© Elle Marr for I Like Scary Movies

Scream 5 Predictions: Who’s The New Killer?

As we all know, Scream 5, simply titled Scream (which, for sake of clarity, I will be referring to as Scream 5 herein) is slated for its theatre release this Friday, January 14th. Since the announcement of its release in late 2019, Scream fans have been equal parts excited for a new installment of the franchise and apprehensive to see a new Scream movie without its beloved director Wes Craven at the helm for the first time since his tragic passing in 2015. To add to fans’ uncertainty, creator Kevin Williamson (90s teen slasher writer extraordinaire known for I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Faculty) won’t be writing the screenplay for Scream 5 (as he did for the original Scream) like many had hoped for in the wake of losing Wes Craven. However, Kevin Williamson will still be returning as an executive producer for Scream 5, after producing Scream 2 through Scream 4.

I personally have high hopes for Scream 5 not just because Kevin Williamson is still the executive producer, but because the new directors slated to fill Wes Craven’s shoes, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett both directed one of my favourite horror movies, Ready Or Not. Like many fans, although I’m disappointed that Kevin Williamson will not be writing the screenplay for Scream 5, I am putting my faith in him and the new directors’ decision to have the screenplay written by two new writers based on Kevin Williamson’s characters, as with previous sequels in the franchise (although it seems like historically, this choice was due to scheduling issues on Williamson’s part, like when he was already contractually committed to other projects during the development of Scream 4). At least one of these new writers, Guy Busick, looks more than promising, as he co-wrote the aforementioned horror gem, Ready Or Not, and also has a couple of writing credits for the Stephen-King-inspired TV series, Castle Rock on his résumé. According to IMDB, the other writer, James Vanderbilt is largely known for writing action movies, so it will be interesting to see what he brings to the table for Scream 5.

Who Will Be The Killers, Victims, and Survivors?

After watching horror content creator Zack Cherry’s recent YouTube video detailing his Scream 5 killer predictions, I was inspired to come up with my own predictions of who will be the killers, red herrings, victims, and survivors in this new franchise entry. This list is just for fun since my predictions are solely based on the two trailers (both the official trailer from Paramount and this fan cut trailer) and the “Ghostface Is Back” featurette that has been released. Additionally, I have read zero articles about the movie to remain spoiler-free and to have the best possible first-time-watching experience that only comes from going blindly into a film and enjoying the ride without any preconceived notions. With that said, I am officially absolving myself of blame if I, to quote Ghostface in the original Scream, “finger the wrong guy” (that infamous quote will forever be hilarious to me).

Onto my Scream 5 predictions…

Credit: Elle Marr for I Like Scary Movies

Scream 5 Killer(s)

Image © Paramount Pictures

Richie Kirsch

To state the obvious, based on the trailers Richie appears to be the boyfriend character to this generations’ Sidney stand-in, Sam. To use Charlie’s terminology from Scream 4, if Scream (a.k.a. Scream 5) is going to be “less of a shriek-quel and more of a scream-make” as the title suggests, I predict that this new installment is going to go back to the roots of the original Scream. Therefore, unlike Scream 4 where the rules are reversed and “the unexpected is the new cliché”, I can see Scream 5 going back to the old “rules”. Although Scream 5 following the two male killers blueprint of the original seems predictable, that in and of itself is what makes it unpredictable. Fans wouldn’t expect this new entry to go in this direction because it would seem too obvious, but herein lies the genius of this kind of deception. Like in the original Scream, Billy seemed almost too obvious to be the killer—an exaggerated red herring—and especially when he faked his death, he was decidedly ruled out as the killer. This automatic dismissal of Billy is what made his killer reveal excitedly shocking to audiences. I wouldn’t doubt that Richie will be given the Billy Loomis “is-he-or-isn’t-he-the-killer?” treatment before ultimately being unmasked as Ghostface in Scream 5.

Plus, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that showing Richie leaving the room with him or another character (it’s unclear who in the trailer) saying “I’ll be right back” à la OG killer, Stu Macher can’t be a coincidence, right? In my opinion, this could be a little easter egg for eagle-eyed fans of the original to retrospectively delight in after watching the movie and seeing Richie revealed to be the killer (or one of the killers).

What do you think Richie's role will be in Scream 5?

Image © Paramount Pictures

Wes Hicks

If this fifth entry in the franchise follows in it’s predecessors’ footsteps and has two Ghostface killers, I predict the second killer alongside Richie would be Wes. Judging by the trailers, it’s hard to pinpoint the role that Wes plays in the group dynamic of the new cast members, but if they are any reflection of the legacy cast, I am inclined to agree with Zack Cherry that Wes might be positioned as a new Randy-type (not unlike Hayden Panettiere’s Kirby in Scream 4, who I desperately wish was coming back in Scream 5, but I digress). However, unlike Kirby, this generation’s potential Randy proxy may not prove to be as loveable if they are unexpectedly revealed as a killer in the final act.

