- "What's your favorite scary movie?"
- ― Ghostface
Ghostface is the main antagonist in the Scream series. An identity rather than an actual person, there have been seven people to assume the Ghostface mantle. A serial killer, he (or she) often dresses up as a variation of a ghost, or the Grim Reaper (The name given to his costume in the film is Father Death). He also uses a electronic device to disguise his voice; when doing so, he is voiced by Roger L. Jackson.
Ghostface is named after the rubber mask under which he hides his face, a mask inspired by the Edvard Munch painting The Scream. He is also known as the Woodsboro Killer, after the town where he commits his murders. Ghostface often calls his victims on the phone, taunting or threatening them before stabbing them to death with an 8 inch hunting knife. He is usually known for asking his victims horror film trivia while stalking them.
While working as B-movie actress "Rina Reynolds" in Los Angeles, Maureen Prescott was gang raped at a Hollywood party hosted by film producer John Milton. Maureen became pregnant from the incident, but gave the baby up before moving back to her hometown of Woodsboro, California. She married Neil Prescott and had a daughter, Sidney Prescott, but had various affairs and earned a reputation around town for being a "slut". Years later, her illegitimate son, now called Roman Bridger, tracked her down and tried to make contact, but Maureen rejected him, wanting nothing to do with what she considered Rina's child.
- "Maternal abandonment causes serious deviant behavior."
- ― Billy Loomis[src]
Roman responded by stalking Maureen and filming her adulterous behavior with Cotton Weary and Hank Loomis. When Hank's wife found out about the affair and abandoned her family, Roman showed the footage of Maureen and Hank to Hank's traumatized teenage son, Billy. He manipulated the boy into taking revenge on Maureen, advising him to take a weak-willed partner to sell out in case he got caught. Billy, who was either dating Sidney at the time or started dating her after meeting Roman, responded by brutally murdering Maureen with the help of his friend Stu Macher. They then framed Cotton Weary for the crime; Cotton was put on death row following a testimony from Sidney, despite reporter Gale Weathers publishing a book claiming he was innocent.
A year after he killed Mauren, Billy decided to continue his revenge on the Prescott family by planning a full-scale killing spree in Woodsboro. Their murders would be inspired by those of slasher movies. One night, dressed in "Father Death" costumes, he and Stu tormented Stu's ex-girlfriend Casey Becker over the phone. They asked her movie trivia questions pertaining to Halloween and Friday the 13th; when she answered incorrectly, they murdered her boyfriend Steve Orth in front of her. They then stabbed and killed Casey herself, and strung her corpse up on a tree for her parents to find. Sometime after, Billy and Stu kidnapped Neil Prescott, who was supposed to be out of town on business.
The brutal murder of Casey and Steve caused a sensation in the town, with police investigating the entire staff and student body of Woodsboro High. Gale Weathers also arrived in town to report on the murders. The next night, Billy attacked Sidney Prescott in her home and was caught moments later in possession of a cellular phone. The police questioned him, but had no real evidence and had to release him the next day. Meanwhile, Neil Prescott became a suspect in the attack when police were unable to find him. When Billy or Stu attacked Sidney again at school, the students were sent home and the entire town put on a curfew. However, Stu decided to host a party at his remote house, which would be the setting for his and Billy's "final act". Beforehand, he or Billy murdered Principal Himbry in his office.
- "Watch a few movies, take a few notes. It was fun!"
- ― Stu Macher[src]
Stu's party was attended by dozens of teenagers, as well as Gale Weathers and local police deputy Dewey Riley. When Billy showed up, he and Sidney discussed their relationship and made love for the first time. Eventually, after hearing of Principal Himbry's death, most of the guys left to see his corpse. After killing Stu's girlfriend Tatum Riley, and injuring Randy Meeks and Dewey, Billy and Stu finally revealed their true intentions to Sidney; they planned to to murder her and frame Neil Prescott for the crime. Sidney eventually managed to turn the tables on her attackers, killing Stu with a television set while Gale shot Billy. Randy warned Sidney that Billy would return for "one last scare", prompting her to shoot her ex-boyfriend through the head.
