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And I began to believe myself that that was all I was, a victim, and that was unacceptable to me. So, I sat down, and began to write a new role that would be my own. A role for a woman who could leave the walls of fear behind and step out into the sunlight, out of darkness.
― Scream 4

Sidney Prescott is the heroine and protagonist of the Scream films. She is the daughter of Neil Prescott and his late wife, Maureen (née Roberts), wife of Mark Kincaid and mother to their daughters. She was maternally related to Jill (cousin), Kate (aunt), and Roman (half-brother).

She became a local celebrity heroine after defeating and killing her psychotic boyfriend Billy, and his best friend, Stu, her own mother's killers, who planned to frame her father for a massacre they commit on the one-year anniversary, inside her peaceful hometown, Woodsboro.

Her tormenters use the later-infamous Ghostface costume along with a voice modifier to taunt their victims. The event inspires five copycat killing sprees (three of which she is the primary target), and a slasher franchise known as Stab.

Overall, she survives three massacres in Woodsboro in three separate decades (1996, 2011, 2021), and two other massacres located in Ohio (1998) and Hollywood (2000). With the help of Gale Weathers and eventual Sheriff Dewey Riley, Sidney is able to overcome obstacles against her predators and their copycats.

Sidney Prescott is portrayed by Neve Campbell.

Early Life

Sidney was born in 1979, in Woodsboro, California to workaholic businessman, Neil and former actress/housewife, Maureen. She grew up in a large, isolated Northern California home as a single child, with mountainous surroundings. She was closer to her mother, as her father had always been away on business.

As a 15-year-old high school sophomore, she began dating Billy Loomis. One year into being a couple, her 44-year-old mother, Maureen Prescott was brutally stabbed to death in her bedroom. Sidney came home and found her, having seen an assailant from the window at night wearing Cotton Weary's jacket. She assumed it was him, after evidence found there was sexual intercourse.

In doubt of her mother having an affair, Sidney believed it to be rape and murder, and her witness testimony was the key element to lock Cotton away for good. However, Top Story journalist Gale Weathers wrote scathing tabloid stories against her, calling her a liar that falsely identified him, and also that Maureen had seduced a drunken, younger man, which according to the town one year later, was a "common fact" that "everybody knew about".

Scream

What's the matter Sidney? You look like you've seen a ghost.
― Billy as Ghostface taunting Sidney [src]

Sidney is typing when her boyfriend Billy sneaks in through the window. After dispelling her father's concerns of a scream, he tells her that he is away on business, and won't be back until Sunday. Then, Billy arises from hiding to tell Sidney that he wishes they could have sex, but Sidney settles for a PG-13 relationship, showing her breasts.

Sidney gets a phonecall from Ghostface

The next day at school, reports of Casey and Steve's murders occur. Tatum tells her they were "splatter movie" killed, "ripped from end to end". Sidney is shocked, and tells her that she sits next to her in English. Sidney is then spoken to by Sheriff Burke, who she is well aquatinted with, and Deputy Dewey Riley, Tatum's 25-year-old brother.

Because Tatum's practice ran late, Sidney is not picked up as scheduled. During this time, the killer calls Sidney's house and harasses her before attacking her. She defends herself and resists against the killer to her bedroom, where she attempts to call the police through her computer.

The killer mysteriously disappears and Billy come through her window (as he did the previous night when the murders occurred) to her rescue. As she comes to him for comfort, a phone slips from his pocket. She runs downstairs and finds Dewey and the cops at the door. Billy is hauled off by the police as a suspect and questioned.

Sidney extremely traumatized by the evening's events is taken in by the police to explain what happened and find out the whereabouts of her father. When time to leave, Gale Weathers finds Sidney and presses issues of that night and the book (a sensitive topic) for an interview live. Gale says she will send her a copy and Sidney gives her gratitude with a right hook.

The killer calls her once more at Tatum's house and he reveals to her, that she has "..fingered the wrong guy. Again!" Then promises she will find out soon enough and hangs up. Sidney and Gale have a discussion about Cotton Weary, who Sidney accused of killing her mother.

After she and Billy have a fall out about their mothers, Sidney overhears a few schoolgirls gossiping about her. After they leave, she is attacked by the killer. The school is announced closed and classes are suspended until further notice. Stu, Tatum's boyfriend, then arranges a party for "intimate friends" (even though, it seemed like he invited more). Sidney's best friend, Tatum, is sent by Stu to get more beer for the party and the killer ambushes and kills her.

