Welcome to Dead Meat, the horror channel with that one dude with the hair. That one dude is me, James A. Janisse, And today I’m gonna be ranking the four Scream movies from worst to best. In an effort to tailor the ranking system to each specific franchise I cover. My criteria for judging these movies include, How well it’s made, like the writing, directing, acting, etc. How scary and funny it is, since all the Screams tried to be scary and funny, How good the Ghostface reveal is, How fun or entertaining it is to watch, And since my main series is the Kill Count, I’m kind of obligated to judge the kills, even though let’s be real it’s Scream, they’re mostly knife stabs. As always I’ll try to say what I like about all the movies, even the ones I rank low. Now let’s grab our phones and voice changers and get to the Rankings. Number 4. In last place is the original Scream. Nah I’m just messing with you it’s Scream 3. Of course it’s Scream 3, it has to be Scream 3. Scream 3 is what you get if a fifth grader watched the first two Scream movies, and was told to make another one. But the only film equipment they had was a piece of fresh dog shit. It’s bad is what I’m trying to say. Let’s start with my biggest annoyance, that GD voice changer. “But James they use a voice changer in all the movies, why you so butthurt?” First off, don’t say ‘butthurt’ you sound like a ten year old. Second off, the first two movies featured simple and realistic voice changers, No matter who you were, you’re talking to the thing, you get sexy, sneering Ghostface voice. “Surprise Sidney.” Side note: Roger L. Jackson’s voice performance is one of the best things of the franchise, dude kills it, just like he does when he’s Mojo freakin’ Jojo. But in Scream 3, the new device allows you to perfectly imitate another human being’s voice, And speak original words and sentences in it. “Dewey’s got our voices.” That’s just like, phonings don’t work that way! “Talking about how much fun it’s gonna be to rip your insides out!” You can’t do that from the other side of the door with a little handheld device, that’s insane! The Scream movies are bound in realism, The whole premise is staked on the fact that this our world with our rules and logic. This voice changer, especially when it’s such a huge part of the plot, completely undercuts the movie, Not that there’s not plenty of other stuff that’s bad here, The convoluted gas explosion death is like a mouse trap of factors leading up to it, And everyone knows the mouse trap setup never goes off without a hitch. Two promo shots taken twenty-eight years apart aren’t about to have the same lighting, blocking, and composition as each other, And there’s no realistic way that Roman could’ve stopped his pulse at the perfect time for Gale to check it and determine he was dead, Speaking of Roman can you say worst Ghostface ever? And there’s some decent competition in that field. Scream 3 has such a huge cast running around, and they pick the most bland, and forgettable dude to be the big reveal in the end. When he takes his mask off, even Sid just stares blankly trying to remember who he is before he has to tell her, “Roman Bridger, director.” Oh, you mean the dude who wore glasses in every other scene in this movie, And while not entirely against retconning during a series, Making Roman the evil mastermind behind Billy and Stu, takes away from those characters. “I’m a director Sid.” Yeah Roman, that’s like the one and only thing we know about you, we got it. On the subject of fake movies, it’s dumb that they’re making Stab 3, But have locations, sets, and props from Scream 1, Which was already covered in Stab 1 in Scream 2- I can’t! I can’t with this! Some of these points may seem like nitpicking, but they’re all symptomatic of a film that just didn’t care enough to try to be a good Scream movie. Maybe it’s because it was the only Scream not written by Kevin Williamson, The guy who came up with the series in the first place. I could go on and on about problems I have with this movie, From the Jay and Silent Bob cameo, To the spooky, scary ghost mom, To the severely toned-down kills, But I’ve got three more movies to cover, so I should probably wrap this up by being fair and pointing our the things I did like about it. Even in a sea of wasted actors, Parker Posey manages to stand out, and give a fun performance, that makes her scenes actually entertaining to watch, We get a Carrie Fisher cameo, that’s never not good, I’m also down with how they handled and concluded the Dewey-Gale ark, #TeamGewey, Kincaid’s partner Wallace is like the Creed Bratton of the movie, Not in it a lot, but funny when he is. “He was making a movie called Stab, he was stabbed.” “Alright, this is the scene where you come with us.” After they realized how much of a mistake it was to kill Randy in Part 2, I like that they came up with a halfway decent way to work him into the third movie, And.. I don’t know man