The actions of Billy Loomis and Stu Macher would go on to become a media sensation. Gales Weathers cashed in on the murders with a book entitled The Woodsboro Murders, which was eventually adapted into a Hollywood movie called Stab. When Billy's mother, Mrs. Loomis, found out what had happened in Woodsboro, she decided to take revenge on Sidney Prescott for murdering her son. She recruited young serial killer Mickey Altieri over the internet to be her partner; the two met in the "classifieds" of a psycho website. Mickey was a film student at Windsor College, which Sidney and Randy also attended, who wished to be caught for his murders. In the resulting trial, he planned to blame his crimes on cinema violence.
Mrs. Loomis and Mickey carried out their first murder at a sneak preview of Stab, killing Maureen Evans and Phil Stevens in the theatre the film was playing.
Woodsboro (several years later)
Jealous of the fame that Sidney received for surviving every spree, her cousin Jill Roberts became the fourth Ghostface, with the intent of framing her ex-boyfriend, Trevor, and becoming famous as the "new Sidney". She enlisted the help of Charlie Walker, who agreed because he loved her. Their first victims were Jenny Randall and Marnie Cooper, and they left evidence in Sidney's rental car just to haunt her.
Charlie then stages a threatening call to Jill and her friend Olivia, throwing off suspicion. Dewey Riley questioned them about the calls. Sidney went to live with her aunt, Jill's mother, temporarily. Olivia became a victim of Ghostface the next day while Jill and her friend Kirby watch. Sidney tries to save her, and Jill assists; Charlie (in costume) injures them and escapes. While they are in the hospital, Charlie and his friend suggest to Gale that the new killers are using the rules of horror movie remakes and will strike at a party that night.
Gale is injured while investigating the party. The policemen assigned to protect Sidney's house are killed. Upon realizing that Jill has left the house, Sidney tries to tell Jill's mother Kate, who is killed by Ghostface. Sidney went to Kirby's house to protect Jill. She witnesses Ghostface killing Robbie, while Kirby is forced to answer movie trivia to defend a tied-up Charlie. Kirby "wins the game", and goes to untie Charlie. Charlie stabs her in the stomach and reveals that he is Ghostface. Jill arrives in the Ghostface mask and cloak before revealing herself and her motives. She pulled Trevor out of a closet at that moment and shot him in the head. Jill betrayed Charlie by stabbing him in the heart (to kill him), and then again in the stomach (to cause him more pain), and framed him as Trevor's accomplice. She then stabbed Sidney in the stomach and injured herself to make it appear that Trevor attacked her. Dewey and the police arrived and took both Sidney and Jill to the hospital again.
Dewey informed Jill that Sidney was still alive, not knowing that Jill was Ghostface and would try to kill Sidney. Jill entered Sidney's hospital room and attempted to finish her wounded cousin off; meanwhile, Dewey and his partner Judy found evidence that Jill had been the one who attacked Gale and went to the room to save Sidney. They were right in time, as Jill had not caused Sidney any fatal injuries. As she attempted to kill her, they arrived and intervened. Jill knocked Dewey out with a bedpan and shot Judy, however Gale stalled until Sidney jumped up and electrocuted Jill with fully-charged paddles to the head. Jill got back up again while they weren't looking and grabbed a piece of glass to kill Sidney with, but Sidney had realized that Jill would do so and shot her in the chest. Outside of the hospital, news reporters ironically proclaimed Jill the "sole-surviving hero", which is exactly what she had been trying to accomplish.