Soon after Sidney and Billy have sex. Billy is "killed" and Sidney is chased once more by the killer. She sees her best friend Tatum dead, Gale's cameraman, Kenny Brown's death, and Randy in danger with Ghostface in view of the camera Gale planted to record the events of the party. The remaining guests are intrigued to find out their principal had been killed as well and flee to see his corpse. Sidney looks for Dewey's help. She finds him stabbed in the back by the killer and the killer right behind him.

Sidney tries to escape in Dewey's police car, but, unfortunately, the killer took Dewey's keys. She locks up the car to prevent the killer from entering and uses the police radio quickly to report the killers (whether this was received is unknown). The killer comes in through the trunk and Sidney once again narrowly escapes with the killer mysteriously disappearing again. Randy then hysterically calls for Sidney so they can escape together along with Stu.

Sidney trusts no-one at this moment as she grabs for Dewey's pistol. She locks them out of the house. Sidney then sees her surviving boyfriend and rushes to his side. it appears he has gained her trust through him being her first, he was able to convince Sidney to hand the gun to him. Randy rushed in exclaiming "Stu's flipped out! He's gone mad!" Billy replies, "We all go a little mad sometimes..." and shoots Randy. Soon after, Stu has found his way in the back. Sidney goes to him for help, but Stu pulls out the killer's voice recorder and says, "Surprise Sidney". It is revealed that Stu and Billy are the killers and they have held her father captive in order to frame him for the murders.

Sidney with Gale and Randy

After they try to kill her, she kills them both in self-defense. Gale interrupts the killers, but forgets to remove the safety from the gun and is overpowered by Billy. Sidney swiftly hides herself and her father (whom they were going to frame for the murders) in order to buy time.

She dresses as Ghostface and schemes against them. Billy hysterically looks for her. As he comes to the closet Sidney rams him into the wall with the umbrella which makes him release the gun. Then stabs him once more to knock him momentarily unconscious.

Stu, bleeding out from Billy's stabbing, then pursues her, saying "I always had a thing for ya, Sid!" Sidney smashes a vase over his head, subduing him and then throws a TV over his head, electrocuting him to death. She finds Randy surprisingly alive, but is attacked by her surviving boyfriend who has woke up from unconsciousness.

Billy attempts to strangle her as he says, "Say hello to your mother". Sidney uses her finger to impale his stab wound further by the umbrella. He tries to stab her to death only to be shot by a conscious Gale Weathers. Sidney, Gale and Randy gather around Billy's body, as Randy warns them he may return to life. Billy opens his eyes and lets out a grunt. Sidney shoots him to death in the head. Her father leaps out of the closet, and Sidney unties him. Sidney, Dewey, Gale and Randy survive and Gale does a report in the morning telling the events of the previous night, which would make Sidney famous.

Scream 2

Sidney: Yeah? Well, you're forgetting one thing about Billy Loomis.
Mickey: What's that?
Sidney: I fucking killed him.
― Sidney when Mickey reveals himself as one of the killers.

Prank phone called on opening weekend.

Two years later, Sidney is a 19-year-old freshman at college in Ohio, receiving yet another prank phone call. This time it is by a Canadian, Cory Gillis. Sidney repeats legal jargon, before he simply hangs up. Her roommate and best friend, psych major Hallie asks if it is time to change numbers again. She says "no, it's opening weekend, it'll die off". She is referring to Stab, based on The Woodsboro Murders by reporter and author, Gale Weathers.

Windsor seniors, Maureen and Phil are brutally murdered at a midnight sneak-preview screening for the film. As press surround Sidney for questions about the case, she tries to find Randy, who followed her to the same college as an "unrequited love slave". The now-film major is in denial, and later, Sidney's pre-med boyfriend, Derek approaches them and comforts her.

Sideny with Gale and Cotton Weary

Sidney is shocked and angered by wrongful convict and exonoree, Cotton Weary's re-appearance on campus, where Gale led him to believe they would be having a one-on-one sit-down interview, leading Sidney to strike Gale again.

After a sorority girl is killed, Sidney is called by Ghostface yet again, asking "Hello Sidney, remember me?", suggesting a voice from her past has come back. While seeming metaphorical as anyone can wear the killer mask, it later turns out to be literal. After an attack at a sorority party and her boyfriend wounded with a slice on the arm, Sidney is placed under protection with Officers Andrews and Richards, while discussing with her acting teacher, Gus Gold whether she should star as Trojan priestess, Cassandra in the The Fall of Troy.

