Scream (1996) Character: Sidney Prescott Opinion Piece


There are many female characters and actresses that deserve the title: ‘Scream Queen’ and I think that title deserves to go to Sidney Prescott who is played by Neve Campbell in Wes Craven’s slasher film Scream (1996). Twenty years later and Sidney Prescott is still the prime example of a horror survivor and she has become a great emblem of female characters in horror movies.

Sidney Prescott is a seventeen year old girl who witness the rape and brutal murder of her mother, Maureen Prescott. The events are leading up to the one year anniversary of her mother’s death and she has shown herself to be a repressed teenager. She has a boyfriend of two years called Billy Loomis who is the hottest yet psychopathic boyfriend a girl can have although she does not know he is a psychopath. Sidney Prescott is reminded of the media frenzy surrounding her mothers death, when two high school students: Casey Becker and Steven Orth are found gutted and murdered.

Sidney Prescott is played by actress, Neve Campbell who was reluctant to accept the role in a horror movie after starring in the horror film The Craft but accepted it after falling in love with the character and I’m glad she took on the role because I don’t think I could ever imagine Drew Barrymore (Who plays Casey Becker) or Reese Witherspoon taking on the mantle of Sidney Prescott. I think she matched up very well with the character of Billy Loomis (Played by Skeet Ulrich). Both characters have a very unique chemistry which makes me appreciate Sidney.

Sidney is a very surprising character because she is smart, beautiful and self conscious but at the same time she can be a bit of an idiot although that isn’t her fault. You need the main characters in a horror movie to be a bit of an idiot so the narrative of the horror movie can go on. A moment of idiocracy is when Sidney has sex with her boyfriend and does not acknowledge his advances towards her because rule one of a horror movie: “You can never have sex!” Sidney broke that rule.

Although it does make her the new ‘final girl’. The ‘final girl’ is a horror trope in which the survivor of a horror movie is a virgin female and despite the fact that Sidney lost her virginity, she still manages to survive and in the end she becomes a badass hero after killing Billy and his accomplice Stu Matcher. Despite her internal demons, she breaks free from them and makes herself a determined brave heroine and that is admirable of her.

Sidney Prescott is a perfect example of the ‘final girl’ and she has carried on to be an amazing hero in the rest of the Scream films. Sidney is an admirable feminist icon in the horror genre and very deserving of her title: ‘Scream Queen’.


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