Scream is back, with a new cast of young people gearing up to be sliced and diced and franchise veterans once again roped in to save the day.
If anything separates the new Scream from its earlier incarnations, it’s the films it most significantly targets for mockery. Namely: half-sequel, half-remakes like Ghostbusters: Afterlife and the 2018 Halloween. Or, you know, the new Scream. So it makes sense that – like so many of those movies – Scream is filled for the first time in the franchise with wall-to-wall Easter eggs.
Some are more obvious than others, notably the inclusion of a character named “Wes” in memory of the late Wes Craven, who directed all four previous Screams. Others will be easily spotted by die-hard fans. But there will inevitably be one or two that you might have missed.
While we won’t reveal the character or characters behind the Ghostface mask this time around, the following Easter eggs do reveal a handful of plot points. They’ll also sap a lot of the fun of going in completely blind.
But if you must ruin it for yourself – or just want to sneak a peek at any eggs you may have missed – keep reading…
Sidney’s husband is a familiar face
Surprise! Our perpetual final girl is a mum now! Scream re-introduces Neve Campbell’s Sidney as she’s jogging with a baby carriage. On the phone with Dewey, she also lets slip who she’s ended up with, namely a man named Mark. Mark is presumably Patrick Dempsey’s Mark Kincaid, who investigated a spate of Ghostface killings in Hollywood in Scream 3. The 2000 sequel ended with Mark hanging out with Sidney at her home once those murders had been wrapped up, though he wasn’t mentioned in 2011’s Scream 4. It remains unclear whether they’ve been a romantic item for two decades, though.
The Stab cast list is wall-to-wall Nineties stars
In the film’s first scene, Jenna Ortega’s Tara scrolls through the IMDb cast list for the first Stab movie, aka the film-within-a-film that dramatised the events of the first Scream. Confused yet? But look closely and it’s a neat encapsulation of all the star names previously seen or at least mentioned as appearing in the film: David Schwimmer played Dewey, Tori Spelling played Sidney, and Luke Wilson and Heather Graham played Billy and Casey, respectively. There are also some surprises: Craig Bierko is credited as playing Cotton Weary, Vince Vaughn is credited as Stu, and Clueless icon Alicia Silverstone is credited as Tatum. As for Gale, she’s listed as being played by one Jennifer Jolie, the fictional actor embodied by Parker Posey in Scream 3.
Kirby is alive!
Hayden Panettiere’s acerbic Kirby was the breakout star of Scream 4, with her death in its third act one of the film’s most heartbreaking moments. But fans have always questioned whether or not she actually died as a result of her (numerous) stab wounds. After all, we didn’t see her body, and Wes Craven suggested in the film’s DVD commentary that she potentially survived. While Panettiere doesn’t appear in the new Scream, Kirby’s survival is confirmed via a YouTube video glimpsed in the film. As a character watches a pair of YouTubers dissect the apparent failings of the eighth Stab film, YouTube recommends a further video to the top-right hand of the screen. Its title? “Interview with Woodsboro survivor Kirby Reed!” Well, there’s your proof.
Dawson’s Creek is Gen-Z catnip
After surviving the film’s opening scene, Tara is laid up in recovery and at one point is seen watching Dawson’s Creek from her hospital bed. It’s a sweet gesture to Scream’s original screenwriter Kevin Williamson, who also created the seminal Nineties teen drama. Even further, the season one episode Tara is watching is titled “The Scare”, and involves Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and his friends being creeped out by rumours of a serial killer on the loose in their small town. Sound familiar? Another coincidence: the clip features actor Scott Foley – who played Roman Bridger in Scream 3 – and Dawson’s regular Joshua Jackson, who memorably (not really) played “Film Class Guy #1” in Scream 2.
Randy really didn’t get a famous person to play him
Towards the end of the new Scream, resident horror expert Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) watches Stab and its recreation of scenes involving her late uncle Randy (Jamie Kennedy). Randy is played in Stab by a total unknown – the end credits show that he’s played by actor Christopher Speed – which serves as a cute throwback to something the actual Randy complained about in Scream 2: “They get Tori Spelling to play Sid, and they cast Joe Blow Nobody to play me. At least [Dewey] gets David Schwimmer. I get the guy who drove the stagecoach for one episode of Dr Quinn.”
Dewey’s Meg Ryan prediction did (in a sense) pan out
Speaking of Stab, Dewey jokes in the first Scream that he imagines Sidney being played by “a young Meg Ryan”. While it’s more of a wacky casting coincidence than a strict Easter egg per se, the new Scream stars actor Jack Quaid, aka Meg Ryan’s son.
Tatum finally got a mention!
Considering Dewey’s sister Tatum (Rose McGowan) was brutally murdered in the first Scream, she’s gone surprisingly unmentioned across the subsequent four movies outside of a brief reference in Scream 2. In an early scene in the new Scream, justice is served via what appears to be Tatum’s ashes resting atop Dewey’s mantlepiece.
Sam’s visions resemble an ominous Scream line
One of the weirder elements of the new Scream involves Sam (Melissa Barrera) experiencing ghostly visions of her long-lost father Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich). We’ve ventured inside the minds of Scream characters before – namely Sidney’s visions of her dead mother in Scream 3, though that was pretty stupid, too – but this one also involves a callback. In the first Scream, when Sidney opines that she remains haunted by her mother’s murder, Billy compares it to a famous movie: “It’s like Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs, when she keeps having flashbacks of her dead father.” Twenty-five years later, Billy’s own daughter is experiencing a very similar thing.
Word got to Gale that her Scream 3 hair was a tragic mistake
In the years since the release of Scream 3, seemingly everyone involved has acknowledged what a mistake it was to give Gale a tiny fringe. In the new Scream, it’s confirmed that such mockery did reach Gale herself. It’s tricky to hear, but listen closely to her monologue during her morning show as Dewey watches it on TV. She makes a brief reference to that infamous hair-don’t.
‘Scream’ is in cinemas now.