Identities and Motives
ScreamBilly Loomis: Maureen Prescott had an affair with his father Hank Loomis, which prompted Hank and Billy's mother to divorce. Billy killed her out of anger. A year later, Billy and Stu started a murder spree in their hometown of Woodsboro, planning on copying their favorite movies and becoming heroes when they survived. Their plan was to frame Maureen's husband, Neil Prescott, and culminate in killing Sidney. Billy was the first killer to come back to life for one last scare but Sidney finished him off with a bullet to the forehead. It was revealed two movies later, that Roman Bridger mentored Billy to kill Maureen and eventually kill Sidney since Roman made it sound like Maureen was the cause of Billy's parent's divorce.
Stu Macher: Stu was a horror movie fanatic who followed his best friend Billy Loomis around. Submitting to peer pressure from Billy (and possibly being in some sort of secret relationship), Stu helped murder Maureen Prescott. A year later, they committed a murder spree in their home town of Woodsboro planning on recreating their beloved horror movies and becoming heroes for surviving the bloodbath. Their first targets were Stu's ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend (Casey Becker and Steve Orth). They also killed Stu's current girlfriend, Tatum They eventually went on to kill multiple people however, he came to his death when he chased Sidney and she bit his hand, which gave her time to drop a television over his head, electrocuting and killing him almost instantly.
Scream 2Debbie Loomis: Billy's mother orchestrated the Windsor College murder spree out of vengeance for Billy's death. She also channeled her hatred for Maureen Prescott, who slept with her husband, onto Sidney. Mrs. Loomis found Mickey Altieri on-line and paid for his college tuition, giving him her motherly help and guidance. Secretly, she set Mickey up to take the fall for the entire copycat killing spree, planning on murdering him after she achieved her revenge. Even if anyone suspected there was a second killer, the persona she created of "Debbie Salt" couldn't be traced back to her. Sidney originally thought Gale was the killer, when Mickey told the second killer to reveal herself however, she used Gale as a hostage and Sidney noticed it was Billy's mother. Mrs Loomis is later killed when Cotton shoots her in the throat at point blank range. Sidney shoots her again in the forehead claiming it was "just in case".
Mickey Altieri: A psychopathic film geek, Mickey wanted to create a sequel and be the star of a trial-of-the-century type media circus. Mrs. Loomis found him on-line on a murdering kind of website and paid for his tuition at Windsor College, where he worked himself into Sidney's close circle of friends to make it look like he wasn't the Killer when the murders first started, however, Mickey actually planned on not getting away with the murder spree, wishing to be the center of the following media circus and debate on movie-making ethics. It's possible he wanted revenge for something, as that most of the Ghostface Killer's have another motive, however it was never revealed. In the end Mrs. Loomis betrays him and shoots him in the chest stating that his motive will never be believed. He later rises up for one last scare but Gale and Sidney shoot him several times which leads to his death.
Scream 3Roman Bridger: A director, Roman tracked down his birth mother (Maureen Prescott), who shunned him and told him that she already had a family. Roman, the offspring of a vicious rape, was not wanted. Roman mentored Billy Loomis to kill Maureen, and was enraged by the fame gushed upon his half-sister, Sidney Prescott. He planned on framing Sidney for a murder spree and walking away as the new hero. However, he came face to face with his sister and exposed himself to her. Saying that Maureen didn't want him and she had a whole new life, with another child. He is mortally wounded when Sidney stabs him from behind with an ice pick. Then delivers the final blow to the heart. When Dewey warns Sidney about the killer being super human Roman rises up only to be shot in the head by Dewey.
Scream 4Jill Roberts: Jill grew up in the shadow of her famous cousin Sidney Prescott and became jealous of Sidney's attention, and sought to take it all for herself. Not wanting to work hard or get a job, Jill planned a killing spree in Woodsboro to achieve this. She partnered with her friend, Charlie Walker, who was in love with her but Jill betrayed Charlie, stabbing him to death, and set-up her ex-boyfriend, Trevor Sheldon, to look like the second Ghostface killer. She then horribly injured herself to maximize sympathy for her as the new hero. However, Dewey and Gale, find out that Jill was the real killer and not Trevor. They go to Sidney's room and find Jill trying to kill her but they got there in time to pull her off. In the final showdown Sidney electrocutes Jill with delfiberator paddles to the head thanks to Gale distracting her. Jill recovers and picks up a shard of glass trying to stab Sidney with it but she is shot in the chest by Sidney who knows the killer always comes back for one last scare.