A copycat pattern emerges when Gale points out the names of the first three victims connect to the first three at Woodsboro, as they are two Maureens, two Caseys and Phil Stevens' surname resembling Steven Orth. Later, Derek sings in front of the cafeteria to Sidney and gives his Greek letters from his fraternity, a forbidden act, to her. He is later captured by frat boys as a traditional frat attack.

While Sidney and her "therapist" Hallie are transported away via car to a planned undisclosed location for secrecy reasons, Ghostface catches them at a red light, killing both officers but injuring himself along the way. Hallie is killed after she and Sidney escape, and Sidney leaves to unmask him back at the car, where he already left to stab Hallie.

Sidney in the second film

Sidney rushes back to the deserted campus where she sees the lit theatre building. She finds Derek tied up, revealing Hallie is dead. Ghostface appears, turns off the voice changer to reveal he is Mickey, her college friend, claiming Derek as his partner. Despite Derek's protests, her PTSD gets the better of her to refrain from untying him, leading Mickey to shoot Derek in the heart. He says, "I would have never hurt you" before dying.

Mickey taunts Sidney and mocks her, highlighting Derek's innocence, and explaining his motive is infamy through a trial to blame the movies, before Nancy Loomis (Billy's mother) emerges from the backdoor of the stage, as the second killer and mastermind. The conwoman, having posed as reporter Debbie Salt following weight loss and cosmetic work, holds Gale at gunpoint. She betrays and shoots Mickey, who then shoots Gale by accidental reflex.

After a final one-on-one battle, where Nancy blames Sidney's mother for ruining her marriage, then Sidney herself for killing her son, declaring her copycat reasoning as "good old fashioned revenge", Cotton Weary interrupts them and plays devil's advocate, before Sidney agrees to his Diane Sawyer interview.

He then shoots Nancy, leaving her for dead. Sidney delivers the final gun shot to the head, before Mickey re-emerges, prompting a risen Gale (whose bullet grazed her ribcage apparently) to shoot him together until he perishes. Later, Sidney tells reporters Cotton is the hero, before leaving campus into obscurity.

Scream 3

Oh you know the usual small talk. "What's new?" "How you been?" "How do you wanna die?"
― Sidney when Gale asks what the killer said when he called her.

Another two years pass by, and Sidney now uses the pseudonym Laura. She is a 21-year-old California women's crisis counsellor hotline worker, helping women who go through issues such as domestic abuse and related traumas. She also adopts a dog, Cherokee. She has a high-security house in the mountains of Monterey, and keeps a poster of her Windsor College poster of The Fall of Troy in her home.

After learning Cotton, who became a controversial talk-show host, has been murdered after shooting a cameo for Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro, her visiting father quells her fears by stating he had a lot of enemies. After he leaves, Sidney has a nightmare of her mother and Ghostface attacking her again. She is later contacted by a woman with her mother's voice, who says she's "killed someone". The voice tells her to turn on the news, where a second cast member is reported as having died. Ghostface then asks her, "Do you think it's over?"

Sidney with Dewey

Sidney then goes to Hollywood to the precinct where she is told to meet with Detective Mark Kincaid. She joyfully reunites with Dewey Riley at the police station, and awkwardly hugs Gale, telling her "I'm glad you're alright". She is informed the killer leaves pictures of her dead mother after every body. Later, she is visited by Randy's 17-year-old sister, Martha Meeks who comes to deliver Dewey a warning tape of the rules of a trilogy. Later, Sidney takes a bathroom break where she catches the actress playing her, Angelina, in a stall stealing souvenirs (a mask, and a phone).

Her black skirt also blends suspiciously with the Ghostface cloak, marking Sidney suspicious. However, Angelina explains it may be her only memories in Hollywood after the film's cancellation. She leaves her brush behind, prompting Sidney to follow her, where she sees the set-version of Stu's house, 261 Turner Lane and later, 34 Elm Street, her own home. Ghostface grabs her from behind, then she subdues him by punching him. She runs upstairs, where the voice of her mother asks her to come to her room.

Ghostface in a body bag and imitating her mother's voice, says "Give me mommy a kiss and we'll make up" before launching at her. She screams, and jumps out where she lands and causes the crew to turn off the night-lights of the set, where it is revealed to be still daytime. She cries frantically, saying he is in the house, and "her mother..." but is unable to finish the sentence. Mark is skeptical, causing Sidney to become angry. She later questions his movie taste in the police station. Later, Mark states he believes her and goes off to catch the killer.

