The Scream franchise are period pieces

The first Scream came out in 1996, almost 25 years before the 2022 installment. The other three films span across and outrun the aughts so, yeah - all of the Scream films are period pieces, all of which I was alive for. So, I took time away from making horror parodies and skits in awful wigs on my TikTok (@brotherghoulish by the way, if that's your vibe) to take a look back at what was happening on the release dates of each film. I also shared the fruits of my research on my Brother Ghoulish's Tomb episode Scream (2022) and Beetlejuice 2? If you rather hear me talk about it here.

Scream (1996) – original name, ‘Scary Movie’

First, here's my summary -

Sidney Prescott just wants to be a normal high school teenager who watches Daria in her father’s questionably expensive California mansion. Unfortunately, she’s being haunted by a knife-wielding murderer in a ghost mask, chronic neck pain, and something much more sinister: the past. Her mother was murdered last year after a string of rumored affairs. Now, Sidney’s afraid that she’ll end up just like her mother in more ways than one. That and being played by Tori Spelling.

The rules to successfully survive a horror movie according to Jamie Kennedy’s character, Randy.

  1. You can never have sex

  2. You can never drink or do drugs

  3. Never say “I’ll be right back” because you won’t

Scream was released on December 20, 1996. Let’s go back, shall we?

  • 1996 was a leap year

  • It was the year of Superbowl 30 or XXX, where the Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27 to 17, the National Anthem was sung by Vanessa Williams, and Diana Ross did the Halftime show, the end of which, she was helicoptered from the field!

  • The #1 song in the US on that date was Un-Break My Heart by Toni Braxton

  • And last but certainly not least, being a teenager with a cellphone was seen as mad sus which brings us back to the movie

Scream is rated R for ‘strong graphic horror violence and gore, and for language’

Runtime: 1h 51m

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson

Awards: 11 nominations & 11 wins, including 5 from the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards of 1997

Rotten Tomatoes: 79% ‘Certified Fresh’ for critics & 79% for audience score

Where did it place on the Domestic Chart that date? Well, let’s see.

  • Quasimodo was on a mission to bust Esmerelda’s lady humps in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (23rd)

  • Space Jam (14th)

  • Jingle All the Way (8th)

  • Mars Attacks! (7th)

  • The Preacher’s Wife (6th)

  • Scream (4th grossing $6,354,586)

  • 101 Dalmatians (3rd)

“Poison them, drown them, bash them on the head. Got any chloroform? I don’t care how you kill the little beasts. Just do it and do it now!” Glenn Close as Cruella
  • Jerry McGuire (2nd)

  • Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1st grossing $20,114,233)

Scream 2 (1997) – a.k.a. ‘Scream Again’

It’s Sidney Prescott’s freshman year of college and one of her worse fears has been realized: Tori Spelling is playing her in the movie of her life, Stab (the tagline of which was ‘this is gonna hurt!’). As people around her are being murdered again, it feels like she’s in the sequel of a scary movie.

  1. The rules to survive a horror movie sequel according, yet again, to Randy.

  2. The body count is always bigger

  3. The death scenes are always much more elaborate, with more blood and gore

  4. If you want your films to become a successful franchise, never, ever, under any circumstances assume the killer is dead

Scream 2 was released on December 12, 1997. Let’s go back, shall we?

  • Being a teenager with a cellphone is a lot less sus. In fact, it’s posh

  • And it was the year of Superbowl 31, where the Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots 35 to 21 & the National Anthem was sung by Luther Vandross

  • The #1 song in the US on that date: Candle in the Wind 1997 / Something About the Way You Look Tonight by Elton John (more interestingly, the #1 song in the UK was Teletubbies say Eh-oh!). But my family and I were jamming to You Make Me Wanna by Usher, which was #4

  • A federal judge sentences Autumn Jackson, a woman claiming to be Bill Cosby’s daughter, to 26 months for attempting to extort $40 million from him so needless to say, it’s a messy day

Scream 2 is rated R for ‘language and strong bloody violence’

Runtime: 2 hrs.

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson

Awards: 5 nominations & 1 win – an MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance to Neve Campbell. Interestingly, Tori Spelling was nominated for a Razzie for Worst New Star

Rotten Tomatoes: 81% ‘Certified Fresh’ for critics & 57% for audience score

Where did it place on the Domestic Chart that date? Well, let’s see.

  • Anastasia (9th) which gave us Journey to the Past by Aaliyah, one of my favorite songs from childhood

  • Alien: Resurrection (7th)

  • Home Alone III (5th)

  • Flubber (3rd)

  • Scream 2 (1st grossing $14,380,000)

Scream 3 (2000)

Sidney Prescott is now an adult and hiding in the woods like the Unabomber. That is, until the murders begin again. Catapulted onto the set of Stab 3, she and the remaining OG Woodsboro gang must follow the rules of horror movie trilogies to survive a bloodthirsty ghost from the past.

The rules to survive the final chapter of a horror movie trilogy, once again, from Randy. This time, however, it’s from beyond the grave from a VHS tape hand-delivered to the OG Woodsboro gang by Randy’s sister Martha Meeks, played by Heather Matarazzo.