Charlie Walker: A film fanatic, he aspired to win the heart of Jill Roberts and saw them as a remake version of Randy Meeks and Sidney Prescott. Jill strung him along, and together they planned a new killing spree in Woodsboro. This would work to continue the stagnant Stab series, as well as propel Charlie and Jill into the limelight for surviving Ghostface's attacks. In the end, Jill betrayed him and stabbed him to death, stating that it would work best for her if she was the sole survivor.
Skills And Abilities
Unlike supernatural killers, such as Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger, Ghostface is a normal human, but he displays several skills of a deadly and efficient killer. He is very skilled in stealth, allowing him to hide in unexpected places. Also, he exhibits extreme durability against physical harm and has a high level of physical strength.
Ghostface often displays a heightened awareness. He seems to be able to know where his victims are located before a physical attack, where they are hiding, or to where they will attempt to escape.
Ghostface has an almost supernatural stealth ability, seemingly being able to quickly appear and disappear in almost impossible circumstances. He is also very skilled at stalking and hiding from his victims.
Ghostface is strong enough to physically lift and throw an adult sized person and to stun and knock his victims to the ground with punches. He also has enough strength to puncture through doors and other surfaces with his knife. He can endure several physical damages such as having bottles and vases smashed over his head.
Ghostface is highly skilled in knife wielding tactics and kills his victims by tactically stabbing them in vital body points or quickly slitting their throats. He is fast and agile on his feet and can almost always outrun and outmaneuver his victims.
Ghostface's Knife is an 8-inch Buck hunting knife that is used to kill multiple people in the Scream movie series. It is used by Ghostface, a persona adopted by serial killers in the Scream movies. it's overall shape and design is very similar to that of a "bowie" knife, but is based on a typical "Buck knife"
The knife is inspired by and strongly resembles a knife called the Buck 120 which is most commonly used for hunting purposes, making it a hunting knife. It has a black metallic handle with a steel blade that is about eight inches long. The top of the knife blade curves at the end, making a dip, however the bottom, though curved as well, does not form a dip. The bottom blade is sharp, that is straight, until it curves to meet the top end, which forms a dip. The knife is apparently extremely common and easy to obtain in the Scream universe, as each killer in the series has a different one. In some cases where there is more than one Ghostface, each have their own personal knife.
- 9mm Pistol: Usually used after the killer reveals his or her identity.
- Father Death costume: Halloween costume used to hide Ghostface's true identity, the costume is a long, black hooded robe with a white ghost mask.
- Bullet Proof Vest: Used by Roman Bridger in Scream 3 to protect himself from gunshots.
- Voice Changer: A small electronic device used to disguise the Killer's real voice and change it to a deep, guttural voice.
- Wes Craven had the characters in Scream mention the Ghostface costume is called "Father Death" as a red herring, alluding to Neil, Sidney's father.
- In Scream, Stu was meant to mention having to pee before Sidney is attacked in the high school bathroom, but it was believed to be too strong a clue that he was the killer.
- In the original Scream 2 script, there are thee killers: Mrs. Loomis, Derek Feldman, and Hallie McDaniel.
- In the original Scream 3 script, Angelina Tyler is a second killer. She reveals herself to be a former classmate of Sidney's and now in a relationship with Roman.
- The only person to wear the Ghostface costume and use the voice changer who wasn't a murderer was Sidney. During a brief moment in Scream, she does this to turn the tables on Billy and Stu. It can be argued that she is a murderer since she kills several of the killers.
