Why it’s time 'Scream' left Neve Campbell's Sidney behind (spoilers)

·7-min read
Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), left, and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's
Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott), left, and Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream."

Warning, major Scream (2022) spoilers ahead

Cue Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ ‘Red Right Hand’, give Courteney Cox a dodgy haircut, and prepare an updated list of the rules — it’s time to return to Woodsboro for a new chapter of Scream.

It’s been 10 years since the slasher series carved a name for itself at the box office, but with a new killer/killers behind the mask, Scream (in cinemas now) bridges the gap between generations.

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett expertly pitched Melissa Barrera’s Sam Carpenter as the new Sidney while — alongside Sam — plenty of the fresh-faced cast limped through to a potential sequel. The question is, after 26 years of hearing “Hello, Sidney," could it be time to put Neve Campbell’s fearless fighter out to pasture for the inevitable Scream 6?

Read more: Why Neve Campbell resisted Scream 5

There are only so many times you can go through the wringer with Ghostface before you’re destined for the ground.

Passing the torch

Melissa Barrera (“Sam”) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's
Melissa Barrera (Sam) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream."

Just like Mikey Madison’s Amber said before her fiery farewell, it could be time to pass the torch. Remember that Scream was originally thought to be a full reboot that would include an entirely new cast. Even though we were over the moon that the original trio of Sidney, Gale, and Dewey came back, Campbell’s return wasn’t revealed until six months after the movie was first announced. Scream was drumming up plenty of interest long before Sid was attached for a fifth stabathon.

Read more: The lost Scream twists that would have changed the series

Elsewhere, 2022’s Scream had a tasty body count while leaving more than enough characters to carry the next chapter. Barrera already proved she has the chops to take over as the next final girl, and her tie to Billy Loomis ticks the box of an interesting backstory. Jenna Ortega’s Tara and Jasmin Savoy Brown’s Tara Carpenter and Mindy Meeks-Martin were well-rounded supporting characters, meaning their fan-favourite status is primed for a return.

THE KELLY CLARKSON SHOW -- Episode 1084 -- Pictured: Melissa Barrera -- (Photo by: Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Scream star Melissa Barrera on The Kelly Clarkson Show (Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Even if we don't yet have a trio in the vein of Sid, Gale, and Dewey, Sam and Tara have an altogether more promising premise as the lead is haunted by the memories of her father - a nod to Sidney’s supernatural visions of Maureen Prescott in Scream 3. Having Sam follow in the footsteps of Billy to become a final girl and killer in one might be a little My Bloody Valentine 3D, but it would be a twist for the ages and differentiate her from Sidney.

Sidney’s happy ending

(L-R) Actors Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette attend the World Premiere of The Weinstein Company's
(L-R) Actors Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette attend the World Premiere of "Scream 4", 2011 (Getty)

If you’d asked us whether it was time to wave goodbye to Sid when Scream 4 bowed out, we’d probably have said 'no'. Her book tour was in tatters and her villainous cousin had been offed, but there was any number of ways her story could’ve continued.

Ironically, it was the maligned Scream 3 that previously gave Ms. Campbell the best chance of closure. The latest Scream closed the door in a similar fashion with a clever Easter egg harking back to the 2000 threequel. Eagle-eyed fans noticed that when Ghostface kicked off the latest Woodsboro massacre, Dewey phoned Sidney and asked, “How’s Mark?”

Although Patrick Dempsey doesn’t reprise his role as Detective Mark Kincaid from Scream 3, we’re pretty sure her baby daddy is Grey's Anatomy’s McDreamy. Despite promising Dewey she’d stay away, Scream already had a flimsy premise of Sidney coming back into the bloodbath to keep her family is safe. Seriously, how many times are we going to pull that one?

Gale force winds

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 04:  Courteney Cox attends Omnipeace 2nd Annual Gala
Courteney Cox in 2019 (Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Just because we leave Sidney at home with the kids, that doesn’t mean Scream 6 has to discard the legacy of what came before. These days, it’s a close-run race on whether Sidney or Cox’s Gale Weathers is a favourite among die-hard Screamers. It simply makes more sense for Gale to stick around as a tie to the old days.

As much as it would’ve been charming for Dewey and Gale to return to their suburban bliss, fate intervened. Assuming Gale will continue her knack for sniffing out a good story, another spree could easily lure her back to Woodsboro. We say bring back the hard-faced Gale who has nothing to lose and can deliver a one-liner like a poison dart.

Gale has always been at her best when she’s looking out for numero uno, so we’d love the return of the Scream 2 version that Sidney so brilliantly smacked in the face.

Stu gotta be kidding me?

Actresses Hayden Panettiere (L) and Emma Roberts attend the
Hayden Panettiere (L) and Emma Roberts attend the "Scream 4" premiere after party, 2011 (Getty)

Gale isn’t alone in her potential as a blast from the past to fill a Sidney-shaped void. Although Wes Craven’s Scream 4 saw most of the new characters leaving in a body bag, he famously said on the movie’s commentary that Hayden Panettiere's Kirby Reed was supposed to survive her brush with Ghostface. As another homage to the dearly departed director, Scream includes a YouTube Easter egg promoting “Interview with Woodsboro Survivor Kirby Reed.”

As well as Kirby, there needs to be more time for Heather Matazarro’s Martha Meeks, and what about another major player some expected to return? Yes, we know it seemed Matthew Lillard’s Stu Macher met his maker when Sidney dropped a TV on his head in the OG Scream, but even Lillard himself believes Billy’s goofy accomplice is out there.

Read more: Where are the cast of Scream now?

Kevin Williamson’s original draft of Scream 3 had Stu mastermind a cult of killings from behind bars, so it would be easy for the inevitable Scream 6 to make his resurrection canon. Couple any of the above with even more newcomers AND Sidney, and things are getting Scream 4 level of crowded.

Sidney Prescott, final girl

Arquette really wants Neve Campbell to reprise her role as Sidney Prescott (Image by Dimension Films)
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott (Image by Dimension Films)

If Sidney is back for Scream 6, it would put her in the firing line for a Cotton Weary-esque kill in the early stages, and a deadly repeat of Halloween: Resurrection’s infamous desecration of Laurie Strode.

It seems like an injustice to have Sidney survive five (technically nine) killers and meet her maker for shock value alone, but if you don’t let Sidney bow out now, it looks increasingly likely this is the way things are heading. Even if Sid sits this next one out, that doesn’t mean her arc is done.

Sidney Prescott has had a hard run, so why not let her rest and then return for a potential Scream 7 and round off this era? If anything, it's could be time to test a Campbell-free entry. We say, let Sidney live up to her celebrity status as THE final girl and spend her days playing happy housewife while practising pilates miles away from Woodsboro.

If not, at least we know she has a gun.

Scream is in cinemas now. Watch a trailer below.

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