As far as horror movies go, the first Scream movie was a true cultural reset. The modern-classic breathed new life into the slasher-horror genre and has since turned into a fully fledged franchise with six films and counting.
In this archetypal who-dunnit directed by horror legend Wes Craven, Scream follows everyone's favourite final girl Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, as a masked assailant known as Ghostface starts to pick off innocent people in her suburban hometown of Woodsboro. When Ghostface comes after Sidney, she begins to suspect those close to her including her back stabbing boyfriend Billy Loomis played by Skeet Ulrich, his friend Stu Macher played by Matthew Lilard, and the rest of their friendship group.
In a movie where everyone is either on the chopping block or under suspicion, Scream constantly leaves you guessing right until the end. Almost 27 years later, fans are still finding new details that show just how clever Craven was in hiding little clues for us to eventually find.
In a Reddit thread, one fan pointed out that early on in the first Scream movie there is a lingering shot showing Ghostface's Doc Marten-style black shoes, making sure the audience gets a good look at them. Later, there is another shot where the town’s sheriff stamps out his cigarette, revealing that he is wearing the exact same shoes. The fan stated that at this moment she was sure that the Sheriff would be exposed as the killer but at the end she realised this was yet another red herring in a movie filled with them.
True fans know that this isn't the only moment where Craven intends to mislead the audience. Later in the film when Sidney’s Father is found to have never left town on his alleged business trip, the audience starts to suspect him to be the killer. Similarly, when the man wrongfully convicted for her mother’s murder suddenly shows up in Woodsboro, we feel sure that he must be back for revenge on Sidney.
However, the redditor isn't too far off with the shoe-clue. Craven purposefully includes the lengthy shoe shot that hints at the Killer‘s true identity, as in a scene at the high school, early we see Billy and Stu, who, at the end of the movie, are both revealed to be Ghostface, both wearing the infamous black boots, contrasting to the bright and colourful shoes worn by the rest of the group. Alternatively, when Billy climbs into Sidney's room after her first attack, there is a quick but vital shot of his dark steel toed boots now synonymous with the complete Ghostface get up.
The more you watch the 90’s cult-classic, the more little clues and hints to Ghostface’s identity are revealed. What is your favourite Scream clue and who did you first suspect to be Ghostface?
You can watch all of the Scream movies on Paramount Plus. For more, check out our list of the 30 best horror movies of all time, or, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2023 and beyond.