Let’s Get Down To Business: Who’s The New Drew?

So the fans are all at it – cogitating exactly who will bite it in Scream 4. But I’m thinking that at the top of everyone’s speculation list is which scene and which character will possibly come close to matching the legendary Drew Barrymore scene of Scream.

One could easily argue that it’s impossible to beat it – no Scream film has managed to do so thus far. But Scream 2 came pretty close. The sequel kicked off with another epic boyfriend/girlfriend death scene which was, in some ways, more imaginative and elaborate than the opening scene of Scream. The public and brutal murders of Phil & Maureen at The Rialto movie theater premiere showing of Stab was a close competitor to the deaths of Steve & Casey. Not only did we see brutality, but it was also set against the backdrop of Stab’s take on Casey Becker’s death in Scream.

While Heather Graham acted out what had happened in “real life”, Maureen was killed amongst a crowd of excitable fans, unbeknownst to them at first. The claustrophobic and chaotic circumstances in which Maureen died was actually very oppressive and quite frightening. The thing is, I don’t count this as the scene in Scream 2 that mirrors that of Drew Barrymore’s.

The true Barrymore/Becker competitor of Scream 2 is Sarah Michelle Gellar’s portrayal of Cici Cooper. Although this wasn’t a film opener, it was more a mirroring of Scream’s opening scene in that it featured an innocent girl being stalked via phone call, around a large house. And I actually think it came close to matching Casey Becker’s demise. The tension surrounding Cici’s harassment was palpable and the build up surrounding her eventual death was superb. The let down here, however, was that the actual chase part of this scene was over within about 30 seconds. Although being flung to her death off a balcony was pretty horrific, it didn’t have the same effect at all as that very disturbing image of Casey Becker, hanging from a tree, at the climax to Scream’s opening sequence.

Scream 3 rushed its phone call scenes way too patently. The suspense was considerably lessened. Again, it featured two Barrymore-esque scenes. The opening, which featured Cotton Weary harassed on the phone, was the first of these. But there was something about a guy, on a cell phone, stuck in traffic on an LA freeway, that didn’t quite cut it. Yes, it was a good movie-opener, and in some ways reverted back to the ways of Scream (opening scene involving a forbidding phone call) but it just wasn’t a match to the original. No-where near, really.

I would personally consider the Drew Barrymore of Scream 3 to be Sarah Darling. Like Cici Cooper, she was the third death of the movie and was killed alone, after a threatening phone conversation. But while Cici’s call was lengthy and suspenseful and genuinely frightening, the majority of Sarah’s call involved the killer vocally masquerading as someone else (or not, as the case may actually be). Again, the call lacked trepidation, was pretty quick, was parried off by Sarah’s flippant and comedic remarks and was the lead up to what was another swift killing. Sarah’s chase and struggle is a lot more energetic than Cici’s, but the whole point of this type of scene is really the build up with that phone call.

What’s so wonderful about Drew Barrymore’s portrayal (and Kevin Williamson’s writing) is the naivety of Casey Becker, mingled with the genuinely frightening direction the phone call takes. I suppose with Scream, it was the first time anyone had heard “that” voice, but still, the whole sequence is just superb – Casey knows the caller is odd but still lets her guard down, is even flirtatious with him, takes him in only for him to totally take control of the situation to a horrifying effect. Casey’s call is the only one where the caller disallows her to hang up – he makes it impossible for her to escape, simply by keeping her on the phone. In the cases of Cici, Cotton and Sarah, they all just cut the killer off. On top of this, Casey is alone in a suburban house, out in the sticks.

She is also aware she is being watched. This is not the case with any of the others. Cotton knows that someone is watching Christine, but he is not subject to a personal threat; Cici hears a noise up-stairs but doesn’t know anyone is there; Sarah hides from someone she thinks is in the next room. But none of these scenarios features quite the same threat that Casey Becker does. That mixture of her home environment, the knowledge that she is being watched and the control the killer has gained, is what makes that scene so epic. Throw into the mix that she has just been made aware of how real the threat to her is (seeing her boyfriend sliced open before her eyes on the patio), and you’ve got something even more terrifying. And the final ingredient to this whole sequence: the game. The horror trivia that Casey has to answer. This doesn’t happen ever again in a Scream phone call death. Cotton is asked questions about where Sidney lives but that’s hardly the same.

So, the big question: who is The New Drew? Who will have the scene in Scream 4 that will try to compete against Casey Becker’s? Will there be an opening phone call scene or will our opening scene be a phone-less, outright kill? Will we get horror trivia? How much of a fight will the victim put up? Will the death be as dramatic as Casey’s hanging?

