Scream has arrived on the big screen – and it's packed with twists, turns, shocking kills, and huge revelations.
This time, Melissa Barrera's Sam Carpenter takes center stage, drawn back to Woodsboro by a violent attack on her younger sister Tara (Jenna Ortega). Cue the bloodshed as Ghostface returns – and anyone with a link to the past is firmly in the killer's sights.
If you've seen the movie, you might have some questions about just how everything unfolded. We've dived deep into the slasher's bloody ending to unravel exactly how it all went down. To do so, we're going to be heading into major spoilers. Scroll on to have all your burning questions on Scream answered – and remember, if the phone rings while you're reading, don't answer it…
Scream ending explained
Scream ends with a bloody bang, but how did we get there? The action begins with Jenna Ortega's Tara Carpenter being brutally attacked by Ghostface. Unlike Drew Barrymore in the original Scream, Tara survives and is taken to hospital. Dylan Minnette's Wes calls Tara's older sister, Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), who travels back from California to Woodsboro with her boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid).
Sam is actually the daughter of Skeet Ulrich's Billy Loomis, one of the killers in the original Scream. Sam has hallucinations of him (Ulrich returns to the role) and she takes medication to control them. Sam had previously abandoned Tara after learning the truth about her Dad, hence leaving Woodsboro. She now reveals the truth, but the younger sister asks her to leave.
Intent on stopping Ghostface and saving Tara from her inevitable fate, Sam and Richie enlist Dewey Riley (David Arquette) for help. He's broken up with Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and lives a lonely, miserable life – and has no interest in helping Sam because, as he says, he's been stabbed many times. He does give her a rundown of the rules of the franchise, though: never trust the love interest, there's always a link to the past, and the killer will be found in Tara's friend group. Dewey also contacts Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Gale and warns them both not to return to Woodsboro.
Sam gathers Tara's friends to try and figure out who the killer could be, and is joined by Dewey, who's had a change of heart. This is when Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), the niece of Randy Meeks, realizes that the killer is trying to make a 'requel' – that is, a reboot/sequel. To make a successful requel, there has to be a link to the original, and a blending of the new and the old, which is what Ghostface seems to be doing this time round. All of the attacks so far have had a connection to the past, even the murder of creepy guy Vince (Kyle Gallner), who is related to Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard), the other original killer. Wes, the son of Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton), is worried his mother could be a target as she appeared in the fourth movie, but is told nobody cares about the sequels.
However, that's not true. Both Wes and Judy are murdered by Ghostface, and when Sam arrives on the scene, she realizes nobody is at the hospital protecting Tara. She races there with Dewey and Richie, and they arrive in time to rescue Tara from certain death. But, as they all go to leave, Dewey remembers that you have to shoot Ghostface in the head – otherwise they always come back.
Dewey is about to take the shot when he's distracted by a ringing phone, and the unthinkable happens: he's stabbed twice and killed. Of course, Dewey has been stabbed and left for dead before, but this time, he's wheeled out in a body bag. It looks like this one is for real.
Gale is distraught when she learns of Dewey's death, and Sidney arrives at the hospital to talk to Sam, who doesn't want to listen – she plans on getting Tara out of Woodsboro, though Sidney warns that the killer will only follow. Sidney puts a tracker on Sam's car to keep an eye on her.
While leaving town, Tara realizes she can't find her inhaler. She left another at Amber's house, so Richie drives them there. When they arrive, a party in memory of Wes is in full swing. Prepare for bloodshed...
Mindy's twin Chad (Mason Gooding) goes out in search of his girlfriend Liv (Sonia Ammar) – and right on cue, is attacked by Ghostface. Richie clears out the partygoers, Liv returns without Chad, and Mindy is left alone watching Stab in the living room. While shouting at the movie's version of Randy to turn around because the killer is behind him (while he shouts at the person on TV to turn around, how's that for meta), Ghostface comes up behind her. She turns just in time, a fight ensues, and we're left thinking Mindy has been killed.