that might be it, this movie sucks. Number 3. Coming in at Number 3, is Scream 2, I had a real hard time coming to a decision on these middle two spots, And I’ll admit that the amazing podcast ‘We Hate Movies’ might have influenced me a little bit when they covered this movie. I like Scream 2 enough, it at least tries to be a respectable movie, unlike the cartoony Part 3, And it still focuses mainly on Sidney, Which is less true with the movies that followed, Neve Campbell is great at conveying the trust issues Sid has because of the first movie, And the new additions to the cast are all solid, Including Liev Streiber as a wigged out Cotton Weary, Aggressively tried to prove he’s innocent, And Laurie Metcalf as a straight-up crazy lady, And there’s an impressive increase in the brutality to the kills, It may be less creative than the ones in the original, But they’re just as serious, and of course a lot more numerous. But at closer examination, you’ll find weird things, that probably came from the super rushed production, and the continuous on-set scripts rewrites. One of the biggest examples is Mickey being the killer, A Ghostface reveal just as lame as Roman’s, The dude seriously isn’t seen once is the 45 minutes proceeding his big reveal. What kind of shit is that? And that’s coming from someone who loves Timothy Olyphant, and the way he manages to rock my hairline. It’s the last scene we see him in before the big climax, that also single-handedly knocks this movie below Scream 4. It’s that god-awful cafeteria scene, where Sid’s boyfriend Derek start’s giving a performance of The Partridge Family that absolutely nobody asked for or wanted. “I think I love you, isn’t that what life is made of” This bit goes on forever as he dances around on tabletops like he’s a polo-shirted Fred Astaire, Add in Mickey’s obnoxious dancing and him trying to orchestrate the rest of the students in this cafeteria, when they’re just trying to grab lunch between classes, And my body is clenching with second hand embarrassment, To top it all off, the background music sounds it from a corporate retreat video scored by The Verge. In general, Scream 2 feels like an imitation of the original that needed more time in the oven, It could also shave off like ten minutes, thing is two hours long, What are you trying to do Scream 2? Win an Oscar? Take out the thespian Sidney storyline, that’s not doing anything, Other than setting up for a ridiculous climax, where a Laurie Metcalf is partially defeated by foam rocks, and fake paper flames? That’s as silly as a knife going through a bathroom stall partition cleanly and accurately enough to kill a dude, It’s as silly as not demasking or choking out Ghostface when you’re climbing over his unconscious body. It’s as silly as that film class discussion that’s just an excuse for the movie to be meta, And give Joshua Jackson some acting practice after The Mighty Ducks movies. Basically, this is a movie that tried to be serious and ended up a little silly, Which is admittedly better than Scream 3, a movie that tried to be silly and ended up a flaming trash can of a movie. Number 2. Like I said, I had a hard time deciding, but my Number 2 Scream movie is Scream 4. Ultimately, I think it came down to Scream 4 having great gore and not having that horrendous cafeteria scene. Goddamn I hate that thing. I’ll be honest and say I was kind of fundamentally against this movie even existing, Since I felt like the Scream storyline was pretty strongly concluded after the OT, But it is fun to check back in on so many characters over a decade after we last saw them. Also I greatly appreciate how Scream 4 course corrects the tone of the series after Scream 3 veered uncontrollably towards comedy. The movie does a good job bringing the series out of the 90s, Updating the technology to include live streams, and viral videos, And updating its genre commentary to include discussions about reboots, and the Saw type movies that had come out since Scream 3. “It’s not scary it’s gross, I hate all that torture porn shit.” Stab being on the seventh installment is pretty funny, And that joke’s part of the double meta fake out opening, which doesn’t make complete sense when you really think about it, But is a perfect combination of how the series talks directly to the audience. There’s still a lot of things that bugged me though. Woodsburo looks distractingly different to me, Although that might just come my recognition of the shooting location, And Arbor, Michigan, home of the leader’s invest. I don’t like all the red herring characters who are creepy for no reason, Scream 3 was bad enough with Kincaid and Angelina, But Scream 4 is worse, With Deputy Judy emerging from the shadows like she’s about to ask where her precious is, And Sidney’s aunt Kate talking wistfully, and making midnight grocery runs. Also, it’s a relatively small thing, But where do they come up with their big rules for horror