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The Biggest Plotholes In The Scream Franchise

One of the most notable slasher film franchises is the "Scream" franchise. Featuring five films (and another premiering in 2023) and a television series adaptation, the "Scream" franchise has garnered a large fanbase and even addressed the damages of toxic fandom. Since the first "Scream" film from Wes Craven in 1996, "Scream" sequels and adaptations have attempted to continue the legacy of its predecessor, with a story and villain that have changed the game of slasher films.

The "Scream" films feature many famous actors throughout the six that have been made, including Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Drew Barrymore, Matthew Lillard, Emma Roberts, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jack Quaid, and Jenna Ortega. The franchise also managed to create lore within itself of the legend of Ghostface, and even film adaptations within the films about the horrors our beloved final girl Sidney Prescott (Campbell) faced, called "Stab." These "Stab" films are just one of the many meta ways "Scream" references itself and its genre.

For many, "Scream" brings to mind good plot twists, the final girl trope, and the iconic Ghostface. For others, particularly those who have rewatched the films many times or paid especially close attention, the plot of every "Scream" film isn't exactly air tight. Many hardcore fans might recognize some plotholes that make Ghostface's methods too fantastical to believe. For those who might not have caught them, here are 12 of the biggest question marks left throughout the entire "Scream" franchise.

Following Maureen and Phil (Scream 2)

In the second "Scream" film, the audience is watching Windsor College, where Sidney Prescott has chosen to continue her education. However, in true "Scream" fashion, the audience knows the first two characters we see, Maureen Evans (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Phil Stevens (Omar Epps), will be Ghostface's opening kill of the film. The couple and college seniors head to the movies to see a sneak preview of "Stab," the film based on the horrors of the events from the first "Scream" film. Phil has to leave the theater to go to the bathroom. While there, Ghostface hides in the stall next to him and waits until they're the only two left in the bathroom. Phil puts his ear up to the stall after hearing a weird noise, and Ghostface stabs him through the stall and his ear. He then goes back to the theater and stabs Maureen, but the audience thinks it's a stunt until she dies in front of them.

There are a lot of logistics issues at play here, but one of the biggest is how Ghostface found Maureen and Phil. Maureen and Phil are chosen because the new Ghostface is a copycat killer. Maureen is to represent Sidney's mother, and Phil (Steve)ns is to represent Steve, Ghostface's first victim. However, how would Ghostface know they would be at that screening with no online ticketing information or that there was a couple with those names that went to Windsor? The odds of Ghostface being able to coordinate these moving parts are unbelievable.

Phil's bathroom kill (Scream 2)

Another plothole comes from the opening of "Scream 2." When Phil and Maureen head to the movies, Phil tells Maureen he needs to go to the bathroom, so he goes and there are three people in there with him. The two at the urinals leave after Phil enters a stall, but Phil hears the man next to him making a weird noise. He puts his ear up to the stall to see what's going on, and is promptly stabbed through the ear by the real Ghostface, and left for dead in the bathroom.

Here's the problem: Logistically, Ghostface's kill attempt shouldn't have worked. First, how did Ghostface know the bathroom would be empty? Sure, he could've waited in the stall, but even then, how did Ghostface know the person he was stabbing would be Phil if he couldn't see through the stall? How did he know Phil would have to use the restroom? Another big point is, how did Ghostface know that would be the right location to stab through the stall and into his ear? He could've missed it by an inch or two, or by a foot for that matter. But even if he were to get the location right, which is ridiculously convenient, how did Ghostface know the knife would stab through the stall and into his ear? There are a lot of pieces that had to fall into place for this, and it doesn't seem likely they all would.

No one recognizing Billy's mom (Scream 2)

At the end of "Scream 2," the Ghostface killers are revealed to be Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), one of Sidney's friends in her group, and Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf), a local reporter. Here's the catch with Debbie Salt, though: She's actually recognized by Sidney Prescott as being Mrs. Loomis, Billy Loomis' mother. She decided to help with the killings to avenge her son, who is one of the killers in the first "Scream" film, and whom Sidney killed. Mrs. Loomis kills Mickey, and Sidney tells her that her motives are incredibly hypocritical because the only reason Billy was a serial killer in the first place was because of his mother's abandonment.

The fact that Mrs. Loomis is one of the killers isn't what's confusing. What doesn't make sense is how not a single person other than Sidney managed to recognize her at all. Sure, Mrs. Loomis did lose weight and she did have some plastic surgery work done, but as a local reporter, it's shocking that no one who followed the original case recognized this woman. There had to have been fans of the crime who were so invested in Billy Loomis that they knew who Mrs. Loomis is and that she isn't Debbie Salt. Not even Dewey (Arquette) or Gale (Cox), a reporter herself, recognized Mrs. Loomis before Sidney clicked the pieces together. This is absolutely unbelievable.