Meanwhile, Sidney and Gale have arrived at the house, and recognize it as the Macher house from the first Scream movie.
Richie, Liv, Amber, and Sam meet in the hallway and realize that one of them must be the killer – then Amber pulls a gun and shoots Liv dead, revealing she is Ghostface (one of them, anyway). It's then revealed that Richie is the second killer, and he stabs Sam. Gale gets shot by Amber, but presses on anyway in Dewey's memory.
Eventually, Gale, Sidney, and Sam end up in the kitchen with the killers, just like in the original Scream. It turns out Amber and Richie were not fans of the latest Stab movie, and plan a requel with Sam as the villain. But, of course, their plan is thwarted by Sidney and Gale, who (accidentally) set Amber on fire, and Sam then stabs Richie to death after being encouraged by a hallucination of her father. Amber comes back for one last murder attempt, but is shot dead by Tara, who Sam earlier discovered being held captive upstairs.
When all is said and done, it's revealed that both Mindy and Chad survived, and Sam and Tara leave for the hospital together holding hands, properly reunited at last.
Who is Ghostface in the new Scream?
Like any good Scream movie, the latest addition to the franchise is a whodunnit that's almost impossible to guess ahead of the big reveal. It's made more complicated by the fact that, once again, there are two killers – Richie and Amber.
Richie was in California when Tara was attacked, which seemingly gave him an alibi. He deliberately tracked down and struck up a relationship with Sam because he and Amber had learned of her true parentage, and they knew they needed her for their requel.
Amber says she got into the Stab franchise when she moved into the Macher house, and the duo met online as superfans who were both disappointed with the most recent Stab movie (as revealed earlier in the film, it was directed by the "Knives Out guy," AKA Rian Johnson). They take it upon themselves to save the franchise with their plan to create a new villain out of Sam by framing her for their murders – and, they say, Hollywood is out of ideas.
Amber killed Dewey to make it clear that, in this movie, anyone can die. Richie rails against toxic fandom accusations: he's doing this all out of love for the movies, so how can that be toxic? Never mind that he's killed a whole load of people...
How are Richie and Amber defeated?
After Amber and Richie have their big reveal, Sidney, Gale, Tara, and Sam put a stop to their plan. Sidney and Gale handle Amber together in the kitchen, fighting her off in a struggle that ends with the killer knocked onto the lit stove, which promptly sets her on fire. She seems to be dead, but remember – they always come back!
As for Richie, Sam sees another hallucination of Billy Loomis, who points her in the direction of a dropped knife. She grabs it, and reminds Richie of a crucial maxim: "don't fuck with the daughter of a serial killer." Sam then stabs her ex-boyfriend over and over and over (and over) again, then, when Sidney points out you need a headshot to be sure, makes sure the job is finished with a gun.
It wasn't Richie they had to worry about jumping back up, though, but rather Amber – who runs out screaming. Tara shoots her dead, and says she'd rather be watching The Babadook, her favorite "elevated" horror movie.
Where does the Scream finale take place and what happened there?
When Sidney and Gale follow the tracker planted on Sam's car to the location of the finale, they're disturbed by the realization that it's the Macher house, which is where the third act of the original Scream movie took place.
It was there that Billy Loomis and Stu Macher revealed themselves to be the original Ghostface(s) – and where they tried to kill Sidney in the kitchen, with the intention of pinning their murders on her father. It's also where Randy was almost killed by Ghostface as he yelled at the characters on TV to turn around, where Dewey's sister Tatum Riley (Rose McGowan) met death by garage door, and where Gale helped Sidney dispatch of both original killers.
How is Sam Carpenter related to Billy Loomis?
In true requel style, most of Scream’s newcomers have a connection to the legacy characters. Sam has perhaps the most disturbing link of all, as it turns out she's Billy Loomis' daughter. That might come as a surprise, considering Loomis was killed at the end of the original Scream movie and definitely didn't have a baby with him beforehand, but Sam explains to Tara that their mother got pregnant in high school, and lied about the father's identity – so it's likely Billy himself had no idea he had a daughter.
