In the 1996 Scream movie from Wes Craven, Billy and Stu’s worst enemy wasn’t Sidney Prescott, it was someone much closer to home.
In the first Scream movie, director Wes Craven threw fans for a loop when the finale revealed it wasn’t just one person under the Ghostface mask. The killers were Stu (Matthew Lillard) and Billy (Skeet Ulrich), carrying out a vendetta against the Prescotts and sending Woodsboro into a fit of panic. However, while it seemed like Sidney (Neve Campbell) was the one who undid their spree, their worst enemy was actually themselves.
Firstly, in the initial attack at Sid’s home when she was alone, it wouldn’t have failed had there been two killers. Sid besting one allowed the town to go on red alert, which should have made the spree even more difficult, especially as the media came crawling around. It felt like the guys loved the spectacle, boosting their egos, but again, finishing Sid when they had her dead to rights would have achieved the same mission of sullying the family while pretending to be victims at Sid’s home.
Secondly, Ghostface had numerous chances to finish off Sid and never did. At her home, he choked her and basked in the glow, which allowed her to knock him out. Then, in multiple chases thereafter — such as in Gale and Kenny’s news van — the killer failed to stab Sid, enacting a weak cut when she was trapped instead. To make it worse, Billy and Stu had Sid point-blank in Stu’s kitchen but took forever to shoot, allowing Gale to intervene and free Sid to retaliate in Scream‘s finale. What also made this terrible is even if they did kill Sid in the ensuing melee, there was a chance she could have set her dad loose before. Seeing as he saw the guys’ faces and heard their scheme, he could have bolted for the cops and leaked everything.
It was a stupid decision, all built by plot convenience and geared to add drama by giving Ghostface human faces. To top that off, Stu leaving the gun on the counter for Gale to find was one of the most incompetent acts in the film. This catalyzed the scramble that ended with Sid dropping the TV on Stu’s head and then planting bullets in Billy to end the massacre.
In addition, the guys just couldn’t finish other victims, leaving enemies alive on the night they were supposed to transcend as the most nefarious villains out there. Dewey got shanked, yet he didn’t die, while Billy shot Randy, who’d end up living. As inspiring serial killers, they shouldn’t have been plotting these kinds of murder sprees if they couldn’t finish the job.
Even in Scream‘s opening kill against Casey, the duo didn’t account for her parents coming home. This left room for her parents to be notified by her screams, not to mention she could have fled into the streets and jetted off with them. This would have scuppered the plan and pushed the cops into prevention mode.
With all this in mind, as much as the film touted Billy and Stu as “psychos” with intricate plans, they were a bunch of feckless kids with itchy trigger fingers, bad knife acumen and horrific strategy. Throw in how ridiculous it would be when the medics wondered why they were covered with fake blood rather than real blood, and it’s clear they weren’t as smart as fans gave them credit for.
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