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Amazing Russian Doll Maker Creates Mogwai As Horror Icons



Oili Varpy is a Russian doll maker who has a love of Mogwai creatures from Gremlins. But she also adores horror movies (and all things pop culture). She merges her love of these two things by handcrafting some of the cutest, most incredible figures this side of NECA. Her attention to detail is absolutely incredible and she manages to keep the cuteness of the Mogwai while still making them menacing and recognizable. Remember she is creating these icons in their pre-gremlin form.

Doll Maker Oili Varpy

Before you go any further, we must issue a WARNING: There are many scams on social media that exploit Varpy’s craft and offer to sell these dolls for almost pennies. These companies are swindlers that show up in your social media feeds and offer to sell you items that you never get once your payment goes through. You will also know they are scams because Varpy’s creations range from $200 – $450. In fact, it can take up to almost a year for her to complete a piece.

Not to worry, we can ogle her work from our desktops as we browse through her collection for free. Still, she deserves some praise. So if you can afford one of her pieces hit her up, or just head over to her Instagram and give her a follow or a word of encouragement.

We will provide all of her legitimate info in links at the end of this article.

Pennywise/Georgie Mogwai
Mogwai as Chucky

Mogwai as Art the Clown
Mogwai as Jigsaw
Mogwai as Tiffany
Mogwai as Freddy Krueger

Mogwai as Michael Myers

Here is Oili Varpy’s Bootsy page her Instagram page and her Facebook page. She used to have an Etsy store but that company no longer does business in Russia.

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Why Christopher Landon Is Perfect For Scream 7



If you’re a Scream fan then the past few months have been a mixed bag of emotions, but importantly, have still been one hell of a time if you love the franchise. We have ridden joyously on the high-octane waves of blood that Scream VI shed, with most fans leaving theatres with huge, satisfied grins, but the months since then have been fueled with rumours and speculation.

Scream VII Fan Poster by Creepy Duck Design

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett of Radio Silence have left fans teetering on the edge of their seats as to if they would return for a seventh installment of the hugely popular franchise. Scream 7 to many seemed inevitable after Scream VI‘s success, but from early interviews with the duo it seemed like they might be ready to pass on the baton. Now, after months of literal radio silence the metaphorical mask has been pulled off, revealing that Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett would be stepping down as directors and Christopher Landon, director of Happy Death Day and Freaky, would be taking over.

Director Christopher Landon (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Rejoice. Scream will continue, for at least one more film and it’s looking even more possible that the wishful October start date could realistically be met. Radio Silence have no doubt left a lasting impression and have done a commendable job through their passionate, sharp direction and love for the movies, gaining them a sizable amount of respect, even from those fearful of tarnishing Wes Craven’s legacy.

Scream (2022) was a fitting tribute to the late, beloved director and Scream VI showed how unhinged the franchise could go, stirring up an exciting world of possibilities and proving that Scream is far from being killed off. Radio Silence, Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt have set out a blueprint that many fans want to see accentuated and built-upon in future movies. The fans collectively want to see the franchise continue to push itself, delving further into the brutality and enigma of Ghostface. More intense and meaningful kills. Elaborate motives and moments.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett on the set of Scream VI

Taking on a franchise as huge and successful as this and being the creative force to spearhead Scream‘s possible future is no small feat, so it’s lucky that Scream isn’t the only franchise the Los Angeles born director has taken the reins of. Here’s just a few movies and reasons why Landon feels like the perfect man for the job.


Landon wrote the 2007 Shia LaBeouf starring Hitchcock-inspired psychological thriller, directed by D.J. Caruso. With its themes of isolation and its creepy tone, two things I believe need to be injected more into the modern era Scream franchise, Landon does a great job building this intensity in those fear-inducing moments as well as creating cute, funny interaction between characters, something that Scream is already well-known for. Scream could use a few more jump scares and scenes of cheek-clenching suspense… which brings us to…

Disturbia Movie Still


More specifically, Landon wrote parts 2, 3, 4 and Next of Kin as well as The Marked Ones, which he also directed. The dread here is a little more tangible than in Disturbia. Although it is a world away from Scream, the Paranormal Activity movies demonstrated a clear understanding of atmosphere, something that will contribute nicely to the Scream franchise, as well as even more entertaining chemistry between The Marked Ones leads.