remakes? “In fact, the only sure final way to survive a modern horror movie, you pretty much have to be gay.” Maybe I just haven’t seen enough reboots, but can any of you give me any examples of the supposed phenomenon? I’m also a little annoyed that they didn’t have the guts to kill off any of the main characters. If you’re coming back to an established series after such a long absence, air that shit out man, inject some life with a death, really Force Awakens it. Instead all three OG Scream stars survived. Even though Courtney Cox is sidelined for the entire third act. At least the Ghostface reveals make sense, as obnoxious as the characters are, Both Charlie’s trademark entitled nice guy, and Jill’s fame seeking reality TV sociopath. Are believable murderers for a horror movie in the 2010s. And near the end of the movie is Jill’s self inflicted harm sequence, One of my favorite things in the entire franchise. That’s some good stuff. Finally, Scream 4 has Hayden Panettiere, the MVP of the new cast, So much great face acting, and she’s such a likable person. In a perfect world, Wes Craven would’ve gone on to make a second Scream trilogy about Kirby, Which I realize was a possibility with her open-ended fate, until sadly Craven pasted away a few years ago. Before it came out, I thought Scream 4 was unnecessary, But the movie managed to convince that the series was worth updating, Even if it didn’t execute all those updates perfectly. “I’m gay.” Probably would’ve helped if they wiped off all that vaseline off the camera lens when they shot it, Seriously next time a horror series makes a long-awaited sequel, it should probably avoid lighting it like a soft core porn. Number 1. There was never any question about the top spot on this list, The original Scream is the best Scream, because it’s one of the best horror movies of the 90s. There’s a reason this movie upended the entire genre, and put horror movies into the main stream. It was self-aware, it was funny, and it was scary too dude. The opening scene to Scream is one of the greatest opening sequences in a horror movie ever. Not only does it disestablish right away that these characters know and love all the same horror movies we do. “Listen it was Jason, I saw that movie twenty goddamn times! Then you should know Jason’s mother, Mrs. Vorhees was the original killer!” But it freakin’ kills off Drew Barrymore, just twelve minutes in. That chick was all over all the promo materials. It’s a perfect scene of ever heightening
tension, Between Ghostface’s increasingly hostile calls, To the jiffy pop stove top fire, And both deaths in it are graphic enough to let you know this isn’t just going to be a comedy. In fact most of the kills are solid, While the later Scream movies would feature kills that were almost always just stabbings, and shootings, This one’s the infamous garage door death, As well as the shocking end to Stu Macher. And do you even want to get me started on the tour to force that Matthew Lilard gives? “Ow, liver, liver, liv- it was a joke” Yeah it might a little over the top sometimes, but he’s giving it his all, As is the rest of the cast, Neve Campbell establishes Sidney Prescott as a strong, yet relatable anchor to the story, and would remain the strongest asset of Scream for the entires series run. Jamie Kennedy bought so much goodwill as Randy, that I saw Malibu’s Most Wanted in theaters. And Skeet Ulrich as Sidney’s entitled boyfriend Billy Loomis is greasier, and grimier than a glob of gofer guts. And that’s another thing, these Ghostfaces are the best two of the series, They’re a great combination of reason, and chaos. Billy acts as the mastermind, mad about Maureen Prescott’s affair that helped break his parents up, and whining about blue balls that he blames on Sidney. “You see what you do to me?” While Stu’s motivation is more terrifyingly random. “Peer pressure, I’m far too sensitive.” But also because let’s be real, dude’s in love with Billy, look at these two, I ship em so hard. Few movies can successfully strike a humorous tone, while still making you take it seriously. But because Scream puts it likable hero in constant danger, All while presenting a great ‘Who done it?’ mystery that keeps the audience engaged, It’s able to be funny without ever sacrificing it’s authority as a horror movie. I don’t care how cliché or common an opinion has become, I freaking love the original Scream, And will forever respect its impact on our favorite movie genre. And that’s my list. If you missed any of the previous Scream Kill Counts, hit the playlist linked right over there, And apologies yet again to my Canadian viewers, for whatever reason the Scream 2 Kill Count was blocked in your country. I don’t know man that shit just happens to me. I hope they never make a Scream 5 since Wes Craven wouldn’t be involved, but if they do you’ll know I’ll cover it on The Kill Count. Until then I’m James A. Janisse this has been Dead Meat.