Also, judging by his last name, he could be a son or nephew of Deputy Judy Hicks, which could be a factor that somehow plays into his motive (see my predictions for her at the end of this post).

What do you think Wes's role will be in Scream 5?

Scream 5 Red Herrings

Note: The red herrings mentioned below could ultimately be victims or survivors, which are outlined in my predictions.

Image © Paramount Pictures

Vince Schneider

Little is known about Vince, played by one of my all-time crushes, the talented Kyle Gallner. Vince looks sketchy in the trailers but is not likely to be a key player in Scream 5, as he was excluded from the promotional poster series featuring lead cast members posing with the iconic Ghostface mask. With Kyle Gallner’s acting chops in the horror domain (as demonstrated in Jennifer’s Body and even the Interrogation TV series) I am disappointed that he appears to be a second-string character to the main cast, solely functioning as a token red herring. For this reason, I believe he will ultimately be a victim of Ghostface after his character has fulfilled his purpose of throwing off suspicion from the younger cast members who are probable suspects in the new Woodsboro murders.

What do you think Vince's role will be in Scream 5?

Image © Paramount Pictures

Amber Freeman

Looking back on previous killer combos in the Scream franchise we have seen a male/male killer duo, a male/female killer duo, and a lone male killer, but have yet to see a female/female killer duo. It’s safe to say that the writers and producers of Scream 5 would be aware of this and perhaps inclined to give the fans something different (it is 2022, after all). But in my opinion, in doing so they might fear that this natural progression towards two female killers would be too predictable to fans. If this is the case, I picture Amber and also Liv being red herrings. Amber especially would be the perfect misdirect from the real killer since we know she is highly skilled at portraying “crazy”, as seen when she played a Manson girl in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. To this point, in terms of her fate, I believe she will ultimately be a survivor because to make her a victim would be a waste of her acting talents for potential franchise entries in the future.

Lastly, in the trailer another female character, Tara can be seen receiving taunting texts from Ghostface via Amber’s phone saying, “This isn’t Amber” (cue déjà vu with the Scream 4 reference to “This isn’t Trevor”, a fellow Ghostface red herring of the past). That has to be an intentional reference, right? Similar to the aforementioned “I’ll be right back” nod to the original, I think this could be another quote from a past Scream entry that could be a clue as to who the victims and the new killer(s) might be in Scream 5.

What do you think Amber's role will be in Scream 5?

Image © Paramount Pictures

Liv McKenzie

Out of all the new cast members, Liv might have the least screentime in the trailers, so it’s tricky to predict her role in the Scream 5 cast as it relates to the legacy cast. To take a shot in the dark, she might be a sassy Tatum Riley type. Alternatively, she may be a red herring, judging from the fan cut trailer that shows Liv’s phone 2 ft away from Chad right before he appears to be attacked by Ghostface, which is a classic killer misdirect. If that scene is anything to go off of, and she is just a pawn for Ghostface, I am assuming she will ultimately be a victim.

What do you think Liv's role will be in Scream 5?

Scream 5 Victims

Image © Paramount Pictures

Tara Carpenter

After roles in the TV series, You and Netflix’s The Babysitter: Killer Queen, Jenna Ortega is a recognizable new cast member to draw in a fresh, younger audience, similar to Drew Barrymore’s star power at the time of the original Scream. Therefore, similar to the death of Drew Barrymore’s Casey Becker, I think Tara will die in the cold open. This prediction seems to be substantiated by the trailer that begins with Tara, a young girl receiving a phone call from Ghostface, not unlike the true opening scene of Scream 4. So it seems that this new installment will be carrying on the Scream tradition of Ghostface calling his victims on the phone while they are home alone before ultimately murdering them.

Moreover, Tara’s absence from the other cast in the trailers either implies that she was murdered early in the film or she is simply not a significant character. If that is the case, then killing her off in the cold open would be viewed as a respectful nod to the original without being deemed detrimental to the plot. Yes, the cold open kill may be “predictable” but that is canceled out by the fact it would be paying homage to the original in classic Scream, self-referential form. Furthermore, she is the sister of the main character Sam, so her death could be the catalyst that kicks of the new reign of terror in Woodsboro that’s targeting Sam, mirroring Sidney’s mom’s death and its effect on Sidney in the original Scream.

What do you think Tara's role will be in Scream 5?

