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Why Ghostface From Scream 6 Looks So Familiar

It's a funny thing, near-celebrity. You might be one of the more recognizable faces on the planet, but does anyone really know you? Your Margot Martindales, your Kevin Durands, your Stephen Tobolowskys, and Bruce McGills — no matter how many contributions they might make to the hive mind of popular culture, how often they've made us laugh and cry, how many of us would be able to name them on the spot if we ran into them on the street? Too often, it seems, they are treated as exhibits, as living displays, like unnamed orcas whose tank at SeaWorld is the size of the planet; instantly recognizable, but ultimately unappreciated, they swim in circles for our amusement. It's a sad state of affairs.

And so let us take a moment to stem the unforgiving flow of indifference, look into the jet-black eyes of someone who's given us so much, and lovingly if rhetorically, whisper to them, "you matter." For the better part of 30 years, Ghostface has been pouncing onto screens, propping up stories that would otherwise fall flat. His (or her) iconic countenance stares down at us every year from Halloween store merchandise hooks, painfully familiar but impossible to pin down. "How do I know that face?" we ask ourselves, catching a glimpse of him in the trailer for "Scream 6." "Where have I seen him before?"

Sit back, dear reader, and we'll tell you.

Ghostface hits the big time with Scream

Everybody has to start somewhere, and Ghostface is no exception. Still, you have to admit — as career jumping-off points go, starring in a Wes Craven original is nothing to sneeze at.

Plenty of people have probably forgotten that Ghostface appeared in 1996's "Scream," considering how subtle the young performer's role was in the film.

And what a role it was! Imagine the exhilaration of hitting the big screen for the first time, acting opposite show business royalty like Drew Barrymore. Big fans of the franchise will know this already, but if you look carefully during "Scream's" iconic opening telephone sequence, you can spot Ghostface stabbing Barrymore's Casey Becker in the sternum, then dragging her rapidly exsanguinating body into the bushes. If you have trouble clocking him, just look for the teenager drenched in blood — Ghostface is the other one. It's not something that everyone will notice the first time, but it's kind of like the "A113" nods in Pixar movies – once you see it, you can't unsee it.

Did you know Ghostface was in Scream 2?

Success isn't the finish line, it's the start of a whole new marathon — and the world of "Scream" was no exception. Following the critical and financial success of the first film, it didn't take long for Hollywood executives to come scratching at the door, hungry for more delicious horror.

And more delicious horror is exactly what they got, this time in the form of "Scream 2," the title of which is a clever nod to "Scream." A lot changed between movies — in a move that the franchise would never replicate, the second entry featured 100% more Liev Schreiber than its predecessor — but one thing remained the same: Ghostface. Ghostface was there, face as ghosty as ever, slashing folks up real good.

The opening gambit of "Scream 2" is actually sort of a "Where's Waldo?" of Ghostfaces, with a rowdy crowd of filmgoers wearing the character's likeness across the screen. That said, this is another case in which it's easy to spot the man himself if you know what to look for. Just try to spot the guy who's violently murdering Jada Pinkett Smith with a hunting knife — that's your boy.

Want Ghostface some more? Just check out Scream 4

Fast forward to 2011. The world was a markedly different place than it was when the first "Scream" came out. America had a different approach to the world; we were, as a people, more cautious, and more afraid to trust.

What we weren't, however, was tired of "Scream" movies, and "Scream 4" proved it. While its paltry $97 million take at the box office was nothing to write home about, cementing itself as the closest thing to a box office bomb that the franchise had witnessed to date, it saw an uptick in critical response. It was clear that "Scream" still had legs.

And do you know who else still had legs? Ghostface, who used those legs to chase people around and kill them with a large knife. It's no small thing for a legacy actor to survive a decade-plus franchise jump, and it's even more surprising when they stick the landing. Then again, Ghostface has always been full of surprises, and the old boy wasn't done yet — not by a long shot.

Scream 5 just wouldn't be Scream 5 without Ghostface

Where were you in 2022? Learning how to "dougie" in a galaxy-print romper? Listening to Macklemore on your way to the thrift shop? Doing things "Gangnam style" while you Vine'd the Ice Bucket Challenge and checked in on your NeoPets?

That's cool and all, but do you want to know where Ghostface was? He was in Los Angeles, California, rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elite and securing that next big project: starring in "Scream," aka "Scream 5," the soft reboot of the movie that started it all. That's right. Through guile, talent, and perseverance, Ghostface managed what most movie stars can only imagine, going full circle in a beloved franchise and appearing in the contemporary reimagining.

Newline might have replaced their Freddy Krueger, and the studio system may well have burned through a handful of Jasons, but Ghostface? He was firmly established as lightning in a bottle. He wasn't going anywhere.

Definitely, Maybe

In 2008, Ryan Reynolds' movie career was at that awkward middle phase — no longer a guy in a pizza place, not yet an X-Man. Hollywood was still throwing the Canadian icon at various genre walls in the hopes of finding one to which he'd stick.

Case in point: "Definitely, Maybe," a sugary-sweet, bitingly-bitter consideration of the beautiful permanence of genuine love in a world where it can seem unattainable. In the film, Will Hayes (Reynolds) recounts to his daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) the story of how he met her mother, with the identity of the maternal figure shrouded in clever storytelling and unreliable narration.

For many viewers, this outing from "French Kiss" writer Adam Brooks is an adorable corner of rom-com history. Its only stumbling block, according to a vocal minority of critics, was an arguably out-of-left-field sequence in the film's third act in which Ghostface appears unannounced and goes on an 18-minute blood-soaked killing spree. Concluding with the violent stabbing death of beloved performer Kevin Kline's character, Professor Hampton Roth, the rampage would later be outed as a last-minute reshoot, filmed without the director's knowledge at the behest of Universal Studios executives who felt that the movie started to sag on the back end. Still, a paycheck's a paycheck. Go get 'em, Ghostface!

Additionally, the character made an appearance in "Scream 3."