. Martha Meeks (Heather Matarazzo), sister of movie buff Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), first appeared in Scream 3 and returned in this “requel” as the mother of twins Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown). The two teens are members of Tara’s friend group, along with Wes (Dylan Minnette), son of Scream 4’s Deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) who is now sheriff of Woodsboro. Judy had an obvious crush on her superior in the 2011 installment, often bringing then-Sheriff Dewey homemade lemon squares. After Wes has his Psycho-esque shower moment, he sees a note left on the fridge about said lemon squares. 

Mindy Meeks-Martin’s Meta Moment

Randy’s niece and fan favorite Mindy carries on her uncle’s legacy by being the horror guru of the film. During the party, she channels her uncle further by lounging on the couch and yelling at Stab’s version of Randy to look behind him. Meanwhile, the Randy character is yelling the same thing at Laurie Strode on Halloween just like the real Randy did. Mindy has a moment of realization and turns to find Ghostface ready to attack. She’s even stabbed in the same area where he was shot and wearing a similar outfit — a green tee with brown pants. How’s that for meta? Like her uncle before her, Mindy survives as does her brother. When she’s wheeled out at the end, she gives him a thumbs up, a subtle nod to Dewey’s gesture at the end of Scream

Comedy and Chemistry Are the Perfect Mix in 'Rye Lane'

Loomis Lives On

Tara’s estranged older sister Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) arrives in Woodsboro after the attack and drops a bomb — Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) is her biological father. As much as Sam tries to stave off her visions, Billy looms large, encouraging his daughter to release her inner serial killer. At the hospital, she also rocks a plain white tee and jeans like her dad. Sam finally has her murderous moment in the bloody third act after it’s revealed that her boyfriend Richie Kirsch (Jack Quaid) and Tara’s friend Amber Freeman (Mikey Madison) are the Ghostface duo. As she crawls away from a hyped-up Richie, she catches a glimpse of Pops eyeing a discarded knife within reach. However, it’s next to a green umbrella, the makeshift murder weapon Sidney once impaled Billy with. Sam ultimately grabs the knife, which proves more than effective, but for a second we thought she might go for the umbrella. 

We Need to Talk About Tatum

Unlike other characters in the franchise, Tatum Riley (Rose McGowan) hasn’t been mentioned in the subsequent films, which is surprising considering she had one of the most elaborate death scenes in the first film. While she isn’t verbally mentioned, Tatum is finally honored in 2022 in Dewey’s first scene when we see a box of her ashes in his trailer (next to a photo of him and Gale). Later, at Amber’s party, she breaks a horror rule, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Mindy, by going down to the basement alone to get more beer. One easily overlooked easter egg is Wes and Amber eating grapes at school while talking about Tara’s attack, just like Tatum and Stu when the group discussed the murders of Casey and Steve. 

Hayden Panettiere (“Kirby Reed”) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream VI.”

Off-Screen OG Cameos

While we get to see some of our favorite characters make an appearance in Scream, there were a number of cameos from OG cast members that went mostly unnoticed. When Richie is watching YouTube critiques of the widely detested Stab 8, a video titled “Interview With Woodsboro Survivor Kirby Reed” can be seen in the corner. Hayden Panettiere’s Scream 4 character was stabbed by Charlie Walkers (Rory Culkin) and seemingly died of her wound. But as seen in the Scream VI trailer, she’s still alive and living in New York where she’s about to be face-to-(Ghost)face with another killer. 

The death of Billy’s right-hand man Stu Macher’s death is questioned, something real-life fans have speculated for a while. Actor Matthew Lillard appears as the Flamethrower Ghostface seen and heard in the trailer. Later, in the party scene at Amber’s house (Stu’s old house), we can hear Lillard remark, “Cool house, Freeman.” (The actor’s famous ad-libbed, “You hit me with the phone, dick!” is honored with Richie’s line to Tara, “Did you just hit me with a phone?!”) Filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not), collectively known as Radio Silence along with producer Chad Villella, later revealed other voice cameos featured in the film including Drew Barrymore as the principal making the announcement, plus later audibles from the likes of Henry Wrinkler (Principal Himbry from the original) and Adam Brody (Detective Hoss from Scream 4), as well as Jamie Kennedy telling Mindy’s makeout buddy, “Someone’s goofy ass dad is kicking us out,” referring to Richie.

Scream VI hits theaters on March 10, 2023.

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