At the point of writing it’s unclear if Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt will return to write Scream 7 and whether Landon will have a part in co-writing is currently unknown, but as an established screenwriter with undeniable talent for realising disturbing and haunting ambience as well as enjoyable interplay between characters, any input he has will surely be beneficial for Scream‘s next phase.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones


Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U were both directed by Landon, who also took over full writing duties on its sequel, and Freaky was directed and co-written by him. The time travelling, groundhog day slasher and the twisted body-swapping take on Freaky Friday are more inside Scream‘s genre, even if they’re a little more whacky. Dark, sharp and a little unconventional, they demonstrate the similar light touches of darker humour at Scream‘s core, which will come in handy in those moments between escaping Ghostface’s blade.

Understanding that Scream is not only dark but darkly humourous is integral to any writer or director involved in the franchise. To strip that completely would be to remove a key aspect of why Scream is what it is. Whilst I myself and a huge number of fans don’t want to see the franchise head down a slapstick or overtly comedic path, that black humour is deep into Scream‘s blood. Let’s hope the franchise can grow darker in tone but keep the humour that helps make Scream what it is.

Happy Death Day

Radio Silence gained their share of criticism and praise, both before and after their hiring, and I’m sure Landon will receive the same. A franchise that is nearly 27 years old is one that is vehemently protected by its fanbase. We all just want the best for it as well as keeping Craven’s legacy alive. What we need is a force that can truly push the franchise into even newer territory, beyond the gates that Radio Silence have opened.

With Landon’s prowess for chilling horror, character development and comedic touch I myself am very confident he can do this beloved franchise justice, whilst adding a boost of atmospheric horror into the mix. I’m even a supporter of what Buswick and Vanderbilt have done, as Scream VI was a bold step and progression, even if it was a little random in the body count. Little touches of creativity, fresh ideas and boldness are what drives a franchise with six movies already under its belt into one that still fires on all cylinders 27 years later. Landon directing and co-writing would be the ideal situation.

As mentioned in my previous article, Unmasking Ghostface, I detailed how and why the Scream movies are able to adapt, evolve and survive so long into new generations without losing what made it so special decades ago. Any director can bring something to the franchise to help evolve it further, but Landon has enough eclectic understanding to inject something truly special into it. The foundations are there, so whether Sam’s story is to be continued or it’s a fresh start, Landon’s inclusion in the franchise can only build to greater things. Welcome to the family, Christopher Landon.

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Killing the Shark vs Eating the Protagonist: When Animals Deserve to Win In Horror Movies




I was asked recently, as an animal person, how I feel about the killer animal genre. First, let me explain “animal person.” Like many, I’ve always had a tender heart for animals but, in 2003, I saw a film that completely changed how I viewed human/animal relationships. The film, Fast Food Nation, is not a part of the genre I’m going to talk about here, but it kickstarted the feelings that would lead to this article. From there, I have tried my best to learn about animals, treat them respectfully, and avoid exploitation as much as possible. My feelings towards killer animal movies shifted. It didn’t disappear, it just changed a little. How? Well, it’s a complicated relationship.

As a kid, my grandfather never missed a chance to sit me down in front of Monstervision with Joe Bob Briggs or his favorite Harryhausen film. I got accustomed to seeing humans as food for dinosaurs and every strange creature imaginable really quickly. The idea of a monster eating you was the most horrible thing I could think of as a child. Truly the stuff of nightmares. So, naturally I gravitated towards it.

When you took this idea away from the fantastical creatures and applied it to something like a shark it became even scarier to me. Sharks exist. Alligators exist. You can’t reason with them. They aren’t even doing it out of some deeper evil or hate of the human race. They are just hungry, and nature can be a ruthless thing. These animals live everywhere, the sea, the swamp, the mountains. The idea that you could be on vacation and find yourself in the coils of an anaconda or in the claws of a grizzly is one that has kept humans terrified since the beginning of time.

