Ghostface is a fictional character from the Scream film series, a meta slasher film franchise that pays homage to the slasher films of the 1980s. The villain is a masked killer who stalks and murders teenagers, often using horror movie trivia as part of their killing spree. The Ghostface costume consists of a white, featureless mask with hollow eyes and a wide, gaping mouth and wields a large hunting knife.
The Ghostface killers change each movie but are typically teenagers who are obsessed with horror movies. They use the tropes of horror movies to terrorize their victims. Their motivations vary from film to film, but the body counts and brutal slayings are pretty intense and depict violence in a graphic and realistic way.
For those who appreciate a good scare, particularly horror aficionados, there’s something about watching films that can cleverly and successfully weave in self-referential elements. Specifically, when a horror movie becomes self-aware, often making references back to the well-known tropes and story conventions of the genre. At these times, the film is able to use humor to its advantage, while still being very effective at adding depth to the overall plot.
By doing this, it not only tells a story but also can draw upon a shared spooky heritage that horror lovers can appreciate and enjoy. For those who truly understand horror and revel in dark themes, there’s nothing quite as fun and engaging as watching a horror film that is as clever as it is dread-inspiring.
I have always hated horror movies whose characters have no idea what is going on or what classic monster they are facing. It has long pointy teeth, only comes out at night, and drinks blood… Hrrm, never heard of that! Wait, what? It’s a decomposing corpse that slowly lumbers toward you? It eats brains? What could it possibly be??? Let’s give it a brand new name since we just discovered it. How about rotters? Or maybe biters… walkers? Yeah, walkers!
I think George Romero is rolling over in his grave.
Not your first rodeo... come on.
We just got done streaming Scream 6 on Paramount Plus. We have been fans of the movies and TV series since the franchise started back in the 90s. Scream 6 was as good as any of the others if you enjoy this genre. The following critique contains mild scene spoilers, but not any major plot points. But to be safe, you probably should watch the movie first.
My biggest complaint is the sheer and utter stupidity of the victims. God rest their fictional souls. This pretty much pertains to all of the movies of this franchise. In the first movie, everyone knew what was going on, and even quoted rules for surviving a horror movie.
Much like a sports fan yelling at the TV screen during a big game, I found myself yelling at the characters throughout the movie. Instead of “Catch the Ball!” or “Open your eyes, Ref!”, I was armchair defending “Hit him again!” or “Why are you going the wrong way??” Even Ghostface taunted the first victim for her poor safety choices.
Sam and Tara, the main characters and targets of Scream 5 and 6 were very inconsistent and disappointing in their security posture. They could have been given a half-pass in the previous movie, but there really isn’t an excuse in the latest. They have already experienced firsthand, how dangerous situations can get deadly out of hand.
In an early scene, Sam is upset that Tara took off leaving her Taser at home. Sam takes the Taser and shows up at the party, embarrassing Tara. Points for Sam, negative points for Tara. But then the Taser doesn’t make another appearance, even after Ghostface shows up. Really guys? Granted pepper spray would be less than ideal against the mask-wearing attacker, but carrying a Taser, stun gun or baton, or a firearm 100% of the time may have helped. Don’t you think?
Another victim critique is the shopkeeper in the convenience store. Points for packing a shotgun for general security, minus points for horrible gun handling and tactics. But I guess if he was John Wick, the movie would have only been 20 minutes long.
Then, purely negative points for the psychiatrist not knowing how to safely answer a door.
More negative points all around for smacking the killer once, knocking him down, then running away without hitting him multiple times to keep him down. You would think after a couple of instances of the masked killer getting right back up, you would be a tad more aggressive in fighting back. Especially after seeing him brutally kill someone else. Deadly force would be justified.
I’ll award Gale half of a point for having a firearm, but quickly deduct a full point for her not carrying it on herself 100% of the time. Really Gale, your gun is locked in a safe in the other room? No, you are right, you probably won’t be attacked by Ghostface a 12th time…
Also in every Scream movie, Ghostface is just a normal guy or girl in a Halloween costume. Sure he is packing a huge Buck 120 hunting knife with a 7-inch blade, but this is a “realistic, real-life” killer. There is no supernatural speed or strength, the killer is not a demon from hell. Ghostface isn’t a trained assassin, MMA fighter, or weightlifter. Fight back, it’s a freaking teenager!
Get some freaking training...
For fun, let’s look at the timeline of Scream movies and assume they are elapsing the same amount of time between – Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011), Scream (2022), and Scream 6 (2023). I’ll give Sidney the benefit of the doubt in Scream 2. She probably thought it was one and done. But after the second set of attacks a year later, I would have seriously started to study martial arts, really any discipline would do. But in this specifically knife-heavy reoccurring situation, let’s just go for Sayoc Kali.
Sayoc Kali is a Filipino martial art that specializes in knife fighting and is sought after by individuals, law enforcement agencies, and martial artists worldwide. It emphasizes realistic self-protection and is a premier system for developing martial arts skills. Sayoc Kali has attracted students from all over the world, including law enforcement agencies like DEA, ICE, and SWAT, due to its effectiveness and practicality in real-world situations. Sounds like the perfect anti-Ghostface training system.
If she started taking Sayoc Kali knife fighting in 1997, she would have 3 years of experience by Scream 3. Not a mastery level, but I imagine she should have been pretty diligent and determined to train hard and become pretty proficient. She would have enough skill to make Ghostface’s knife handling look like a child at this point.
By Scream 4, Guro Sidney should be quite the accomplished black belt after 11 years. When Scream 5 rolled around 25 years into her hypothetical fictitious training regiment, She had already been attacked several times and defended herself several times. She should not be relaxed in her training, thinking it will not happen again. It is expected to happen again, and she should be ready at any time. Statistically, for a normal person, this is unheard of, but we are talking about Sidney Prescott, the knife attack magnet.
I would fully expect her to show up looking like an ancient Filipino Babaylan monk who had found enlightenment, ending the movie within the first 15 minutes. Sure she started to occasionally carry a gun, but again, after 25 years, she was still NOT John MF Wick in Scream 5. What the hell Sid? What the hell?
So now we have Sam and Tara. They just finished up their second Ghostface encounter in 2 years. Do you want to wager a bet that hardcore martial arts are NOT the top priority between now and Scream 7 in the next 1-5 years?
I’m sure Tuhon Christopher “Jeff” Sayoc Jr., Tuhon Jimmie Sayoc, Tuhon Richard Sayoc, or even Taran Butler can squeeze you two in.
It's just a movie.
Alright, alright, it’s a movie and we want it to run about 2 hours for entertainment’s sake. But for the love of god, prepare yourself for Scream 7. You know someone else will pick up the Ghostface torch and run with it. Come on Samantha. Come on Tara.
In the world of cinema, horror movies are often the most intense, spine-tingling, and suspenseful films that are designed to evoke feelings of fear and anxiety from viewers. Although it may seem like these films are simply fictional tales with no real-world relevance, they actually have a lot to say about our deepest fears and vulnerabilities as human beings.
Even movies with supernatural elements can hold important messages about the human experience. They provide us with a unique opportunity to face our emotions and confront the things that scare us. By exploring the themes of horror movies, we can begin to better understand our fears and anxieties, and learn how to overcome them.
Rant over. As always, be safe, and be prepared.