My money is on yes! Purely thanks to publicity I have seen so far, but I’m glad of it. From clips and stills, I can suggest three scenes that could match up to Casey’s scene in terms of set-up – set in houses with a girl being stalked via means of some sort of phone call. In trailers I’ve seen things being thrown through glass doors again; I’ve seen shadows moving past windows, suggesting a stalker actually stalking; I’ve heard the caller reference horror movies. It looks promising. And to add to it, you’ve also got Allison Brie’s scene on a cell phone in a parking garage, which suggests the more recent form of stalk-by-phone method as well.

The major excitement here is the fact that for Scream 4, we are back in Woodsboro. And this, I believe, is why I really believe Scream 4 will live up to the standards set in the original, more so than any other sequel. The series is going back to its roots. There was just something less scary about a campus-based murder spree, or a Hollywood-based one. This time, we’re back in Woodsboro – we’re back in the quiet, creepy town of dark lanes, tucked away houses, quaint gardens with plenty of shrubbery for a killer to hide amongst and plenty of tree-swings to tie people up with. I think the likelihood that the series will truly get back to its roots is high – and with that, I believe, will come a Casey Becker-esque scene. I think there will absolutely be a New Drew – probably not besting but certainly coming close to the terror we saw in Scream’s opening sequence.

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23 Responses to “ Let’s Get Down To Business: Who’s The New Drew? ”

Reader Advisory: Comments may contain SCREAM 4 SPOILERS
  1. You make some really good points! But I think one reason there can never be a “new Drew” is that her death was so unexpected & shocking. That was part of the reason for its impact. Now it will also be expected for either the opener or a big-name actress to be offed.

  2. Am absolutely expecting the opening scene to be an epic game of cat and mouse (possibly with a new twist thrown in). Scream is coming back after an 11 year gap. The opening scene has got to surprise, terrify and unsettle audiences once again.

  3. Brittany Robertson(Marnie) has me sold. I think she’ll be the “Drew” of this film. Even through you only see a few seconds of her in the trailers, she comes off as NATURAL, like a REAL girl being terrorized by a maniac. I know her death will definitely tear at my heart a bit.

  4. I can’t wait to see this movie. I really hope the scenes will be as intense as Casey’s scene. I couldn’t bare watching it, which meant it worked! I mean, it is a horror film, right?

  5. I agree with Ashley, they can make 20 more Scream films and re-make the originals, they will never top Casey an Steve’s death in the original. Back then no one expected Drew to b killed off in the beginning, “you can’t kill off a Barrymore” that’s crazy! lol What I find most gut wrenching and personal is her poor parents, her mom’s scream and the look on her dad’s face. Truly terrifying

  6. “Will we get horror trivia?” I think we are sure we will after watching and hearing Kirby’s list of horror remakes…

  7. Very good points, indeed. I also thinks that Cici’s death scene in Scream 2 is too short (especially compared with Helen’s death scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer, a character also portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar, that one was a pure moment of terror). But Casey’s death scene in the original is still hard to watch, even 15 years later, Drew Barrymore did a very good job. As I stated in another post, to me, apart from Kristen Bell and Hayden Panettiere, the “new generation” of actresses doesn’t hold a candle to the “old” one : I just can’t see Hale, Grimes, Robertson or any other one becoming a legend like Barrymore did.

  8. K I have a totally random question. Can somebody explain to me how Billy and/or Stu managed to completely gut Steve in literally one second in the opening scene of the original Scream? It was like Casey looks out the patio door and we hear the sound of tearing flesh and then Voila! guts everywhere!

  9. NO scene with ever beat Drew Barrymore’s in the first Scream but I’m starting to think Scream 4 will come pretty close. CAN’T WAIT!!!

  10. I agree, for this scream to live up to the hype it needs to go back to what made the original so good which was originallity. I am praying for more movie trivia (surprised we never got another one of those later on). I don’t want another Drew Barrymore killing because we already know this movie want live up to it. If they try something new, completely different then they have a chance of surpassing the original.

  11. No one can top Drew in my opinion. I pray that the opening scene in Scream 4 can be so good that it creates debates though. It’ll be good to listen to the arguements over which one is better if the “new Drew” can hold a candle to the original. Like everyone says, “There’s nothing like the original”

  12. i think what we learn is to stop picking up the phone and actually have a way out that you know is killer proof

  13. Great article. I think we’ll have several references from the opening scene of Casey in the entire movie. First because of cameos double talk on the phone in a house (in the teaser, when Lucy and Shenae scream, you can see behind them a door into the yard as the home of Casey), then we have Lucy tinkering with a knife, someone being thrown through the glass door and horror trivia with Hayden while Rory Hayden (her affair) is outside the house. I’m curious for the opening scene, if we also have some reference or if it is something totally new and surprising.

  14. All the casting has been interesting because there’s just none that leap out as obvious opening sequence kills other than Bell and Paquin and general consensus seems to be that they’re “Stab” characters anyway.

    Barrymore was already a big star, famed in the tabloids and making a big comeback. Pinkett was a big rising star with “Set It Off” and “The Nutty Professor” and Omar Epps was particularly well-known to fans of “urban” cinema. Liev Shreiber was not only a rising star – he’d been Emmy/Globe nominated by the time of “Scream 3″ – and, for fans, was a big character killer more than anything else.

