How the New “Scream” Movies Connect to the Original Franchise

Everett Collection / Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

2022’s “Scream 5” reinvigorated the horror franchise, which seemed to have ended with “Scream 4” in 2011. It was no small task, especially considering its legendary original director, Wes Craven, died in 2015. Its new directors, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett – the duo behind production company Radio Silence who made “Ready or Not” in 2019 – have openly expressed their love and loyalty to the Scream franchise, so while the new “Scream” films do explore new aspects of the horror genre to fit the 21st century, you can be sure they still have plenty of connections to the original films that fans will recognize almost immediately.

Are the New Scream Movies a Sequel Series or a Reboot Series?

Officially, 2022’s “Scream” wasn’t titled “Scream 5,” but “Scream,” making it a little unclear if it was a reboot. But 2023’s new movie is “Scream 6,” making it even more obvious that this is just one part of a longer horror lineage. It’s more appropriate to classify the new “Scream” movies as legacy sequels. Legacy sequels are a continuation of a franchise typically made a decade or more later that keep the “legacy” of the original characters but bring new characters into the story and pay tribute to key elements by providing new perspectives for younger audiences. Other recently released legacy sequels are Halloween Kills,” “Jurassic World,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” “Scream 5” also coins a new term for this, a “requel,” combining a reboot and a sequel.

With a legacy sequel comes its legacy characters. “Scream” actors Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox all reprise their roles as Sidney Prescott, Dewey Riley, and Gale Weathers in “Scream 5,” and Cox returns for “Scream 6.” Even Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), one of the original Ghostface killers from the first 1996 “Scream,” shows his ghostly face in the movie. “Scream 6” also makes the return of Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed from “Scream 4.”

How Do “Scream”‘s New Characters Connect to the Original Cast?

The new roles in “Scream 5” and “Scream 6” also continue the plot from the original. Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown) are the nephew and niece of Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), one of Sidney’s original friends who dies in “Scream 2” (and one of the first characters to describe all of the “rules” for surviving a horror movie). Wes Hicks (Dylan Minnette) is the son of Deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Hicks), who worked alongside Dewey during “Scream 4.” And most importantly, Melissa Barrera‘s Sam Carpenter is the secret daughter of Billy Loomis.

What Is “Stab”‘s Role in “Scream 5”?

A Scream movie wouldn’t be truly Scream-worthy without its devotion to the meta-verse. In “Scream 3,” the plot revolves around the shooting of “Stab 3,” a movie franchise within the franchise about the Woodsboro murders, Sidney, and Ghostface’s origin story. By the end of “Scream 4,” Stab already has seven sequels, and it’s only natural that the new “Scream” pays homage to its Stab counterpart by adding references to all the meta movies, plus the “newest” “Stab 8.” “Stab 8” was directed by “Knives Out” director Rian Johnson and is derided by fans.

Is the “Scream” Party House in “Scream 5?”

The iconic “Scream” party house where Sidney comes face to face with – and kills – her Ghostface tormentors for the first time is also where Sam, Tara (Jenna Ortega), Gale, and Sidney have the final showdown with their Ghostface killers in the fifth film. It’s a fun callback to the originals, though we have to wonder why the house wasn’t demolished by the citizens of Woodsboro back in the ’90s. “Scream 6” moves the action to New York, leaving the cursed home far behind.

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