The entire premise of a single killer (Scream 3)

In "Scream 3," the traditional approach of two killers is abandoned and traded out for one killer. In this film, the director of "Stab 3," Roman Bridger (Scott Foley), is presumed to be murdered by Ghostface after Gale finds his body at his birthday party. Sidney is lured to the house to save Gale and Dewey and discovers the identity of Ghostface to be Roman, who is actually Sidney's half-brother from Sidney's mother. Roman planned to frame Sidney for all of the murders, but after the two of them fight, Roman ultimately is killed.

The explanation of why Roman is motivated to take on the Ghostface role makes plenty of sense. However, what doesn't make sense is how Roman didn't have an accomplice and did all of his by himself. It's entirely unbelievable, especially from a franchise that relies so heavily on the two killers to be able to account for alibis and take out everyone they need to. There's no chance that Roman would've been able to pull off faking his own death and murdering other people, all the while assuming the heavy responsibilities of directing a film. For Roman to be able to execute everything solo would require an incredible amount of luck, but it's just realistically improbable.

Sidney's bulletproof vest (Scream 3)

In "Scream 3," Ghostface lures Sidney to Roman's birthday party, where he's killed everyone except for Dewey and Gale. Sidney has to rescue the two of them before Ghostface murders them, but when she gets there, she figures out the killer is actually Roman and has been the whole time. He faked his death to avoid suspicion and wants to kill Sidney, who is revealed to be his half-sister. In a huge fight, Roman shoots Sidney in the chest, but Sidney survives this and ends up stabbing Roman to death.

It's revealed later that Sidney put on a bulletproof vest, and that's how she survived the fight with Roman. However, it's near impossible that Sidney is wearing a bulletproof vest when she should be in that scene because the audience can see the contour of her chest. If she was really wearing a bulletproof vest, it would flatten her chest. This is possibly an issue of prioritizing seeing Neve Campbell's chest rather than the accuracy of her protection. Either way, it seems her lack of a bulletproof vest is either a plothole or an unfortunate extension of the trend of Hollywood sexualizing women.

Hicks pushing Gale out of the way (Scream 4)

In "Scream 4," the Ghostface killers are revealed to be Sidney's teenage cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) and their friend Charlie (Rory Culkin). Jill tries to kill Sidney and frame Charlie and Jill's ex-boyfriend, Trevor (Nico Tortorella), and claim fame as being the sole survivor of the Ghostface killings. Sidney and Jill go to the hospital, and Dewey, Gale, and Judy (Marley Shelton) show up. When Jill figures out Sidney survived, she heads to her hospital room to kill her. The trio figures out that Jill is the bad one, and Jill holds Gale at gunpoint. Hicks is able to push Gale out of the way, and Sidney then kills Jill once and for all.

This all works — except for one bit. Hicks had no idea that someone had Gale at gunpoint. Dewey calls for Hicks, but Gale wasn't a part of the equation and was safe in her room. For all Hicks knew, Gale could've just been talking to someone. Maybe Hicks could see Gale's body language from outside the door, but her vision looked blocked. She busts in the door and throws Gale out of the way, with no warning whatsoever. Good thing Hicks is good at her job.

Releasing the footage (Scream 4)

In "Scream 4," Sidney's cousin Jill and her friend Charlie are revealed to be the killers behind the Ghostface mask. They get away with a lot and don't reveal their identities to Sidney quickly, but eventually do. This is because Jill's master plan is to frame Charlie and her ex-boyfriend Trevor for all of the murders, kill Sidney so she's out of the picture, and then be the famous sole survivor of the Ghostface killings that have haunted the Prescott family and the town for so long. When they reveal their identities to Sidney, they explain their plan and show Sidney that they've been collecting footage to release when the job was done.

This is where it loses the audience. In the world of the internet and how much sleuthing goes down into true crime cases from fans and even from journalists and authorities, there's no way that Jill and Charlie would get away with this. They couldn't focus on the killing and the video at the same time, so there had to have been some mistake embedded in there; be it a reflection in a window or something else glaring that would give them away. The whole idea is idiotic, but it's a major plothole in Jill's determination to get away with the crime.

Amber seemingly never being hurt (Scream 2022)

In "Scream (2022)," the killers are revealed to be Richie (Jack Quaid), who is Sam's (Melissa Barrera) boyfriend, and Amber (Mikey Madison), who is Tara's (Jenna Ortega) best friend. The reveal brings back the classic two-killers-in-cahoots trope from the franchise and makes sense from both sides of the victims being betrayed. In the big reveal scene, there's a battle between Tara, Sam, and Sidney, all of whom are impacted by these copycat killers. Ghostface, who at these relevant times turns out to be Amber, shows a remarkable amount of resilience to being beaten and even shot. Almost too much resilience.

