Ghostface better get on his cell phone and start scaring the crap out of fans, because three days into MTV’s Killer Halloween, the know-it-all “Scream” psycho is trailing his blood-spilling cinematic brethren in our voter-driven, category-by-category analysis of horror-movie murderers.
In terms of weaponry, Freddy Krueger , Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers trumped Ghostface’s knife. And when it came to style, the “Scream” dude’s black gown and oblong, am-I-sad-or-psychotic mask couldn’t outdo Freddy’s striped sweater, Jason’s hockey mask or Michael’s white-washed, blank-faced mask of terror. But perhaps today is Ghostface’s day to shine, for now we turn to personality, and here this killer might just shine (or die trying).
Occupation: Student(s), stay-at-home-mom, filmmaker
Weapons: Knife, deep knowledge of the horror genre, irony
Archenemy: Sidney Prescott, innocent people living near Sidney Prescott
Profile: From his first ominously flirty phone call with Drew Barrymore in the 1996 original, Ghostface announced himself as a killer of unique talents and iconic potential. Ever since, the question “What’s your favorite scary movie?” has taken on an entirely different meaning.
The key thing that separates Ghostface from most other horror-movie killers is that he’s never the same person twice. Sometimes he’s one malicious woman with a troubled sense of right and wrong; other times, he’s two friends with an itch to draw blood and get famous. The only consistencies are that mask-and-gown getup, an encyclopedic knowledge of horror flicks, and a vendetta against Sidney Prescott, the teary-eyed damsel in distress played by Neve Campbell. Poor Sidney just can’t catch a break.
Yes, there is always something a little nonsensical about these shifting Ghostfaces. You’re telling me Sidney’s boyfriend and his best pal murdered her mom and then went on a Woodsboro-wide killing spree, because why exactly? A couple of kids go from pursuing normal teenage goals like getting drunk and getting laid to wanting to be famous so badly they’re willing — and able! — to become crazy-eyed killas? It sounds odd to say when we’re talking about a genre in which a child molester can enter the dreams of his victims, but Ghostface always falls a bit short when it comes to believability, if only because the “Scream” franchise takes place in a pop-culture-saturated world so close to our own.
What makes Ghostface a wicked cool bad guy, then, is not why he stabs, but how. Hyper-steeped in horror-movie lore, he appropriates clichés and, in the bloody process, reinvents them. But let’s not get too academic here. Ghostface has got swag. He’s funny as hell, and when you least expect it, when you’re still laughing from your gut, he stabs you in it.
Where do you think Ghostface falls in the scope of horror-movie psychopaths? Let us know in the comments!
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