Sam's mother kept diaries, though, and that's how Sam eventually discovered the truth. It's also what led to her beginning to act out, then leave her family behind after the man she thought was her father left them.
And yes, according to the credits, that's Skeet Ulrich back as Billy, albeit heavily CGI de-aged. Because you can't bring back a character without drenching them in CGI.
What happens to Sidney and Gale?
Both Sidney and Gale arrive at the end to try and stop the new Ghostface, but take some serious damage. Gale gets shot in the stomach, and Sidney gets stabbed (again). Luckily, both of them survive – and though the movie doesn't go into details about what happens next, we can assume Gale goes back to her job as a TV host in New York City, and Sidney will return to her family. Gale does make it clear she won't be writing a book on this set of murders, though – instead, she's going to write about Dewey.
Is Dewey dead?
When Sam, Richie, and Dewey arrive to rescue Tara at the hospital, Dewey gets into a fight with Ghostface. He manages to hold the killer off, and right as he's about to safely leave with the others, remembers the golden rule – they always come back. Sam tries to stop him, but Dewey runs back to finish off the murderer.
Unfortunately, right as he's about to take the shot, Dewey is startled by his phone ringing. That gives the killer time to jump up and stab him in the stomach and the back. It's a brutal attack, and Dewey is left dead on the ground.
Of course, this isn't the first time Dewey has been butchered. He's always lived to tell the tale before, so you'd be forgiven for thinking he was moments away from getting back up, or would make an eleventh hour appearance in the finale. Shockingly, that doesn't happen. He's even wheeled from the hospital in a body bag. Yep, Scream did the unthinkable, and killed off everyone's favorite deputy turned sheriff.
Who lives and who dies in Scream?
Scream has never been afraid of getting bloody, and this film is no different. None of the characters make it out of the movie unscathed, and a very, very small amount of them survive. Let's run down what happens to everyone…
Tara is the first to be attacked, but survives – barely. She's attacked again in hospital and is held hostage at the Loomis house. Somehow, she makes it out of the movie alive. Sam also survives, but only after being stabbed.
Sidney took a knife to the stomach, but once again lives, and Gale survives being shot. Chad was violently attacked, but is revealed to be alive in an ambulance at the end of the movie, and Mindy also leaves the Loomis house alive.
Now for the deaths. First to die is Vince, who is attacked by Ghostface behind a bar. Then, Sheriff Judy Hicks and her son Wes are both killed; Judy as she's racing back to rescue Wes, spurred on by a phone call from Ghostface, and Wes before he can open the front door and discover his mother's body. Dewey dies trying to finish Ghostface off in the hospital.
Liv is shot dead by Amber as part of the big finale, and Richie gets violently stabbed to death by Sam. Amber is killed by a combination of Sidney and Gale setting her on fire, and Tara shooting her.
Who is Judy Hicks?
If you haven't seen Scream 4, you may not have recognized Sheriff Judy Hicks, played by Marley Shelton. She's a returning character from the fourth installment, and had a huge crush on Dewey, much to Gale's annoyance.
In 2022's Scream, she's been promoted to sheriff herself, and has a son named Wes. Unfortunately, both of them are murdered by Ghostface.
Who is Randy Meeks?
Randy doesn't have a role in the new Scream as he was killed in Scream 2 by Ghostface, dragged into Gale's news van while on the phone to the killer. Played by Jamie Kennedy, Randy knew the rules of horror movies inside and out, and was the source of much of the films' meta commentary until his death. In 2022's Scream, his legacy is continued by his niece Mindy, who, despite it fictionalizing her uncle's violent murder, is a big fan of the Stab franchise.
Does Scream have a post-credits scene?
You'd expect a film this self-aware and meta to have a stinger, but surprisingly enough, Scream does not have a post-credits scene. If the credits are rolling, feel free to leave the theater.
Scream is playing exclusively in theaters now. If you're all caught up, check out our roundup of the best horror movies of all time for the ultimate scary movie marathon.