A Definitive Ranking of Every Ghostface in The Scream Franchise 

By: Nicole Chedraoui

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve found the majority of my writing and research at the Herald to be a little too heavy.

Immersing myself into headlines about the public health crisis of gun control, universal medicare, and the ever growing climate crisis, it’s safe to say I’ve found myself straying from my typical Buzzfeed style. And while there is nothing more I love in this world than raising awareness on pressing humanitarian crises, within the last week, I found myself turning to a topic of comfort in lieu of the chaos on the news. However, a fun fact about me, one genre that brings me an outlet of release and escapism from the world’s calamity and chaos is none other than the fictional world of horror. In particular, my ultimate comfort movies are none other than the quintessential cinematic masterpieces known as the Scream franchise. Totalling in at a whopping set of 6 subsequent movies, remakes, and requels, the Scream franchise has seen a recent pique in viewership ever since the drop of Scream 6 on March 10th of this year. 

In honor of Scream 6’s arrival in theaters, I dedicated a whole week of my life (due to a bout of CRIPPLING senioritis) to rewatching all 6 movies in the franchise in a row. Roughly 11 hours of Scream later, and today I’m returning to my buzzfeed routes to put my absurdist ghostface rankings together to provide THE ULTIMATE roster of ghostface killers throughout the entirety of Scream’s legacy. 

BRIEF BUT IMPERATIVE DISCLAIMER: I am in no way promoting the romanticization of serial killers in making this article. When referring to horror, I feel it’s imperative we separate the legacies we leave behind in regards to real-life killers and victims vs. the works of entirely fictional cinema. Nobody was harmed in the making of the Scream movies, unlike the newly popularized, insensitive Netflix documentaries featuring Bundy or Dahmer. Today’s ranking is purely based on who was the best written and most iconic masked villain.  

Let’s get started. Spoiler Warning (Obvi).

(Worst to Best) 

13. Jason Carvey (Scream 6)

I know what you may be thinking. “Nicole, who the heck is Jason Carvey?” And to that I say, EXACTLY. The most memorable thing about Jason Carvey is that the actor in real life played Flash from Tom Holland’s Spiderman. In fact, I believe they don’t even mention Jason’s full name in the movie. Reeling in a whopping screen time of 5 minutes, Jason served as the ghostface in the opening credit of Scream 6. In the total of 5 minutes in which he appeared on my screen, he managed to make me irk with a burning rage that no other ghostface could. No motive, no prerogative, no morals, and even less common sense, Jason was your stereotypical college film bro (except more serial killer-y.) Jason quite literally killed his college film professor over a bad grade, and somehow, at the same time, was weirdly sexual about it. Jason invented the word scum-bag but not in a cute anti-hero way. I have to say I was inexplicably relieved to see him die by the real ghostface–bro positively needed to be put out of his misery. 

12. Roman Bridger (Scream 3)

This is probably the hottest take I have ever made on the Herald, and I type this paragraph with shaky hands in fear of the backlash this ranking may receive. My ultimate defense to ranking Roman as the second worst ghostface there ever was is entirely simple and extremely understated. In short, I just found that guy positively BORING. If you asked me to recite a single kill from Scream 3, nay, a single plot line from Scream 3, I genuinely don’t think I could. From deep within my bones, with the utmost confidence, I have to say this unveiling disappointed me more than my rejection from UNC Chapel Hill. Scream’s entire brand is “the power of two” and the psychology behind dynamic duos and how their criminal masterminds band together to create complex and shocking reveals. Roman looked like every other mediocre white dude on set, and when he was revealed, I found myself going– which one was he, again? The only thing Roman had going for him was that he was arguably one of the most prolific killers the series has ever seen, and he had actual motive. But I mean, come ON we’re supposed to believe your Sidney’s half brother? Sorry to say the genetics are not genetic-ing, Roman. Boo. Bad. 1/10

11. Richie Kirsch (Scream 5)

Next on the chopping block, we have none other than Richie–ginger-bearded-gross-film-boy, Richie. Richie, my man, you could not have been more obvious if you tried. If I were Sam Carpenter and my boyfriend refused to get my severely asthmatic sister her inhaler, I’d perhaps curb stomp him and break up. Richie, much like Roman, had a severe case of a mediocre-white-guy-syndrome, but unlike Roman, he actually had a WAY worse motive. Richie chose mass public execution because he was a little too into the fictional “Stab” series and thought remaking it himself would be a silly-goofy-fun time. The only reason he’s ranking higher than Roman is because his white-boy charisma was decently more memorable and he managed to make an unmistakable amount of kills in BROAD DAYLIGHT. This man was secretly lowkey, maniacal and conniving, and without him we would not have received the entirety of Scream 6’s plotline (which is one of the best Scream’s to date). However he was also dating Amber, who was 100% a minor, like dude, pick a crime and stick to it! This guy sucked. 1/10