Alligator (1980)

It’s interesting to see how storytellers turn these animals into monsters and how that can inform your feelings about their work. I think your relationship with animals and your beliefs on the treatment of animals definitely influences your feelings on the matter, but I also believe both extremes can coexist. At a certain point in my life, I became more aware of the plight of animals, you get to a point where when you watch some of these movies and you’re rooting for them more than the human characters.

I noticed there were certain stories where the animals seemed vilified for no reason other than being animals; other times there are changes to the creature to give it that “monster” status. The alligator is a mutant or a prehistoric relic lost in time. The sharks’ are really big or their brains have been experimented on. Sometimes it’s as lazy as changing the color of the whale to white. “Look! It’s different from the others, it’s a monster!” Always accompanying these grab bag traits comes ultra aggressiveness. The want, the need, to destroy any human in its path. But this is why you can cheer along with Chief Brody as the shark rains down upon the open ocean.

Some choices make a little more sense than others. Sharks, alligators, lions and bears have all been known to take human life. Accident or not, as rare as it is, it happens. But there are movies out there about killer rabbits, frogs, whales. It doesn’t matter if they have teeth or not. The storytellers will think of a way for them to eat you.

Monstro – Pinocchio

The whale in Pinocchio is named Monstro. They literally named it “Monster.” Subtle. It was a giant of the sea with deadly teeth and terrible eyes, swallowing everything in sight with no remorse. There has never been a verified death caused by a whale in the wild. Four people have died from whales in captivity, three of those were from the same whale! Hmm, maybe not a great idea to keep whales captive. Nevertheless, Pinocchio shows us how terrifying sperm whales are when we’re children. The fear is instilled in us. A sperm whale seems like such a weird choice to make a villain and Pinocchio wasn’t even the first to do it. Moby Dick was written in 1851. We don’t have time to dive into all the meanings behind the story but, on its surface, it’s about a man going crazy at the idea of killing a whale.

Moby Dick is treated as a nightmare beast from beyond but…he’s just a whale. Ahab is out for revenge for losing a leg to the great animal but his leg was taken while he was trying to kill Moby Dick for his blubber. This is exactly what I’m talking about. We’re shown over and over how terrible and dangerous these animals can be but we ignore that so often the humans are the aggressors. Moby Dick is based on a true story but The Essex, the ship in the true story, was sunk by a whale being hunted. An animal fearing for its life. Sperm whales were being wiped out and just one fought back. The whale is not the one at fault here.

Moby Dick

Maybe as an animal lover I subconsciously want the animal to win no matter the scenario. So many times the humans are jerks anyway. But what about Jaws? You can’t help but to smile at that look on Brody’s face when he realizes he’s not going to die. Even though Steven Spielberg wanted to keep the shark within realistic dimensions, it’s basically portrayed as an underwater Michael Myers. It stalks and kills in a way that sharks don’t actually do. It’s so unrelenting and terrifying that, when it dies, it feels like you’re finally able to breathe. Look, there are hours of content out there explaining why Jaws is a perfect movie and I’m not going to refute any of it. In fact, it’s so well made that it’s probably not fair for me to even be mentioning Jaws here. Let’s move on.

I’m not saying it’s never okay to kill an animal in movies. I’m not saying there should be rules to follow. If it’s going around acting like a monster and the end result is a dead animal, I can live with that. I can put my bleeding heart aside and enjoy a “monster” movie. If the animal in question is a menace to Amity Islands economy, then sure, kill the shark. If the alligator is eating entire wedding parties, you’re probably going to have to kill the alligator.

But if the animal is only acting out because of the actions of a human and is just trying to exist in its natural habitat, I’m going to root for the animal. In my constant consumption of the genre I’ve encountered a few extremes in both directions. Recently, a few of these extreme examples are what got me obsessing over this topic.