Think about it: Amber is a young girl with not a lot of padding or strength, so for her to continuously and easily recover from beatings is unrealistic. First, how is Amber able to use such aggressive brute force on Dewey after he shoots her and leaves her for dead? Was she wearing a bulletproof vest? This is never explained. Second, Amber also falls from the top floor of the house and doesn't feel any pain, even though Sidney Prescott, with considerably more experience at taking punishment than her, feels the pain immensely. Amber has a weird healing power that helps her remain resilient throughout the film, but the audience shouldn't buy it.

Judy's kill (Scream 2022)

Part of Amber and Richie's motivation for carrying out these killings is creating more content for a better "Stab" film that set the franchise back on the right track with original characters, a new story, and enough material to create a new reboot of the "Stab" films that framed Sam as the killer because they find out she's Billy Loomis' son. That's why it doesn't make sense why they decide to kill Sheriff Judy Hicks in broad daylight. Ghostface lures Judy into the trap by saying he's going to kill her son, Wes, but then they trick her and kill her instead.

It's the methodology that's problematic and out of character. The murder is in broad daylight, on the front steps of her house, and there were too many moving factors for this to have worked out. When Ghostface called Judy, she could've called for back up to her house to protect Wes. There could've been witnesses on the street that caught the murderer. Wes could've seen the whole thing happen and called for help or left the house to avoid murder. All of it felt too coincidental to have realistically worked out.

Chad doesn't follow his own rule (Scream 2022)

Chad (Mason Gooding), one of Tara's good friends, makes a huge point to explain his rule of surviving horror situations while at a party. When he's making out with his girlfriend, Liv (Sonia Ammar), she tells him that she wants to have sex with him and asks him to take her upstairs. Chad, though flattered, explains that he doesn't trust anyone right now because of all the murders and politely rejects her offer. Liv, furious, storms out of the party. Chad ruins his chances of sleeping with her at this moment, but it's understandable because he doesn't want to risk getting murdered.

That's why a major plothole comes from two seconds later when Chad then decides to do exactly what he said he wasn't going to do and breaks his own code. He gets a sketchy text from Liv that has a GPS tracker of her phone. He follows it, trying to apologize, but the text is a trap set by Ghostface. When Chad gets scared of the situation, he tries to run away, but Ghostface grabs him and murders him before he gets the chance. It makes absolutely no sense that Chad would just follow this text outside in the dark when just a minute before he wouldn't even go upstairs with Liv to have sex. It's contradictory and certainly a plothole.

Sam's hospital door attack (Scream 2022)

Another plothole comes from Sam's hospital attack. When Sam is visiting Tara in the hospital, she gets a call that she excuses herself to take. It turns out to be Ghostface, threatening Sam. While she's in the room alone, Ghostface perfectly times his entrance to bust down the door and attack Sam. They get into a fight, but Sam makes it out without getting killed.

The big question here is: How did Sam not hear that Ghostface was right outside the door? Obviously, she could hear his voice on the phone, but he wasn't whispering. He was directly outside of the door and should've been able to be heard by Sam easily. And no, it can't be chalked up to one killer using the phone while the other killer waits outside the door, because there was no way for the other killer on the phone to have a visual of when to tell Ghostface to burst into the door. This is a smaller plothole, but it just doesn't make much logical sense, unless those doors are the most industrious that exist.

Keeping Tara alive (Scream 2022)

In the first "Scream" film, the killers decide to keep Sidney's dad alive and lock him in the closet. This isn't an act of mercy; rather, they want someone to frame the murders on. However, that is a mistake in and of itself, because it's not 100% likely people would've believed he did it. Either way, in "Scream 2022," Richie and Amber are going for authenticity, so they decide to frame someone else and keep them alive to take the heat of the murders. This all makes sense, but what doesn't align with this plan is why the two kept Tara alive.

Tara is tied up and locked in the closet with her mouth taped shut, and it's Sam who gets her out. However, Richie and Amber weren't trying to blame the murders on Tara, but they were trying to blame them on Sam. Why, then, did they decide to keep Tara alive, as someone who could corroborate Sam's story instead of Amber and Richie's? Some might chalk this up to Amber's love for Tara deep down, but either way, it's a mistake for them to keep Tara alive. The likely answer is that the franchise wanted to keep Jenna Ortega alive for the second film, but it's still not well explained to the audience who are looking for a real reason as to why Tara isn't killed.