    And furthermore, Sarah Michelle Gellar was blowing up at the time of “Scream 2″ thanks to Buffy and “IKWYDLS” and even Jenny McCarthy was at least a recognisable face.

    Who has any of that cachet in “Scream 4″? Maybe it’s just because the teen shows of today, “Pretty Little Liars”, “90210” etc, just aren’t as good as “Buffy” or “Dawson’s Creek” and so on.

    Maybe they’re pulling a giant WOW moment on us and haven’t even announced the cast member or shown footage of the opening? Wouldn’t that be a riot?

  15. Brittany Robertson was in Swingtown which was waaaay better then the 90210(Remake)that Miss Grimes stars in.
    Too bad it was cancelled after 13 eps.

    Anywho love the article ,very well written and I expect a Kill that will be talked about for yrs to come :)
    I feel like I know who it is(The talked about kill,NOT the opening sequence..though I have an Idea on that too) but to avoid spoiling anyone I will stop now.

  16. Great topic. we all know nothing will ever beat the drew opening which was and will always be classic, but ive just thought that u dnt see lucy or shenae in the trailers bein attacked at all just on the phone so i think they could possibly be the opening kill. or i could be wrong lol

  17. Casey & Steve’s death scenes in Scream were suspenseful & scary. I jumped out of my seat & screamed. I love that type of movie. I love that kind of build-up. I felt for Casey. I felt for her mom (whoever she was) she did an amazing job with her screaming when she saw Casey hanging from the tree. That is how a real mother who loved her child would re-act. It still gives me chills. The opening kill with Maureen & Phil also had me screaming. Why on earth would anyone put their ear up on a public restroom stall??!!! Eew!!!!!! For that matter. Where did those other guys who were taking a leak go? Was there no one else in the bathroom at that time? Maureen’s death had me pissed off at everyone in the theatre. Really? No one notices? Scream 3 had me hoping that Cotton would kick ass. I loved Cotton! Wish he were still around. Poor guy has been through a lot. Phew. That was a lot to type.

  18. I think by looking at evidence Lucy Hale has the most chance, and I like it because it has nothing to do with a blonde. At first I thought it would be great for Hayden but then again I said no one wants to see the Heroes cheerleeder die first and then looking at the evidence it looks like she lasts to the last face off almost like Tatum only Tatum never got a phon call thats why I think they just made a mistake because more than anything I think people should be asking who’s the next Tatum? Halie was it in S2 & S3 really didn’t call for one because they thought it was the end yet with Randy’s sister being from woodsburro and never being involved she was almost the type but even more was Angalina ecause Sidney had a connection to her than any star in Stab. Sure Casey’s hanging from the tree is still a part I always look away but Tatum’s death was so over the top nearly as bad as Casey. Think about it would you rather be hung from a tree after being stabbed or caught in a guarage door? Tatum is my second favorite character from the series because she is the most real -blunt but real.

  19. Casey and Cici Cooper were the bests!

  20. Excellent article, I agree with every word of your analysis. Also, kudos to Ashley (comment # 1) for making the point that is crucial to account for why Drew’s death in Scream was so shocking and original (the fact that she was a big movie star by then and certainly more famous/A-List than anyone else in the cast–what?! They killed off Drew in the first 20 minutes of the movie?!).

    To this day I believe she should have won or at least been nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar, and that the only reason it didn’t happen was because the Academy wasn’t hip or savvy enough to think of a performance like Drew’s coming from the horror genre (after all, blondes in horror movies are supposed to be bad actresses–yet another standard convention that Scream blew out of the water). I seem to recall the studio running some TV ads comparing Drew’s performance to Janet Leigh in Psycho, which I think was a great approach to get her performance noticed for award consideration, but I guess it never picked up steam. I would be curious to know if the Weinsteins took out any “for your consideration” ads for Drew in Variety/The Hollywood Reporter.

  21. I Highly doubt any of those girls will be the opening kill .. in the TV spot it clearly states a reporter says “Two Girls killed the same night …” My prediction is and im truly confident that it will be Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin .. mainly because there has been nothing but maybe one photo released online and one tidbit in the fist trailer of the two actress .. i know they will be the first “Big” Cameo kill .. ill bet money on that any day .. you watch and see. Don’t say i did not tell you

  22. @Nate Adams. Really? I was seriously hoping Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell would be Stab victims. I just can’t take them seriously. Aren’t they like 30? I know a lot of 30-year-olds play teenagers but Ana Paquin and Kristen Bell just LOOK too old and unbelievable. I hope you’re wrong. I’m voting on Shanae and Lucy.

  23. I took a look at the recent video posted for Lucy and Shanae – the dialogue seems really off, I think theyre stab victims but we shall wait and see! so SOON!

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