I grew up watching Lewis Teagues’ Alligator. I still have drawings from when I was a kid of the beast and its victims. The animal in this film is a mutant menace. Crashing weddings and destroying city property. It doesn’t matter what real alligators are like because this one is a monster in an alligator’s clothing. This creature hides in swimming pools and eats unsuspecting children. This movie is silly, fun, and ruthless, and the animal is so far removed from reality that it always gets a pass from me. And even though they kill it in the end, they make sure to show us a baby has survived.

Alligator Trailer

Because of this film, I was super excited to read Shelley Katz’s novel, Alligator. Even though there’s no relation to the film, I made the mistake of assuming they would be similar. I bought three copies because I needed the different cover art and had just received the Centipede Press Special Edition. Let me make it clear, I’m not complaining about Shelley’s writing. Her more than competent skills transport you directly into the bowels of the swamp, and when the alligator does have its time to shine, it’s unforgettable. My issue is in the narrative. This book begins with the death of two poachers. Come on, you can’t expect me to feel bad about that, right?

As the story progresses your main characters are a group of rednecks that set out to find and kill an animal of record breaking size. And they succeed. Am I supposed to feel good about that? This creature never goes out of its way to eat anyone. It’s not on a rampage in populated areas, it’s just living its life in the beautiful swamp until men go out of their way to kill it. After 269 pages, when the animal is dead and the poacher is alive, what am I supposed to feel? Is the point of the book that humans suck? If so, point taken.

Or are some storytellers scared to trust the audience to side with an animal over a human being? Am I in the minority? Would most people feel more remorse if the human died and the animal lived even if the human is a walking pile of garbage?

Orca (1977)

That brings me to the 1977 film, Orca. It gave its main character a sympathetic backstory the book didn’t include so the audience would feel better about the absolute jerk he’s been the entire time. The film erases most of his racist overtones but not his sexism. At one point, he insinuates that he will leave the whale alone in trade for sex. This man not only tries to catch the male Orca, he hangs up its mate and watches her give birth to a stillborn calf on the deck of his boat before leaving the mother tied up to slowly suffocate.

The audience is then subjected to watching the poor male Orca scream in heartbreak and agony as he’s forced to watch. And we’re supposed to relate to this man? Sure, the whale goes on to terrorize a village and a few people lose their life (or limbs) in the process, but it all happens because he was provoked! It’s all because of the actions of Captain Campbell. He’s the real monster here.

The movie, at least, changes the ending and lets the whale exact his revenge, but not before a scene in which our captain explains that he’s going to look the whale in the eye and tell it how sorry he is. Awww, poor captain Campbell.

Dark Age (1987)

In 1987 the lesser-known Australian film, Dark Age, delivered the gold standard. It features John Jarratt as a park ranger whose job was to work out what to do with a massive crocodile. The local village’s proximity to a water source puts people in danger of becoming a meal. In one of the most memorable scenes, our heroes are too late to save a child from the brutality of nature. But as a part of nature is exactly how the croc is treated by the locals. They respect it. They realize the animal is just doing what an animal does to survive. Again, the poachers are the true villains in this story.

The film pivots to focus on getting the animal to a safe place away from the dangers of the poachers and far enough away from the village so no one else becomes a snack.
This is how a story like this should be told. I can indulge in the horror and intrigue of seeing a human body become food for a completely apathetic creature and also root for that creature’s survival. More of these movies should have this kind of conclusion.

Most of these specific examples are older works but there’s no lack of modern killer animal movies steadily pumped into our veins. Cocaine Bear also did this right. 95 minutes of a bear eviscerating people, but by the end, you’re rooting for the bear! The animal gets a happy ending even after we watch it rip Ray Liotta’s intestines out.

Ultimately I’m here for every killer animal book/movie. I want to enjoy them all. I just want them to be smart about it. I want to see an animal rampage and absolutely destroy the local human population, but I don’t want to feel depressed if (or when) the animal dies at the end. It’s a balancing act, maybe one that’s easier said than done.