  1. You’ve got a killer who’s gonna be superhuman. Stabbing him won’t work, shooting him won’t work. Basically, in the third one, you gotta cryogenically freeze his head, decapitate him, or blow him up

  2. Anyone, including the main character, can die. This means you, Sid

  3. The past will come back to bite you in the ass. Whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest! Any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you

Scream 3 was released on February 4, 2000. Let’s go back, shall we?

  • We survived Y2K (for any of my younger listeners out there, everyone was afraid that the world would end in the year 2000. Little did we know, we just had to wait about 20 years)

  • Superbowl 34 aired the month prior, and the St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans (which I never knew was a team until prepping for this episode) 23 to 16

  • Faith Hill performed the National Anthem, and the Half Time show performances included Christina Aguilera and Toni Braxton

  • The #1 song in the US on that date: I Knew I Loved You by Savage Garden but I was listening to What a Girl Wants by Christina Aguilera (#2) while my mom was bumping Back at One by Brian McKnight (#4)

  • The Sims video game is officially developed by Maxis for release in North America

Scream 3 is rated R for ‘strong horror violence and language’

Runtime: 1 hr. 56 minutes

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson and Ehren Kruger

Awards: 5 nominations & 6 wins (which doesn’t add up to me, but let’s continue!). Parker Posey was nominated at the MTV Movie + TV Awards of 2000 for Best Comedic Performance and won the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2001

Rotten Tomatoes: 41% on the Tomatometer for critics & 37% for audience score

Where did it place on the Domestic Chart that date? Well, let’s see.

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (10th)

  • Stuart Little (7th)

  • The Green Mile (5th)

  • Next Friday (3rd)

  • Scream 3 (1st grossing $13,309,000)

Scream 4 (2011)

Sidney’s back in Woodsboro on her grown and sexy shit, and promoting her new book, Out of Darkness. Sadly, fate said ‘just kidding’ as she, Gale, Dewey, a group of Gen Z teenagers, and anyone trying to play hero are thrust into the darkness of a new murder spree where the only way to survive is to follow the rules of a horror remake.

The rules to survive a horror movie remake, this time from high-school, self-proclaimed horror movie buff (and Randy 2.0) Robbie Mercer played by Erik Knudsen.

  • If you want to survive in a modern-day horror movie, you pretty much have to be gay

  • You have to have an opening sequence

  • New versions are always 2.0, so the latest technology is always involved and integral to the plot. This means the killer may start filming the murders

  • Virgins can die now

  • Unexpected is the new cliché

  • The death scenes have to be way more extreme (looking at you, Olivia’s death scene)

  • Don’t fuck with the original

Scream 4 was released on April 15, 2011. Let’s go back, shall we?

  • Superbowl 45 aired that January, and the Pittsburg Steelers beat the Green bay Packers 25 to 31. Christina Aguilera performed the National Anthem (later this year, on the same day that Scream 4 released, she divorced her husband of 5 years, Jordan Bratman). The Halftime show included performances from The Black-Eyed Peas, Usher, and Slash

  • The #1 song in the US on that date was ET by Katy Perry ft. Kanye West requesting alien sex from the pop diva

Scream 4 is rated R for ‘strong bloody violence, language, and some teen drinking’

Runtime: 1 hr. 51 minutes

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson

Awards: 6 nominations & 1 win at the Golden Trailer Awards for Best Horror Poster

Rotten Tomatoes: 60% on the Tomatometer for critics & 56% for audience score

Where did it place on the Domestic Chart that date? Well, let’s see.

  • Insidious (4th)

  • Scream 4 (2nd grossing $8,241,236, which is roughly $5 million less than the previous film)

  • Rio (1st)

Scream (2022)

Sidney’s out for a calming jog when she gets the call, and it’s not an offer to extend her car warranty. After reassuring the caller that she keeps that thang on her, she returns to Woodsboro to help stop the murders twenty-five years after they began. However, if she or any of the new killers’ victims want to survive, they’ll need to brush up on their requels first.

The rules to survive a horror movie requel, this time from Dewey.

  1. Never trust your love interest

  2. The killer always has something to do with the past

  3. The first victim always has a circle of friends that the killer is part of


  1. Gale adds, “The movie always goes back to the original”

  2. Sam adds, “Never play with the daughter of a serial killer”

Scream ‘22 was released on January 14th, 2022. What was happening on that day?

  • Elon Musk announces on Twitter that Teslas are buyable with Dogecoin

  • The world is still plagued by COVID19, and the Biden administration announces that free at-home tests will begin shipping soon

  • Joe Rogan and Spotify are publicly dragged by doctors for spreading false tea on COVID19 to millions through his podcast

Scream ‘22 is rated R for ‘strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references’

Runtime: 1 hr. 54 minutes

Director: Radio Silence (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett)

Writer: James Vanderbilt, Guy Busick, and Kevin Williamson

Awards: TBD

Rotten Tomatoes: 76% on the Tomatometer for critics & 81% for audience score

Where did it place on the Domestic Chart that date? Well, let’s see.

  • Nightmare Alley (14th)

  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage (13th)

  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (12th)

  • The Matrix Resurrections (10th)

  • West Side Story (9th)

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2nd)

  • Scream (1st grossing $13,383,642 which is roughly $5 million more than the previous film)

Whew! That made me want to rewatch Scream 3, so that's exactly what I'm going to do. Thanks for reading!

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