10. Detective Bailey (Scream 6)

While he is absolutely the most underwhelming of the killers in Scream 6, Detective Bailey will be able to rest easy knowing that he most definitely is winning “Worst Father of The Year” award. Any child who lets their child become so enthralled with the romantics of serial killing from that young of an age definitely deserves life in jail. When you find yourself being the father of not 1, not 2, but 3 serial killers, perhaps it may be time to sit back and reflect on the familial environment you’ve created for your children. As if I wasn’t already on bad terms with the cops of our nation, Detective Bailey really took the term ACAB to the next level. Stealing police evidence and solidifying his role as the most corrupt policeman of all time, Detective Bailey’s whole motive was to avenge his late-great son, ginger-bearded-gross-film-boy (aka Richie), who was previously murdered by Sam in Scream 5. Honestly, for a man who was supposedly behind the whole operation, he left the majority of the killing to his children. He was kind of a wimp. He also killed Sam’s poor psychologist which I’m still honestly pretty bummed about–that poor, poor, traumatized therapist. Overall, Bailey was an uninteresting, disappointing, and downright deranged dude.This is a reminder that not everybody should be allowed to have kids!

9.Mickey Altieri (Scream 2) 

Coming all the way from the clubhouse, next we have no other than Mickey! (Get it? Get it?) No, but on a real note, Mickey is responsible for, in my opinion, the most tragic, upsetting, entirely uncalled for death in the entire franchise. That death is no other than Sidney’s perfect golden-retriever boyfriend, Derek. In Derek’s final moments on earth, Mickey made Sidney believe her own true love was responsible for the mass killings on campus. The real tragedy occurs when the audience discovers Sidney’s fatal mistake in not trusting her gut, and ultimately we lose one of the most wholesome love stories a horror movie franchise has ever seen. If Mickey Altieri could do one thing in this life, it was to manipulate the hell out of a female protagonist. Mickey wasn’t here for the kill, he was here for the chase. Actually, Mickey was here to be this totally endearing, boy-next-door sidekick who constantly reassured and gaslighted Sidney. His motive was, once again, tired. We get it,  “film bro goes off the rails.” Yawn. Boo. RIP frat bro Derek. 

8. Debbie Loomis (Scream 2) 

Debbie, Debbie, Debbie. I can’t tell if I disliked you more before or after I discovered you were a serial killer. Debbie Loomis is, undoubtedly, the most insufferable Ghostface there ever was, pre and post reveal. Appearing on our screens as a more intolerable version of Gale Weathers, Debbie’s insufferable 90’s haircut and unbearable personality had me physically groaning every time she appeared on stage. Debbie Loomis gives a bad name to gingers, and an even worse name to serial killers. The biggest reason Mrs. Loomis is coming in at number 8– rather than number 13–is because unlike some of the other killers, Debbie was never a suspect within my mind. Debbie looked like the type to chuck cookies at oncoming Girl Scouts, not the type to mass murder. Debbie is, frankly, my worst nightmare. She takes wine-mom Karen to the next level. She’s the type to not only try to get a waitress fired over a wrong order, but effectively murder them for it. In all honesty, the coolest thing about Debbie is that her son is Skeet Ulrich. I mean c’mon, that’s a flex. Her motive was honestly tired and boring. We get it, Sidney killed your psychopath son, let’s leave the past in the past, Deb! I don’t know what was more criminal, the hair or the murder. 8/13 boo, Little Debbie. 