Sidney gets a call from the killer, blackmailing her to go to director John Milton's mansion, where director Roman Bridger is also celebrating his 30th birthday, revealing Dewey and Gale are tied up. As she gets there, she is forced to use a metal detector and is told to throw her gun away in the pool, after she inspects Tyson's corpse. As she unties the couple, Ghostface arrives and attacks, but Sidney reveals a secret, second gun on her, shooting at the killer. Later, Mark arrives, and she questions his innocence. Ghostface stabs him, and she asks the killer to chase her.

After locking herself away, she lands in the screening room where the killer knew where to find her. The killer removes the Maureen body bag cover to unveil his Ghostface costume, then the bulletproof vest, and finally rips off the mask to unveil himself as the director, Roman. He says he is her half-brother, abandoned by their mother at birth following her rape at one of Milton's parties. He claims responsibility for convincing Billy to kill their mother and recruiting Stu.

The siblings have a final showdown, and after Roman shoots Sidney seemingly to death, she later stabs him from behind, revealing her bulletproof vest. Later, Dewey shoots him in the head when he respawns for one final scare. In the epilogue, Sidney is much healthier, happier, refuses to use locks, and is asked to watch a movie with Mark, her implied romantic partner, alongside engaged couple, Dewey and Gale. She asks "What kind of movie?" and he says, "You'll have to come and see", before she notices the door open slightly, smiles, and walks on.

Scream 4

I don't know about you, but I feel a whole lot better.
― Sidney face to face with dead Jill Roberts, after shooting her in chest.

Fifteen years since the Woodsboro Massacre concluded (and sixteen since it began), Sidney returns to Woodsboro on a last stop for her book tour, a PR move by her publicist, Rebecca Walters, to promote Sidney's self-help book titled Out of Darkness, exchanging the title of victim to survivor. However, evidence is planted in her rental linking her to the murders of Marnie and Jenny, two teenage girls killed the night before.

Also given phone calls by Ghostface are Sidney's estranged cousin, Jill Roberts and Jill's next-door neighbor, Olivia. Sidney reunites with Jill, and decides to stay at the Roberts home with her mother's younger sister, Kate, who is Jill's mother, as well as Jill's home-alone best friend, Kirby, where the four women are given 24/7 police watch protection by deputies Hoss and Perkins. Also monitoring the property is an old classmate of Sidney's, Judy Hicks, that is Sheriff Dewey Riley's Sheriff Deputy. Sidney notes Jill's resemblance to her through both their boyfriends climbing through the window. She tells Jill to lock her window.

Sidney with Kate and Ghostface

After Olivia is murdered, Jill is arm-slashed and Sidney is also almost killed. She uses a martial arts kick to hit the killer in the face. Later, they go to the hospital to tend to wounds where Sidney learns of Rebecca's plan to exploit the murders for higher book sales. Sidney fires her, and Rebecca is subsequently murdered, mistaken by the killer for still being apart of Sidney's entourage.

The next day, Sidney attends Cinema Club hosted by film geeks, Charlie and Robbie to figure out the killer's plan and motive. The teens deduce the killer is a Stab film series fanatic working by a horror remake. They try to urge them to cancel Stab-A-Thon 3.0, but are unsuccessful.

That night, Sidney sees Jill upset about her strict curfew imposed by her mother. They bond over similar traumas and losses, before Sidney sees Kate come home from shopping, as a "stress buster". Sidney discovers Jill is no longer in her room, and alerts Kate, who tells. her the cops are no longer there, after she went back to grab the second bag. They try to go to Kirby's, but Ghostface arrives and stabs Kate from the mail slot. Sidney runs into Deputy Judy Hicks and tells her of the casualty. Deputy Hicks sees the body and reports it over her police radio. As she attempts to apologize about the casualty of her aunt to Sidney, Hicks realizes she is gone.

Sidney tearfully asks Jill to come with her, as Robbie collapses telling them to run. Ghostface chases the cousins upstairs, as Kirby disperses downstairs. Sidney orders Jill to hide under the bed, as Sidney falls off the roof, before alerting Dewey that she's at Kirby's. All units are called to 329, Whispering Lane.

Sidney hiding from Ghostface

Later, Sidney runs into Kirby, who tells her the landline is dead and someone slashed the router. Sidney tells her she called the cops. Later, Ghostface attacks Charlie from outside the basement patio doors. Sidney tells Kirby to stay on the phone, as she goes to find Jill.

Later, she discovers Jill is gone and goes back to look for Kirby. She hears a noise coming from the basement, calling to Kirby, before being grabbed by Charlie (the noise is, in fact, a twice-stabbed Kirby, left to bleed out by Charlie's hand). Sidney escapes Charlie's clutches until she is arm-slashed by Ghostface, who unmasks themselves: it is Jill herself.

