Horror fanatics spend a lot of time deconstructing the much-abused Final Girl. In position as the Last One Standing against every unthinkable monster lurking in the dark, her ability to survive is a badge of honor, but also a mark of what our culture values (or conversely, stubbornly refuses to appreciate) in young women.
Because the Scream series is a meta-narrative all about deconstructing movie tropes, Sidney Prescott’s journey has always been prime real estate for discussing and dismantling Final Girl stories, a role that she has undertaken with all due pain and a crackling temerity. Which is why it’s fascinating that, twenty-five years on, the person who arguably defines the Scream films is not Sidney at all—no matter who Ghostface happens to be calling.
[Spoilers for all five Scream movies.]