The Surprise Survivor
rule 7: NEVER IGNORE AN OMINOUS NEEDLE DROP
The way I hear it, Wes Craven would shoot two endings: the “Dewey’s dead” ending and the “Dewey lives” ending, then see how he felt about it in the edit. And he habitually felt like he shouldn’t throw out some perfectly good David Arquette.
These are the people who turned up okay on a stretcher in the end, and how likely that felt.
6. Scream VI
Oh come on he was stabbed as hell, just stabbed as hell. Plus he was like the fourth miraculous survival. I know I had six characters I wanted to live but you’re a horror movie, you’re allowed to kill someone I’m rooting for. After what they pulled last time, I’m surprised the creative team was so squeamish about killing primary characters.
I’m not mad about it, I’m happy he’s still around, but this round isn’t about whether I’m mad someone miraculously survived, it’s how plausible it was, and again, stabbed. As. Hell.
5. The Film Commonly Known as Scream 5
If the camera pans off someone struggling for breath but definitely still alive, I’m not gonna be too surprised to see them turn up on a stretcher later. But I do dock it points for probability, and they were plenty stabbed. Surprise Survivor 2 only took a stab to the shoulder, that one makes sense.
4. Scream 2
Gail shrugging off a bullet to the side is fine and makes sense. Dewey was more stabbed than last time and was left bleeding in a sound booth for a while. I’m not mad, it was a huge relief in the theatre, but this seemed a little less likely.
Randy took a round to the right shoulder and Dewey only got stabbed once, those are plenty survivable, and they were both very useful characters to the franchise. Good calls, very believable.
2. Scream 4
The big Surprise Survivor takes 12 years and two movies to turn up a second time, so we’re left with Deputy Hicks, who was only a little shot and wearing a bulletproof vest, that one makes sense.
1. Scream 3
Zero fakeouts! The four survivors are always clearly wounded at most, and none of the other third act casualties turn up alive on a stretcher. Which… okay, I’m not saying that’s better. I’m not judging this franchise for saying “On second thought let’s keep this loveable supporting character around a little longer.” But I didn’t say I was ranking these by relief or sensibility or joy at their continued existence, but by probability, and “Y’all know that bitch dead” is the most probable outcome of all of these.