7. Charlie Walker (Scream 4) 

Coming in straight from the Chocolate Factory, next up is none other than our favorite cool skate bro, Charlie! I’m honestly unsurprised that we all never guessed Charlie was the killer- it’s criminal for somebody with such beautiful silky hair to commit mass murder. Honestly, it’s a downright shame. One thing about Charlie, he was an absolute basket case from the beginning. The dude was downright weird. I originally found his nervous flirtation with Kirby to be adorably charming and affectionate, but looking back now, I can totally see that this man should never be within a 3 foot radius of a woman. Charlie secured his ranking here because he made me (physically) spit out my Blue Glacier Gatorade at the end of Scream 4. Tied up and bound to a chair, Charlie had the entire audience convinced that he was Ghostface’s next victim. I mean, the man was shedding some hefty tears! Looking back, I have to reminisce that Charlie had to be a March Pisces, for that is the only way for a man to be this good at emotional manipulation. I think Charlie’s reveal hurt the most because I see a lot of myself in Kirby. Kirby was a kind soul who was a little bit too trusting, and ultimately in her attempt to rescue Charlie (ever the victim), she found herself being stabbed right in the abdomen. I think the moral of the story here’s to never fall for a film bro-especially if he’s a Pisces with silky hair! 

6. Quinn Bailey (Scream 6) 

Speaking of silky hair and emotional manipulation, next up we have Quinn Bailey from Scream 6! Quinn is the second and final ginger in our lineup, and inarguably one of the best, most confusing, reveals of all time. I say confusing, because Quinn Bailey is supposedly deceased for the better half of the movie;however, I suppose it must not be hard to fake being murdered when your dad (and fellow Ghostface partner) is the Chief of Police. While Quinn was off everybody’s radar thanks to her bloodied and “unconscious” body being thrown into Sam and Tara’s living room- if you rewatch the movie, you actually feel quite stupid for not picking up on certain cues. For example, she literally tells us HER WHOLE MURDER AGENDA MOTIVE. Yes, you heard me correctly. In the first 5 minutes of the movie, Quinn admits to recently losing her “brother” and escaping to New York City to live with her dad after his death. What us viewers aren’t aware of is the fact that her brother is RICHIE KIRSCH (former Ghostface and mediocre serial killer), and her dad is her homicidal partner in crime! Aside from being entirely delusional and in need of psychological intervention, Quinn was a really cool chick with some super modern feminism views. You win some, you lose some I guess. 

5. Ethan Bailey (Scream 6) 

Now that we’ve covered the two elder Bailey killer’s, it’s time we dive into the most adorable one: (once again not romanticization) Ethan Bailey was strategically formed to be just that, adorable. He’s the quirky and cute nerd who joins the Scream 5 friend group with absolutely no backstory whatsoever. Ethan said cute things like “I can’t die yet, I’m still a virgin!” And “It wasn’t me dude, I had Econ!” However, because he was so cute and adorable, these excuses worked like a charm! Don’t let those puppy dog eyes and curly brown hair fool you, Ethan Bailey gets the award for the most brutal killing in the Scream Franchise. By breaking into his best friend’s apartment, Ethan not only fatally stabbed his college bud Annika, he actually cornered her out a window, onto a ladder, and repeatedly shook, and eventually flipped the ladder over. Falling from a five story drop, Annika lost at least half her body weight in blood.Annika was provoked for at least five business minutes as she suspended from midair with a Ghostface on her trail. Ethan was truly as ruthless and sadistic as they come, and not just because of his kills, but because of how good he was at putting up a facade. Jack Champion deserves a cookie for this performance 10/10. 

4. Amber Freeman (Scream 5) 

Speaking of ruthless and sadistic, I think it’s well past time we talk about America’s favorite psycho-girl boss: Mrs. Amber Freeman. I personally like Amber’s storyline the best because of how disturbingly real her motive was. I’m not entirely sure if Scream 5 was intentionally trying to come off as woke and politically motivated, but Amber’s motive being her vicious “radicalization” definitely struck home in 2020. Living in former serial killer Stu Macher’s house, you’d have to be a bit daft to not pick up on the fact Amber was a little screwed up. She’s not like other girls, she likes to date older men (serial killers) and throws ragers when her “best friends” get murdered (she murdered them). One thing about Amber, she didn’t give a flying goose crap. So much so, she actually scolds Mindy in the basement for coming down there alone and further says “how do you know I’m not the killer?” Amber was literally jumping up and down kicking her feet and giggling while committing mass murder, and honestly Mikey Madison scares the ever living daylights out of me. Girly caught on fire and survived. She was cold, vindictive, and virtually indestructible for a 5 ‘2, sixteen year old. Mikey Madison ATE this role up. 

Alexa play “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys. 