- The copycat murders of Scream 2 are a dangling plot point. Mickey and Mrs. Loomis begin murdering victims based on their names matching those of the original Woodsboro murders, but stop at 3. While the investigators discover the pattern, nothing comes of this, or is mentioned in the final confrontation. This is fleshed out slightly more in earlier drafts of the script, but still not resolved. Whether the two killers planned this as a red herring or altered course as they went along remains to be seen. From a story perspective, this fits in with the two killers having very different motives.
- The 3 victims of the copycat murders from Scream 2 are:
- Phil Stevens (representing Steven Orth)
- Maureen Evans (representing Maureen Prescott)
- Casey 'Cici' Cooper (representing Casey Becker)
- The murders in Scream 3 follow a similar path to Scream 2. Roman killed the cast in the order their characters died in the Stab 3 script, until veering off course and killing without a pattern, just as Mickey and Mrs. Loomis started as copycat killers until Randy's murder. In both cases characters tried deducing who would be the next victim based on the pattern right when the killer stopped using the pattern.
- The Scream 3 characters may indeed have been killed in accordance with the Stab 3 script if you allow for the exceptions of non-cast members (Christine Hamilton, Steven Stone, and John Milton). Cotton Weary was set to cameo as himself in the opening death scene and he was the first actor to die. Sarah Darling's Candy was the second to die. It's known that Ricky was written to die and since the fictionalized Gale Weathers was set to be the killer, she would have died last. Tyson Fox dies between Sarah and Jennifer Jolie, who was the last killed. It's unknown if Sidney and Dewey's characters were set to be killed, but since Tori Spelling and David Schwimmer didn't return, it's likely the producers wanted to kill the characters off, making it possible that they died in the order Tom Prinze and Angelina Tyler were murdered.
- One of the killers "Came back to life for one last scare" in each film:
- Billy Loomis (shot in the head by Sidney) - Scream
- Mickey Alteri (shot in the chest by Sidney and Gale) - Scream 2
- Roman Bridger (shot in the head by Dewey) - Scream 3
- Jill Roberts (shot through the heart by Sidney) - Scream 4
- Ghostface killed a pair of victims in the opening of each film:
- Steven Orth & Casey Becker (Scream)
- Phil Stevens & Maureen Evans (Scream 2)
- Christine & Cotton Weary (Scream 3)
- Marnie Cooper & Jenny Randall (Scream 4)
- Roman is the only killer who dies in his Father Death costume.
- Roman was the only Ghostface who had no accomplice.
- Jill Roberts being the killer is ironic. Her character is based on Sidney Prescott and the fact that she is a Ghostface killer is a reference to the fact that some fans often speculate that Sidney Prescott would eventually become a Ghostface killer due to witnessing the deaths of the people close to her.
- It is revealed that Jill Roberts and Charlie Walker are the killers in Scream 4, they planned this to "remake" the franchise:
- Jenny Randall and Marnie Cooper represent Casey Becker and Steve Orth (killed first simultaneously after one receives a call from Ghostface. A deleted scene shows that they were hung and tied to a chair like Casey and Steve)
- Kate Roberts represents her sister, Maureen Prescott. Both are the mothers of the 'protagonist'
- Trevor Sheldon represents Neil Prescott. Both were kidnapped, bound and gagged, and would-be framed for the murder spree.
- Jill and Charlie's plan to make their innocence in the killing spree more solid by stabbing each other, is just like Billy and Stu's plan in the first movie.
- Jill stabbing Charlie to death on purpose, is a reference to Scream 2 when Mrs. Loomis betrays her accomplice Mickey.
- Stu and Charlie are the only killers not be shot to death. Stu is electrocuted by a T.V and Charlie is stabbed to death by Jill.
- Both female killers, Jill Roberts and Mrs. Loomis, betrayed their accomplices in the end.
- Mickey Altieri, Roman Bridger and Jill Roberts are the only killers to reveal themselves while they are still in the Ghostface costume.