Summary

  • The Scream franchise features a variety of Ghostface killers, each with their own motives and unique kill styles.
  • The best Ghostface killers in the franchise are considered to be the original duo, Billy Loomis and Stu Macher, who had deeply personal motives and played with the self-awareness of the horror genre.
  • While later installments introduced interesting Ghostface killers, such as Mrs. Loomis and Roman Bridger, none were as successful or clever as the original duo.


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The Scream killers continue to build following Scream 6, and the Ghostface mask has been worn by almost 20 different people. Throughout the six movies, an impressive number of characters have worn the Ghostface mask, which is only added with the franchise’s TV series. While many got their hands dirty with the killings, others acted more like masterminds or distractions. Scream VI follows the fun of looking at the movie’s ensemble and trying to decide who plays Ghostface before the final unmasking reveals it all.

Wes Craven’s Scream introduced the world to a new face in horror. The villain wasn’t a maniac who targeted random people and would keep returning – like icons Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, or Craven’s own Freddy Kreuger. Instead, Ghostface was the guise used for murderers on a specific mission, which invariably ended up with Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) as the target. Each Scream movie contained a major mystery surrounding the identity of Ghostface. The Scream 6 Ghostface killer reveal reminds audiences how much fun it is the see which actor or actors are the Scream killers.

Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) in Scream

Billy and Sidney looking serious in Scream

Billy was the stereotypical bad boy in the first Scream movie, something he took to a new level after he shockingly revealed himself as the Ghostface killer. Well, one of them: working with Stu Macher, Billy planned to kill Sidney and frame Sid’s father for the murders, including that of Maureen Prescott. Billy blamed Maureen for driving his own mother away because the woman was having an affair with Billy’s father. Sidney managed to escape from Billy’s attack a few times and eventually killed him with the help of Gale and Randy.

Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard) in Scream

Stu on the phone in Scream (1996)

Stu played the goofy friend of Sidney Prescott, but he never appeared threatening. It was a complete surprise that Stu served as Billy’s Ghostface accomplice in their murdering masquerade, acting as the second of the Scream killers in the original film. Stu claimed “peer pressure” as the reason he agreed to help Billy act revenge on Sidney. Sidney used Stu’s weak-willed nature to antagonize him and later managed to kill him while Billy was unconscious. However, Scream 6 potentially confirms the Stu theory, which suggests that he is actually still alive.

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) in Scream

Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott covered in blood in Scream (1996)

Sidney wasn’t one of the Scream killers, but she did wear the mask for a brief scene as she turned the tables on her attackers. After Billy and Stu revealed their plan, Gale caused a distraction that led to Sidney escaping. Billy was enraged at the fact that she got away, so he went around the house looking for her. When he opened the closet door, Sidney jumped out wearing the Ghostface costume and stabbed Billy multiple times with an umbrella, a move that actually injured Scream‘s Skeet Ulrich.

Mrs. Loomis (Laurie Metcalf) in Scream 2

Laurie Metcalf as Nancy Loomis pointing a gun in Scream 2

When a copycat Scream killer goes after Sidney at her college, the mystery of Ghostface’s identity starts all over again. Mrs. Loomis disguised herself as a journalist when the media descended on campus. By the end of the movie, it was revealed that she orchestrated the second murder spree because Billy was her son. To avenge his death, Mrs. Loomis hired Mickey to carry out the killings. She was later killed by Sidney and Cotton.

Mickey Altieri (Timothy Olyphant) in Scream 2

Mickey at class in Scream 2.

Mickey was a close friend of Sidney’s at college. It turned out that he was actually a psychopath that Mrs. Loomis met online. She paid his tuition in exchange for him carrying out the copycat killings as Ghostface. Scream 2 killer Mickey held up his end of the bargain and shared that he wanted to be caught so he could become famous. Mrs. Loomis then turned on him after the revelation of their motive. He eventually died from multiple gunshot wounds at the hands of Mrs. Loomis, Gale, and Sidney.

Roman Bridger (Scott Foley) in Scream 3

Roman revealing himself as Ghostface in Scream 3

Not only was Roman revealed to be the Scream 3 killer, but he was also the mastermind behind the previous two movies. Roman was the son of Maureen Prescott, but she wanted nothing to do with him. Roman’s jealousy of the Prescott family drove him insane, so he filmed Maureen’s affairs and showed them to Billy. He then gave Billy the idea of carrying out the first Ghostface killings, which in turn led to his mother’s involvement in Scream 2. Sidney ultimately came out on top of her half-brother’s murderous plan.

Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) In Scream 4

Jill Roberts smiling faintly in Scream 4.

Jealousy must run in the Prescott family because it became the main motivation for Jill’s role as the Scream 4 killer. She was the estranged cousin of Sidney and a target of the new killings. It turned out that Jill craved the attention that Sidney always got, so she set up the killing spree of her mother and friends. Jill thought she killed Sidney, but she was wrong, so they had one final showdown at the hospital. Though the original plan had Jill survive Scream 4, Sidney ultimately kills her younger cousin.

Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin) In Scream 4

Charlie Walker smiling in Scream 4

Charlie played Jill’s secret boyfriend, who helped with Jill’s Scream 4 murder plan. He portrayed the second Ghostface to make it look like Jill was also being targeted at the time. After they revealed themselves to Sidney, Charlie and Jill were planning to injure each other (Stu and Billy style) to act as though they were victims instead of the Scream killers. Instead, Jill realized she would rather be the sole survivor, so she killed Charlie. For someone obsessed with horror movies, he certainly didn’t see that obvious twist coming.

Amber Freeman (Mikey Madison) In Scream V

Amber looking suspicious in a bar in Scream 5

Like the previous movie, Scream V features two Scream killers. The first was Amber, Tara’s friend who lived in Stu Macher’s old house. The location led to her obsession with the original Woodsboro Massacre, and in turn, the Stab movie franchise. In recent years, Amber felt the franchise fell off track, and she wanted to give the series new material that would honor the original. In doing so, she set a chain of events that involved bringing back the legacy Scream characters, killing some of her own friends, and setting up Tara’s sister, Sam, for the murders due to her being Billy Loomis’ daughter. Granted, Amber couldn’t handle the power of original victims, Sidney and Gale.

Richard “Richie” Kirsch (Jack Quaid) in Scream V

Richie Kirsch looking serious in Scream 2022

Amber couldn’t do everything herself, so she enlisted the help of Richie, the second of two Scream killers. Though he was thought to be Sam’s loyal boyfriend, he was actually a sadistic Stab fan who Amber met on a subreddit. Also upset by the recent direction of the Stab movies, Richie agreed to help Amber enact Scream 2022’s Ghostface killings to fix the franchise. In reality, he personified the toxic fanbase he claimed to hate. Sam later killed him after a one-on-one showdown.

Piper Shaw (Amelia Rose Blaire) In Scream: The TV Series Season 1

Piper uses her phone to record at a vigil in Scream The TV Series.

Initially posing as a podcaster looking into the new murders occurring in Lakewood, Piper Shaw was ultimately revealed to be the daughter of Brandon James, the original Lakewood serial Scream killer. Piper’s primary motivation for murder was jealousy of her half-sister Emma Duvall, who grew up with their mother while Piper was given up for adoption.

Kieran Wilcox (Amadeus Serafini) In Scream: The TV Series Season 2

Kieran with a gun in Scream.

Unbeknownst to the survivors of Piper’s massacre during season 1, Keiran Wilcox was her secret lover and accomplice. Kieran assisted Piper in coordinating her kills and sometimes posed as the killer when Piper was unable to. After Piper ended up dead, an enraged Kieran embarked on a new killing spree in the Scream season’s story but was eventually caught and arrested. He later died in prison after being killed by a different, unidentified Ghostface killer. Sadly, this plot thread was abandoned for season 3.

Beth (Giorgia Whigham) In Scream: The TV Series Season 3

Beth covered in blood in Scream

Notably, this third and most recent Scream season rebooted the series’ story, moving away from Lakewood. The Scream killers also wore the classic Ghostface mask from the films and were voiced in costume by Roger L. Jackson. A horror-obsessed goth with outwardly anti-social tendencies, Beth basically did what she did for fun and had no real underlying motive of revenge like some of the franchise’s other kills. She didn’t survive season 3.

Jamal Elliot (Tyga) In Scream: The TV Series Season 3

Tyga walks through the street in Scream

Jamal’s Ghostface motive in Scream season 3 was more common for Scream killers’ standards, stemming back to issues with his family, mainly one of his brothers assuming the identity of another deceased sibling. Jamal was a ticking time bomb set to explode by a calculating Beth. However, Jamal wasn’t evil to the core like Beth, leading him to reveal her identity to his brother and her to brutally kill him via stabbing.

Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) In Scream VI

Dermot Mulroney surrounded by cloaks in Scream 6

Though Scream 6 features more Ghostface Scream killers than any movie in the franchise, Detective Bailey can be considered the main killer. Bailey is introduced as a cop and father of Sam’s roommate Quinn who helps the group when Ghostface returns. However, it is ultimately revealed he is the father of Richie from Scream 2022, looking to get revenge on Sam for killing his son. Bailey makes it a family affair, bringing along his surviving children only to see them killed before Sam dons the Ghostface mask to finish Bailey off with a knife through the eye in one of Scream 6‘s most gruesome kills.

Ethan Landry (Jack Champion) In Scream VI

Jack Champion as Ethan Landry at a crime scene in Scream 6

Ethan is introduced as one of Sam and Tara’s college friends and a bit of an outcast. Amusingly, after being suspiciously absent for one of the major Ghostface attacks, the group immediately suspects he is the culprit. Those instincts turn out to be correct as Ethan reveals he is Ritchie’s younger brother. After being stabbed through the mouth by Tara, Ethan gets the distinction of getting the final scare as he attempts to attack Sam and Tara only for Kirby to finish off with the same TV that got Stu.