Some might find themselves asking, “why does it matter?” or saying, “it’s just a movie.” Like it or not, as silly as this might sound, some people let movies inform their real life opinions on things. They might take something exaggerated or completely fictional and take it as truth. Research shows that after Jaws was released, there was a 50% decline in shark population. Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, felt so bad about it that he became a conservationist and spent the later years of his life trying to atone. There are probably people reading this that think anacondas are regularly swallowing people but the truth is, that you can buy them at your local pet shop. This places the topic on a whole other level. This is no longer just about making a fun movie, now we’re doing actual damage to wildlife. Is it the job of every storyteller to make sure people know which truth is stretched or made up completely? I don’t think so.

Ultimately it’s on the viewer to do their own research and maybe not take the word of Shark Night 3D. But this is a very real side effect that I don’t think many people think about.

My challenge to you is that next time you find yourself reading or watching an animal making some poor soul its lunch, put yourself in its place. Try to identify the specific traits the storytellers use to change your perception of it. Pay attention to how the humans treat it to begin with. Who’s the aggressor? You might come out of it feeling different about the human protagonists. Or better yet, you might come out feeling different about the animals.

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Unmasking Ghostface: The Undying Legacy of Wes Craven’s ‘Scream’




It all started with a scream. Wes Craven’s seminal horror masterpiece changed slasher movies forever and continues to inspire today. 6 brilliant movies and over 26 years later and still further Scream movies are being discussed. Just when you think the franchise couldn’t possibly get back up, it leaps back to life for one final scare and especially within the past several years has seen a resurgence of excitement from its passionate fanbase. But really, the love for Scream and the call for more movies has never shown signs of fading. There seems to always be an idea that’s too good to ignore, bringing the franchise screaming back for fresh kills.

Scream’s Original Cast

So how does a franchise built upon the same simple idea survive for so long? How does it regenerate itself for new generations to enjoy? Scream’s longevity has many layers and factors as does its brilliance. Its sharp humour and horror commentary, its beloved characters as well as the fact it doesn’t take itself too seriously at times are only a drop in the blood pool of why Scream just feels so damn good to be a fan of. But, two important things stand out to me that truly set it apart from your standard slasher – its villain and the meta blood that permeates each movie. Join me in dissecting what makes our ghostly friend so fitting, undying and commendable as well as exploring why Scream’s self-awareness has become its most significant and lasting feature.

Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

‘His face covered with a ghostly white mask, inches from her… his eyes piercing through… soulless.’ – from Kevin Williamson‘s original script.

The ‘figure‘, the ‘ghost‘, the ‘ghost masked figure‘, we all start somewhere. These and other names were all used in Williamson’s original scripts as the name of the killer. Nowadays we just call him Ghostface thanks to Fun World licensing director R.J. Torbert. The name strikes fear, yet is still playful and reflective of Scream’s unique and dark humour. The mask developed from the basic ‘ghost‘ description in the script and went through various designs before striking gold. How the exact design came about has enough story to fill a two-part documentary, but everyone involved can be thankful that the stars aligned and the right people were put on the job. But, little did anyone know that this icon would grow to be… something different.

The Origin of the Ghost Face Costume

When it comes to whodunit slasher movie villains Ghostface perhaps epitomises perfection. A jet-black, tattered robe and ghoulish white face stretched into a harrowing scream, expressing both fear and pain, and a Buck knife ready to strike in a gloved hand. Three features that can stir up truly satisfying scares, portraying utter menace and showing the face of the unknown, an aspect that is truly synonymous with Ghostface.

With its plain, contrasting colours it’s the nearest thing to a blank canvas as you could get, yet still has one of the most distinctive looks in cinema history. Not only is Ghostface iconic for us as viewers but it has become something many actors have desired to be, gaining a batman-like legendary status in the real world, even amongst the actors who embody him. Just ask Jack Quaid and Jack Champion.

The subject of who exactly is the face of the franchise has caused many riots over the years. Is it Sidney or Ghostface? Well, simply put, Sidney was the perfect final girl to fight the perfect icon. Ghostface is so representative of the franchise that its image has boldly remained the same over the years, instead of taking an anthology-like approach by bringing in a new costume each movie. You only need to see a flash of that white mask to know what you’re watching.

Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

It goes to show how iconic and unbreakable the look is – a sinister, swift shape in black, white and crimson, whose image has barely been altered, only improved upon, such as the mold of the mask, over Scream’s 26+ years in cinema. Amber and Richie’s teched-up Ghostface added modification to the costume for a new generation and Scream 6 used the history of its masks to full, menacing effect, paying respect in its own twisted way to the legacy of Ghostface and each killer who has represented him, as well as using Billy’s aged, decaying mask as the leading face of fear.

Scream VI

Scream has shown that it can do things to the costume to add a touch of uniqueness, to differentiate between movies, but really, its perfect aesthetic and celebrated character is enough for its lasting effect. It’s a case of going for what truly works to instigate terror and making the character as loved and feared as possible so that when he appears on screen it’s believable, not only through the wanted effects of horror but so we as viewers can understand why there is such high regard for this living ghoul. As many Scream fans who have donned the Ghostface costume, including myself, know… it’s a power trip for sure.


It’s important to note that Ghostface should always be viewed as a separate character… an empty, emotionless vessel in which our killer or killers act out their vengeance or thrill kills, using the mask for not only anonymity but as a symbol of justice through death or even sickening homage. The person becomes the killer, adapting to Ghostface’s form and not the other way and requires a certain amount of ‘suspension of belief’ from fans.

Height, shape, gender has no meaning once the robes consume them and they disappear into death’s shroud and is why any Amber debaters will usually end up with fruitless arguments. We aren’t supposed to worry about who exactly delivered the final stab as not even the writers worry too much, although it’s fun to theorise, at times. This is why Ghostface will always be more scary to me than your Jason’s or Freddy’s as Scream is reflective of the reality of the unknown and horror of a volatile society as well as the unstable side of fandoms.

Drew Barrymore in Scream

It’s this unknowing that adds to the darkness of Ghostface, bringing each iteration a true aura of mystery. The idea of a revered antagonist who anyone, and I mean anyone, can adopt the persona of is not only fascinating for a horror fan but something truly frightening to think about. It’s personal and in a sense creates a faceless, human monster. The idea that any vengeance-seeker or fanboy, within the movie and even outside it, could view Ghostface as something to embody is a worrying thought, especially with humanity’s fascination with inspiration from violence.

The fact that Scream is grounded in reality and not the supernatural, bar a few hallucinogenic moments that are best left unspoken of, shows how close the horror is to home. The premise of horror, to me, is more palpably unsettling when it’s about us as humans and Scream plays with the idea of the unknowing fear of ‘anyone’, and the closeness of inner circles and friendship groups in particular, with terrifying effect. Which of your friend group could snap?


It’s very rare to have a costumed killer who isn’t one specific person beneath the mask that has as much influence and iconic stature as Ghostface has achieved. All this from what is basically a Halloween costume. It’s no wonder why it went on to be America’s most sold seasonal costume in reality. The genius of simply making the killer’s outfit one that is easily accessible to anyone further allows Ghostface to live on throughout time and haunt whoever he pleases. In a way Ghostface belongs to anyone and everyone and is already a sadistic thought in the back of any of the killer’s heads, like a symbiotic skin ready to crawl into and wreak havoc.

The legend of Ghostface is undeniable and in the world of the movies there is further reason to laud him with many intricate filmic motives to expand Scream’s lifeline that we’ll briefly touch upon later as well as Stab and its cult of fans providing a more widespread craze that gives the unknown that extra layer of concern. The chilling fact that anyone can have any reason to pull on the costume truly gives Ghostface his longevity. Ghostface is undoubtedly one of cinemas most clever creations and has the ability to evolve through his iterations more so than any other horror icon can, making him a truly unstoppable concept.

But an aesthetically pleasing, idolised and adaptable villain isn’t the only factor in Scream’s success or ability to outlast generations. The fact that Scream is still around today possibly stems from one very important main detail – its self-awareness. Scream has always been imbued with ‘meta’, the idea that the film itself can be self-aware and transcend the limits of its on-screen boundaries. Meta bleeds through its story and is unleashed in every slash of the blade, setting it apart from conventional slashers.