Motivated by fame, wealth, and jealousy, Jill tells Sidney that she is the "special one" now, and she now wants her fifteen minutes, with the ultimate goal being to become her. Their plan to outdo the original is by outdoing the kill count, and also filming the murders. Jill shoots Trevor to death, planning to frame him as Billy, and then stabs her boyfriend-accomplice, Charlie to death in front of Sidney, framing him as Stu. After this, she stabs Sidney twice in the abdomen and stages her victim attack. Both are rushed to the hospital.

Sidney survives and is placed in the ICU. Jill comes in to finish her off when she is later on regular bed rest. However, Sidney manages to kill Jill with fully charged defibrillator paddles to the brain, thanks to Gale distracting her, then shoots a single bullet into her chest. Sidney then lies down next to her cousin's corpse and says, "I don't know about you but I feel a whole lot better". Outside the hospital, the press misreports Jill as a survivor, and an American hero right out of the movies.

Scream 5

Stu Macher's nephew is murdered, and Billy Loomis' illegitimate daughter is almost killed, setting off the 25th Anniversary Woodsboro Legacy Murders. Retired former sheriff, 50-year-old, Dewey Riley contacts a now-married Sidney to warn her, who is getting an exercise run in, before she intends to take her daughters to school.

The pair are now somewhat estranged, and Sidney is aware of Dewey's own divorce from Gale. She tells him that she's "Sidney fucking Prescott" and "of course" she has a gun, when asked. She also tells him to be safe, and Dewey is relieved that nothing will bring her back to Woodsboro. However, Dewey himself is killed, which becomes the only thing that would bring her back. Sidney comforts a grieving Gale, and Gale asks about "Mark and the kids", revealing she and Detective Kincaid got married.

Sidney meets her dead boyfriend, Billy's 24-year-old daughter Sam, a reminder that Billy cheated on her. She is apathetic though, instead offering advice and tells her that she has been "through this a lot". Sam rejects her offer for help, intending to leave Woodsboro with her sister and boyfriend, Richie. She reveals to a disappointed Gale that she put a tracker on her car.

Sidney Scream 5 Ending.png

They follow her to discover they are entering Stu's old house, where Sam's sister, Tara's best friend, Amber lives. She warns her to "get the fuck out". Then, Amber appears crying, saying "He stabbed me", before quickly losing the act, as she notices Gale and Sidney's dubious faces. She shoots Gale, and Gale tells Sidney to finish it "for Dewey". Sidney enters, saying she will shoot all rooms, so "killer or not", everyone must come out. She is bored of the killer who calls her, hanging up, before finding Richie in the closet, shooting him in the leg.

He acts innocuous before Amber attacks her. Sidney falls over the banister, before the gun falls away. Richie goes to grab it, but stabs Sam. Richie and Amber are Stab film purists, needing to kill Dewey to make the movie have "stakes", and to get the legacy characters back to "make it real". They plan to frame Sam. Amber stabs Sidney in the stomach. During the body staging plan, Sidney and "very Ex Mrs. Riley", Gale, retrieved from being shot, subdue Amber; Sidney turns the gas stove on, and Gale fires at Amber, setting her on fire. Later, Sam kills Richie, and Tara finishes off Amber. Sidney tells a curious Sam that she will be okay "eventually".

Kill Count

Behind the Scenes

Neve Campbell during the events of Scream 4

  • Sidney was portrayed by Canadian actress Neve Campbell in all five Scream films.
  • She was described as "a young girl of 17... sharp and clever with deep, lonely eyes" in the Scream script.
  • She was described as "Two years older has brought a maturity to this beautiful young woman. Her face poses a maturity to this beautiful young woman. Her face poses a survivor's edge. Stronger and more determined, she appears to have weathered the storm" in the Scream 2 script.
  • She was described as "the stoic, survivor. Now 24" in the Scream 3 script. The age is a mistake.
  • Sidney struck Gale twice in the face.
  • She fought all the killers in the Scream films.
  • Ghostface chased her and failed 5 times.
  • Sidney once wore the Father Death costume in Scream to fight Billy
  • Sidney said that she and Roman think alike as both wore a bullet-proof vest protecting themselves from gunshots to the chest.
  • The only killers she did not harm physically was Richie Kirsch.
  • 80s staple actress Molly Ringwald was offered the role of Sidney. She turned it down, stating at the time that she wasn't about the be a 27 year old playing a high school student.
  • According to Internet Movie Database, Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon also turned down the role of Sidney Prescott.
  • Actress Brittany Murphy was considered for the role of Sidney.


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