Why Scream’s Sidney Prescott Is The Best Final Girl


The “Final Girl” horror trope has been part of the cultural conversation around horror films for decades. Although it was not officially invented until 1992 by the author, Carol J. Clover, the trope itself has been around much longer, dating back to horror movies of the 1970s and 80s. To the uninitiated, the term “last girl” refers to the last woman standing at the end of a movie. of horror. Thanks to her logical or emotional intelligence, creativity, ability to think on her feet or impressive physique, the final girl is able to outlive the other poor young victims of the film’s masked slasher in order to face the villain in a final battle. .

Classic horror movies like Halloween, Friday 13, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Extraterrestrial, and Freddy all feature the girl’s final trope. It’s the one that pops up over and over again, whether the bloody killer rampage takes place in a suburban neighborhood, a summer camp, or a backcountry farm. But, as later girls like Laurie Strode, Nancy Thompson, and Ellen Ripley have achieved iconic status, there’s another character who not only earns her place in the latest Girls Hall of Fame, but is arguably the last. most awesome girl in horror movie. story: Sidney Prescott.

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The main character of the Scream franchise, Sidney (Neve campbell) has faced more than its fair share of betrayals, trauma, and Ghostface killer targeting from every movie. At the opening of the first film, she already has a plate full of emotions. On the one hand, she faces the murder of her mother the previous year and tries to overcome the negative feelings that surround her. She needs to balance that by doing her best to have a brave face, keep up with her homework, and try to maintain a semblance of normalcy. But when Ghostface begins to target her and her friends, she is forced to face the horrors that quickly present themselves. Her privacy is invaded when she is harassed by a persistent reporter, Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), which unearths negative and unwanted media coverage around the murder of Sidney’s mother. But instead of bemoaning her distress and troubles, Sidney takes control of the situation, defending herself by facing a nagging Gale and slapping her in the face, solidifying her as a force to be reckoned with.

This is further demonstrated in the climax of the film. When it is revealed that her boyfriend, Billy (Skeet Ulrich), is actually behind the murders, Sidney is afraid, but she does not run away. She bravely faces her trauma and the harsh truths about her boyfriend and their relationship head on rather than resorting to cowardice, even when Billy reveals it was him who killed Sidney’s mother since she slept with her father. While it would have been easy for Sidney to pass her problems on to someone else to solve, she takes matters into her own hands, bravely facing her tormentor… and delivering the final knockout blow.


Image via dimensional films

As Screambox office revenue and critical acclaim increased, sequels were lit that turned the 1996 film into a true franchise with scream 2, scream 3, Scream 4, and the upcoming fifth installment, also named Scream. It would have been easy for a longtime franchise manager, Wes craven, and writer, Kevin williamson, to take advantage of brand recognition for the sequels and forgo Sidney’s character development in favor of cookie-cutter follow-ups. Instead, they took what worked in the first movie (the slasher element, its meta-commentary, the clever mix of horror and comedy) while using it as an opportunity to grow and develop her. main character in each subsequent film. The films don’t try to slip on Sidney’s immense trauma, but rather use it to advance the franchise’s narrative. The result is a strong emotional thread that is woven throughout the long series.

In scream 2, Sidney’s character doesn’t become a bland repeat of his arc in the first film. She continues to develop and grow, as she continues to investigate her college murders even after the trauma of the death of her friend, Randy (Jamie kennedy). She decides to uncover the truth behind the bloody rampage of the new Ghostface despite the murders striking even closer to her home. During the film’s climax, Sidney is once again in the foreground. When it is revealed that the killers are Sidney’s friend Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), and mother of Billy Loomis (Laurie Metcalf), Sidney remains fierce during their climactic showdown at the theater. She uses her creativity and intelligence to outsmart the psychotic duo by using various stage props and engineering controls to frighten and distract Ms. Loomis as Sidney escapes her pursuit.


Image via dimensional films

Even after ensuring his own safety by teaming up with Gale and shooting Mickey to death, Sidney once again shoots the already dead Mrs. Loomis in the head, “just in case.” Sidney uses her experience from the climax of the previous film to make sure the killer was executed unequivocally and that she is truly safe. But Sidney knows from the first film that this is just the start of the press storm. She wants to put her recent horrors behind her and ignore the media frenzy that surrounds her. Speaking for herself, she asks the press to direct their questions to Cotton Weary (Liev schreiber). Here, Sidney draws on the courage and courage she has shown in Scream. She not only tries to right her wrongdoing against Cotton, showing her growth following the trauma of her mother’s death, but she also takes full control of her own history and sanity. This end scene shows the deeper and deeper layers of her character as well as a strong consistency with her self-esteem, protection, and ability to move forward in the face of the horrors she has faced.

While it would have been understandable for Sidney to give in to the many physical and emotional wounds she suffered, scream 3 further shows that she is not a character who gives up so easily. Instead, she channels her pain and trauma from her multiple encounters with Ghostface to help others as a crisis phone counselor for abused women, while also preparing for a future encounter with Ghostface that she suspects. to become. After all, Sidney knows better than anyone how it feels to be targeted and pursued by people who wish him harm. His character growth in scream 3 is a prime example of her status as a final girl on many levels in that she makes it her mission to help and comfort women who now find themselves in the same situations that she encountered in her own past.

Sidney has felt a sense of imminent danger since the first Scream. The same is true here. Her hunches are ultimately correct when a new killer strikes and Sidney is forced to leave the safety of her home to investigate. She continues to leap into action, putting her life on the line to save Gale and Dewey’s (David Arquette). When it is revealed that the killer is Roman (Scott foley), Sidney’s half-brother, she again faces shocking news and betrayals with steely ferocity and tenacity. She doesn’t curl up, cry for help, or become a damsel in distress; she holds on and engages him in a fight, perfectly prepared … until the wearing of a bulletproof vest.


Image via dimensional films

Her intelligence, bravery, and desire to help others, even when the world hasn’t been kind to her, is the hallmark of a character in continuous and constant development over the course of three films, and it’s a trend that continues in Scream 4. After years of press attention and media scrutiny, Sidney now faces it when she returns home to Woodsborough to promote a book she wrote about her life and the experiences of Ghostface. Here, she takes control of her own story and tells it her own way rather than letting public speculation, fake news and gossip become her legacy. She continues to be active rather than passive as she reaffirms her ownership of the narrative that Gale essentially stole from Sidney with her own written interpretations of the events of the series and subsequent events. Stab movies. When Sidney witnesses her first murder of this new frenzy, she doesn’t even flinch before crossing the street with her head held high ready to fight, proving that, all this time since the third movie, she’s still as fearless as ever. .

Sidney was never a steadfast or passive character throughout the Scream franchise. With each film, she continues to learn, grow and develop as a person and a character. It’s a remarkable achievement in the franchise’s 25 years and a testament to Kevin Williamson’s solid storylines and Neve Campbell’s ability to breathe real life into Sidney. Ultimately, Sidney is one of the few final girls whose character continues to reveal new layers that build upon her arc in previous films, making her the most impressive final girl of all. There is no doubt that Sidney will continue to be the fearless warrior she is in the next episode in January of next year.

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