Over five films spread across more than a quarter of a century, horror fans have become pretty savvy to the way a Scream movie works, which is rather ironic for a franchise that skewers the conventions of the genre. One thing we can always be sure of is that it’ll ultimately be revealed that there are two murderers masquerading as Ghostface and they will both be people Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), or these days Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), trusted. The exception to the rule, though, is Scream 3.
While Scream 4 is a divisive entry in the saga, it does have its staunch defenders, but Scream 3 is widely agreed to be the weakest installment in the meta-horror series. Having said that, the closer to the original trilogy deserves more credit for shirking audience’s expectations by dropping the bombshell that there’s only one Ghostface on this occasion. But why was this unique storytelling decision made?
Who is Ghostface in Scream 3?
Obviously, if you’ve never seen Scream 3 before and don’t want to get spoiled, now is the time to look away. If you have already caught the threequel, however, and just need a reminder of the specifics, keep on going.
Ghostface in Scream 3 is… Roman Bridger. The movie revolves around production on the latest Stab film devolving into a massacre as another Ghostface guts their way through the cast and crew. The big twist is that the culprit is the film’s director, Roman. And, shock horror, he’s actually Sidney’s secret brother. His whole scheme was an attempt to get revenge on his presumed father, Hollywood producer John Milton, who had raped their mother Maureen Prescott during her brief stint as an actress in her youth.
Roman is additionally revealed to have inspired Billy and Stu to kill Maureen in the first place, essentially making him the mastermind of the entire saga, although this is an idea that’s been mostly retconned at this point (see the emphasis on Billy as the OG killer in 2022’s Scream).
So why just the one Ghostface?
In the original script, however, Roman had an accomplice, much like every other Ghostface before or since. The second murderer was supposed to be Angelina Tyler (Emily Mortimer), the Hollywood ingenue playing the role of Sidney in Stab 3. In this version of the story, Angelina — real name: Angie Crick — was actually a classmate of Sidney’s from Woodsboro High and had developed a dark obsession with her, hence “becoming” her in the movie.
This concept was ultimately removed to simplify the plot, although fans will note that Emma Roberts’ Jill in Scream 4 sports a very similar motivation. Scream experts also often like to think that Angelina actually was Roman’s number two and simply faked her death, as her murder occurs off-screen. Director Wes Craven even confirmed that he supported this idea on the film’s director’s commentary by stating that he only removed the scenes pointing to her guilt but did not contradict them.
Specifically, Craven explained one scene that would’ve teased the truth about Angelina. At one point, Sidney was to visit Tyler in her dressing room, only to find her in the Ghostface costume. Angelina would’ve waved this away as having just come from the set, but in actual fact, Sidney had unwittingly stumbled upon Angelina post-kill.
Craven doubled down on his belief that Angelina faked her death in the booklet he wrote for the Scream Trilogy boxset, released in 2000, in which he lists her among the characters still alive. Maybe with the incoming Scream 6 making it canon that Kirby Reed survived Scream 4, the franchise will one day bring back Angelina as well and definitively answer if she was Scream 3‘s true second killer or not.