Quinn Bailey (Liana Liberato) In Scream VI

Liana Liberato looks confused in Scream 6

Quinn is introduced as Sam’s roommate in New York City and the daughter of Detective Bailey. However, the movie attempts to take her off the suspect list early when she is seemingly killed by Ghostface (although the fact that it is an off-screen death doesn’t help). After revealing herself to be alive, being one of the Scream killers, and helping with her father’s plan for revenge, Quinn dies for real when Sam shoots her in the head.

Jason Carver (Tony Revolori) In Scream VI

Tony Revolori on the phone in Scream 6

Scream 6‘s opening scene plays on audience expectations for the formula these movies have established. After a young woman is killed by Ghostface, instead of cutting to the title card, Ghostface removes his mask to reveal Jason Carver. The scene goes on to show Jason one of the aspiring Ghostface Scream killers along with his roommate Greg (who never gets the chance to don the mask). His plan is to kill Sam and Tara in an attempt to finish Richie’s movie. Instead, a rival Ghostface targets him and stabs Jason to death after discovering Greg’s dismembered body in the fridge.

Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) In Scream VI

Sam Carpenter talking to her therapist in Scream 6

Following in Sidney Prescott’s footsteps, Scream 6‘s final girl Sam puts on the Ghostface costume in the final act to take down Bailey. However, seeing Sam in the Ghostface mask has different connotations as she is the daughter of Billy Loomis and has struggled with whether or not she has his killer instinct. In fact, Bailey refers to the mask as her birthright. Though she hesitates to become the monster everyone thinks she is, she gets Tara’s approval to kill Bailey anyway.

RELATED: 7 Past Ghostface Killers Who Can Return In Scream 7

Which Characters Could Be Ghostface In Scream 7?

Ghostface holding a knife in Scream 6

Though there hasn’t been much news on Scream 7, it is safe to assume Ghostface will return and fans can speculate on who will don the mask this time. Legacy characters like Kirby Reed and Gale Weathers survived again, and while Sidney Prescott isn’t in Scream 6, she is alive and could return for a sequel. However, it seems highly unlikely any of them would suddenly be made the new Ghostface. Similarly, the new “Core Four” of Sam, Tara, Mindy, and Chad were still (more or less) standing at the end. Though the movies continue to play with Sam’s inner demons, making her one of the Scream killers would undermine the sequels.

As with many Scream movies, there weren’t many of the new characters in Scream 6 left standing at the end. Danny Brackett, Sam’s neighbor and secret lover, is really the only new cast member who could possibly return in Scream 7. It is rare to have the boyfriend character turn out to not be Ghostface and still survive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Danny couldn’t be Ghostface in the future. Scream fans will have to wait and see what the future holds for the franchise.

Which Ghostface Killer Was The Best?

Billy and Stu grinning in Scream

The Scream franchise’s later installments, while not overshadowing the original dynamic duo of Billy Loomis and Stu Macher, introduced several Ghostface killers who continued to elevate the series with their unique motives and distinct kill styles. In Scream 2, Mrs. Loomis emerged from the shadows of her son’s actions, bringing with her a cold and calculated vengeance. Her backstory provided depth, illuminating the consequences of the first film’s events on the families left behind. Her twisted partner Mickey was behind one of the most iconic scenes in the franchise too. The sound-proof room sequence was the Ghostface killer at his most sadistic, vindictive, and cleverest.

The uniqueness of Ghostface’s identity proved to be a cornerstone in the subsequent movies. Roman Bridger in Scream 3 stood out not only because of his direct familial ties to Sidney but also because of his dual role as the director of the Stab series in the movie. That provided a fascinating meta-commentary on the blending of reality and fiction. On top of that, Roman deserves credit for being so successful whilst being the only Scream killer and not having a partner. The villain was also the mastermind behind the previous movies too, which makes Romand a frontrunner for the best Ghostface killer.

The prequel Scream movies that started with Scream V also feature interesting approaches to the Ghostface killers, but none of the villains are all that smart and are pretty clumsy Scream killers, even when they aren’t wearing the vision-obscuring mask. Scream V’s Richie and Amber were fans of the Stab series and met online, and their plan was all over the place. Scream VI saw the most Ghostface killers yet, but even with three people donning the mask, they still couldn’t complete their mission of avenging Richie’s death by killing Sam and Tara Carpenter.

However, the original Scream killers, Billy Loomis and Stu Macher, are undoubtedly the best Ghostface killers in the franchise. Their motives were deeply personal and unnerving. Billy’s fury stemmed from his mother abandoning him after his father’s affair with Sydney’s mother. Their killing styles were distinct: Stu was more unhinged and frenetic, while Billy transformed from Sidney’s loving boyfriend to her most terrifying adversary. The two had chemistry and played with the self-awareness of the horror genre, which is the franchise’s biggest trademark. Ultimately, the first Scream killers established the Ghostface killer’s distinct troublemaking and prankster style, along with the element of surprise.

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