It’s not an insult to say that the Scream franchise peaked with the first scene in the first movie. The rest of the 1996 film is really good, too, and the sequels fall between watchable and highly enjoyable (I stand by Scream 3 being better than its reputation), but man, it’s hard to beat that first scene. If you somehow missed both Scream and Scary Movie, which begins the same way, the movie kicks off with high school student Casey Becker answering a phone call from a mysterious man on the other line. They discuss horror movies before the conversation turns sinister: “Why do you want to know my name?” “Because I want to know who I’m looking at.” Minutes later, Casey is dead after the masked killer, known as Ghostface, sees what her insides look like.
That’s not how things are supposed to happen. Drew Barrymore, the biggest star in the movie, isn’t supposed to die in the first scene. But that’s one of the reasons why Scream is so good, and according to Barrymore, it was partially her idea to get murdered.
“In the horror film genre, my biggest pet peeve was that I always knew the main character was always going to be slugging through at the end but was going to creak by and make it,” Barrymore explained on Hot Ones. “What I wanted to do is to take that comfort zone away. I asked if I could be Casey Becker, so that we would establish that rule does not apply in this film.” The rest is horror movie history.