Kevin Williamson’s original introduced this element alongside the more obvious whodunit aspect and perhaps cemented the franchise’s future without him even realising. Scream could have been a straightforward slasher with no inclusion of its now famous meta elements and could have easily faded in the wrong hands as just another horror movie, albeit a damn good one. But, it’s a motif that has become the lifeblood of the franchise and the continuation and respect of Williamson’s outside the box genius is partly responsible for Scream’s longevity and, more specifically, its ability to redevelop itself through the changing of time. A movie that knows it’s a movie is a devious playground for creative stories and a world that can further bloom with each installment.

Scream 2 added another nuanced layer of meta-ness to Scream’s lasting success story by introducing Stab, the movie within a movie, which allowed the franchise to open doors and dive further into those meta aspects, truly confirming its endurance, as well as making Mickey’s crazed motive to literally blame the movies, making us as viewers aware that a slasher movie didn’t have to stay in the confines of vengeance. Both genius moves, especially with the motive being an incredibly brave commentary on its own genre and potentially fuelling risk for future movies to be considered too dangerous to produce if any viewer became ‘inspired’.

‘Stab’ Fan Poster

Scream 3 continued to inject Stab into the franchise by immersing us in self-referential nods and Scream 4 planted the seeds of fandoms turning psycho with Charlie’s lovesick Stab fanatic playing lackey to Jill’s fame-hungry mastermind, further accentuating Scream’s ability to look outwards to its own real genre to inspire the fiction within. This self-aware universe has shaped Scream’s future to one that is significantly more free than most slasher movies could ever dream to be.

Scream (2022) reignited the franchise after a ten year hiatus and even parodied its own rebooting as well as daring to poke fun at toxic fanbases and even its own, something that any Scream fan is all too familiar with. The killers may get their criticism but the motive was actually a very smart and inventive way of reintroducing the world and further showed the opportunities that this meta universe offers the franchise. Like Scream 6‘s subway route of killer and character connections, Scream’s breadth of possibilities can be viewed in a similar way, like a brainstorm with ideas interconnecting to infinite options. Scream already has a history of almost lampooning itself in clever ways and therefore more layers and branches are added, unravelling an extended world of creative directions, of which Scream has proven to be a goldmine.


Scream has the unique gift of being able to use standard slasher tropes to fuel its stories and motives, working perfectly fine as a good old fashioned vengeance movie, but having the option to draw influence from brilliant filmic ideas. This allows Scream to not only look to its own fictional Stab franchise and any amount of story that may be inspired by this, but to look outside of its contained world into reality. Scream can twist perception to become beyond self-aware, using not only horror but movie cliches and tropes in general as inspiration. Sequels, trilogies, reboots, requels, hell, even a prequel is still a crazy possibility. As the world of movies evolve, so does Scream with it, adapting just like a killer adapts to the Ghostface costume, and that is why as long as there are movies and a spark of ingenuity there will be life in the Scream franchise.

The eclectic world of Scream has also been bolstered by the very fandom created from it. It’s a unique situation many franchises lack that offers fans a more personal connection to the movies, elevating it into something more meaningful than just a simple series of slashers. Radio Silence, Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt have understood the importance of fan connection perhaps more than any and regardless of if they’re involved in Scream’s future have still planted many seeds in honour of the fanbase that will surely be nurtured. A Ghostface unmasked and killed in the opening scene, two Ghostface’s on screen at once and of course the synchronised double blade wipe, all these started as simple wants or needs from its passionate fanbase and have made their way into the final cut with an excited response. The fans themselves deserve acknowledgement for the staying power of the movies and with each one released more ‘what ifs’ are conjured up, providing the franchise with even more creative power and making Scream forever thrilling and surprising.