3. Billy Loomis (Scream 1)

Ah yes, the man, the myth, the legend. Billy Loomis invented the Scream franchise. His mere name brings chills to the arms of 90’s kids around the world. Skeet Ulrich was the serial killer to end all serial killers. I don’t know what type of messed up method-acting went into the creation of the “Billy Loomis” persona, but good God that man is chillingly petrifying. So you may be asking yourself, Nicole, why is he not #1? To that I say, there is a difference between the best Ghostface and the most scary Ghostface. One thing that made Billy Loomis so striking off the bat was that everybody pretty much knew the whole time that he was the killer. I mean, c’mon, even Randy Meeks explicitly says in the movie “it’s Billy Loomis, he’s prime suspect #1.” As Randy once said (may he rest in peace) “you’re telling me that’s not a killer?!” Billy Loomis walked like a killer, talked like a killer, and breathed in the absolute aura of a psychopath. However Billy’s chilling persona isn’t winning spot #1, because in a way, his motive wasn’t crazy enough. He was methodical, he made sense, he had a motive. He is bone chillingly terrifying, but he is nothing compared to the next two. 

2. Jill Roberts (Scream 4)

If Billy Loomis was the serial killer to end all serial killers, Jill Roberts was the psychopath to end all psychopaths. Jill Roberts invented the word narcissist. She single-handedly committed more to the bit then any other Ghostface in the entirety of the Scream franchise. I have never once seen a character so horrifyingly deranged, so entirely disassociated from reality, so completely unattached from the mere concept of empathy. Jill Roberts has inspired me to become a psychology major. With a motive so fresh and divergent from any other Ghostface to date, Jill Roberts just wanted to be loved. Living in the shadow of her wildly popular cousin Sidney Prescott, Jill Roberts was thirsty for attention. Jill wasn’t some crazy movie buff or some estranged family member of a past killer, no, Jill was just a teenage girl with an eerie sense of entitlement–an entitlement that would drive her to murder everyone close to her for a chance to bask in the limelight. Jill Roberts killed her mother to gain national press on television, and she was the ONLY Ghostface to make it past Act 3 (essentially getting away with mass murder). Jill had the most elaborate plan, the most skewed mindset, and the most psychiatric anomalies. Jill was so madly unbalanced, it almost became comical trying to understand her, because WHAT!?!? After murdering God knows how many people, Jill spends at least four minutes of screen time propelling herself into glass walls, stabbing herself with kitchen utensils, scratching her skin raw, and ripping out substantial chunks of her hair–all to sell the bit that she was the victim of a brutal attack. I truly believe there was not a Ghostface more deranged than Jill Roberts. Emma Roberts, girl, you were FERAL. 

1.Stu Macher (Scream 1)

WE’VE MADE IT LADIES AND GENTS (and non-binary folk) to the final, critically acclaimed, inarguably BEST killer in the entirety of the franchise! Drum roll please…… STU MACHER! You may be wondering what truly sets apart Stu from the other 13 killers that are on this list, and to that I have to say, everything. Stu is unlike any serial killer that has hit national television,ever. The prime reason for this being that he is literally not scary at all. Stu is wildly endearing, like a golden retriever playing with a herd of ducklings. Stu doesn’t have a single motive in killing any of the four people he brutally ended.He is truly, just along for the ride. Something about his lighthearted-go-lucky homdicial spree is so much more iconic than the brooding-methodical kills his partner Billy Loomis executes. Stu had not a single thought in his little head, and I’m convinced a part of Matthew Lillard was really just embodying his role of Shaggy, which he starred in soon after in the live-action Scooby-Doo. In Stu Macher’s mind, he could either stay home and watch a Jamie Lee Curtis movie with his parents, or he could commit mass murder with his good bud Billy. Stu just kind of flipped a coin and decided murder could be a suitable hobby. In a way, Stu is the most deranged of them all, because what could have POSSIBLY drawn him to murder? He has no motive, no agenda, and absolutely no shame. He invented the word camp. Stu Macher being a serial killer was wildly absurdist, and I live for absurdism. At one point, Stu literally said “I didn’t kill anybody” with a smile on his face, just for funsies, without being prompted or asked. He has this weird child-like knack for being corrupted, and I’m almost positive he had a FAT crush on Billy. Couple goals to be honest.

That was it for this week’s definitive ranking! Let me know in the comments if you want more Scream content at the Herald, I have plenty of commentary to go around. Stay safe out there kids!


One thought on “A Definitive Ranking of Every Ghostface in The Scream Franchise 

  1. I must thank you for such a well curated article, there are sometimes i look for movies download sites endlessly without a single one having the movie i was looking to download but your article has helped me get some useful and dependable websites.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s