Scream’s inventiveness seemingly knows no bounds and as Scream 6 proved, a future of freshly gory and even unconventional possibilities could be on the cards. Not bad for the simple concept of a costumed killer eliminating teens. Even with the correct formula, it still amazes me how Scream constantly reinvents itself and still feels so exciting over 26 years on from the original, and that’s partly due to the genius of Ghostface’s adaptability and the vast, meta galaxy that’s been built around him. Some may look at Scream and wrongly think that it’s just a repetition of the same formula, but it’s far more intricate and balanced with reality than they realise. Scream is a perfect synthesis of killer, film and fandom, feeding itself in a continuous cycle. Whatever version of Scream we will see, its wide-range of motive and story combinations will see its creativeness endure for a long while.

Ghostface and Jenna Ortega in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

Longevity of course not only relies on the subjects already discussed but where story can go as well as what you can do with the characters. Scream 6 broke down the barriers a little more and showed how far the franchise could go, expanding further on Sam’s psychological battle and giving the atmosphere a disturbing, no-holds barred feel. Ghostface’s maniacal Voorhees-esque rampage through New York added a burst of aggression as if suggesting a rejuvenation or new direction. It certainly gave me the feeling that this isn’t some tired franchise hoping to curl up and die and each time Ghostface appears on screen it still gave me the appropriate chills, perhaps more so than other movies have. There was urgency in our Ghostface as well as in the sharp direction and all-out approach from Radio Silence, giving fans a sense of ‘please don’t stop there, give us more’.

RS, Buswick and Vanderbilt have certainly given the fans a new hope and the proof that this franchise doesn’t need ten year gaps in between movies to be amazing or inventive. After Scream 6’s successful reception it felt as if nothing could stop this two year thrill-ride, but things have slowed down a little as we await on a definite Scream 7 start date. The excitement within the fanbase though is still buzzing more than ever with many of us curious as to where the direction of these movies could head to, especially coming off the back of Scream’s most daring entry. Horror fans are even speculating if any of the new generation’s key players will return or will Scream 7 feature yet another new story and cast, as it could easily manage to pull off.

Scream VI

Early interviews after Scream 6’s release hinted at an injection of ‘new blood’ and rumours suggested production was looking to begin around October, so with Radio Silence and Scream’s main stars busy on other productions on top of various strikes, for the time being it’s looking like we are at the very least in for a gruelling wait. Maybe Scream 7 just needs a little extra time to cook up.

But, where next? Will Radio Silence return to make a concluding chapter in their trilogy (echoes for dramatic effect) or does the story move on from Sam? You could view Sam’s dropping of Billy’s mask at the end of Scream 6 as a complete conquering of darkness and a conclusion to her story or as something that could be picked up and easily continued. I myself feel there is more to tell but am open to more stories if that’s the case. Of course the endless call for Neve Campbell to return as Sidney Prescott is still a large possibility, a never say never situation. The franchise though may need to continue to push itself further into fresher blood to keep up its run of survival. Whilst I don’t want to see a ‘Ghostface Takes Paris’ or *gulp* ‘Stu’s Revenge’, and Scream is far from scraping the bottom of the barrel, I do believe Scream still has the freedom to do things that are more in the realm of the offbeat and still gain its praise. More stories expanding on multiple killers for example or heading further down the Inception-like hole of movies within movies are only a small handful of options.

If it’s new directors, new writers or a new cast, Scream will still be just fine as long as there’s something new to bring to the table and with the adaptability of its villain and meta themes that shouldn’t be too hard to do. Whilst some may groan at the idea of future movies and wonder why fans demand even more, I genuinely believe that if there were a Scream 9 for example it still has the ability to be the best of all the movies, it’s that kind of franchise. It has enough of a successful past as well as filmic freedom to be just that, it’s just about finding the right combination of everything Scream has learnt and accumulated over these 26 bloody years and unleashing it in the form of something fresh and creative using the brilliant template it’s already lucky to have. Its legacy has been well-earned and can easily adapt and survive beyond this generation into the next. There’s copious amounts of blood left, not only to spill, but to pump through this iconic franchise. There’s plenty more story to be told, no matter whose hands it’s in.

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