Image © Paramount Pictures

Dewey Riley

It’s rare that a horror franchise keeps all of its core characters alive through all of the sequels, so sadly the time may be up for one another one of our beloved Woodsboro alums (RIP Randy) and I think it’s Dewey who will be the next to go in Scream 5. I agree with Zack Cherry that yes, it would be shocking to reveal one of our core three—Sidney, Gale, or Dewey—to be the killer this time around, but it would also be completely ridiculous and illogical, and therefore extremely unlikely. Instead, I think we will get an equally shocking subversion of expectations if we were to lose one of the core three that fans would consider as an off-limit main character (like when we lost fan-favorite, Randy in Scream 2). Most notably, Dewey was originally supposed to die in the first Scream (and for that matter, narrowly survived Scream 2 against all likelihood), so it’s reasonable to speculate that the writers and producers of Scream 5 would assume that they have the late Wes Craven’s blessing to kill off this particular main character and give audiences the shock value they expect from this much-anticipated entry into the franchise.

What do you think Dewey's role will be in Scream 5?

Scream 5 Survivors

Image © Paramount Pictures

Sidney Prescott

It would be an irrefutable mistake to kill off Sidney as she is the backbone of the franchise. Period. I also think she will be a pivotal part of Scream 5, acting as a kind of mentor to the new generation of characters as they navigate the recent series of Ghostface attacks, a battle that final girl Sidney has years of experience in.

What do you think Sidney's role will be in Scream 5?

Image © Paramount Pictures

Gale Riley

It would be a risky move to kill off Gale as she is, in my opinion, too beloved by fans—we wouldn’t want to cause massive outrage again, like when Randy was unexpectedly murdered by Ghostface in Scream 2. Perhaps most importantly, to kill Gale off would be disrespectful to the memory of Wes Craven, as she is a character that Wes and Kevin Williamson so lovingly developed beyond what could have been a vapid side character into a three-dimensional, badass woman. Plus, judging by the trailer, it looks like for the first time in the franchise Sidney and Gale’s relationship will be further developed, which would be a powerful theme that could be carried into future sequels.

What do you think Gale's role will be in Scream 5?

Image © Paramount Pictures

Sam Carpenter

Sam Carpenter appears to be this generation’s Sidney Prescott. As such, if she is to step into Sidney’s shoes, then I expect her to have strong character development and staying power to continue Sidney’s legacy for a new audience. As the new “final girl”, I predict that Sam will survive and continue as a main character in future franchise entries. Although I can’t completely rule out that writers wouldn’t throw us a curveball and she could become an unexpected victim, I predict that she won’t be revealed as the killer, since as Zack Cherry pointed out, it seems highly unlikely that they would do another Jill-esque killer, which was already played out most recently in Scream 4. I think it would be too soon to repeat such a similar theme.

What do you think Sam's role will be in Scream 5?

Mindy & Chad Meeks-Martin

Again, I agree with Zack Cherry that introducing these two characters, Mindy and Chad who are related to Randy Meeks is the franchise’s way of making amends for Randy’s death in Scream 2. Therefore these two characters will most likely survive the movie in honour of Randy’s legacy, and to carry the franchise into future sequels. Although it looks like Chad is stabbed in the trailer, we all know that Wes Craven was a fan of the cutaway-before-confirmed-death fakeout, so I expect we will see more of this technique repeated in this new installment.

Editor’s Note: You may notice that Mindy is shown wearing a little pride pin in the promo poster and in some of the movie stills which begs the question, will her character be an LGBTQ ally or member? It will be interesting to see an openly queer character introduced into the Scream franchise as opposed to simply having queer-coded characters, especially since writer Kevin Williamson is an out gay man, himself.

What do you think Mindy's role will be in Scream 5?

What do you think Chad's role will be in Scream 5?


I’m going to take a page out of Zack Cherry’s proverbial book and include a “wildcard” category in my Scream 5 predictions. This category is reserved for a character that’s difficult to pinpoint, who could convincingly fit the profile of one or more of these categories (i.e. killer(s), red herrings, victims, survivors).

Image © Paramount Pictures

Deputy Judy Hicks

Deputy Judy Hicks was a red herring in Scream 4, coming across as eccentric and a little unstable, with much of her background unknown (aside from being a former classmate of Sidney’s). When so little is known about her past, it’s fair to say she might be hiding a darker side behind her unassuming demeanor. If they’re making Scream 5 a sequel to Scream 4 (as opposed to a reboot of the franchise starting from the first or second Scream, like fans initially speculated), I feel like the writers brought Judy back for an important reason—could that reason be that she’s the new Ghostface? I can’t quite wrap my mind around the idea, but at the same time, I can’t completely discount its plausibility either.

References to “the past” were made in the trailers and family ties have always been a strong theme throughout the Scream franchise, so there very well could be a familial connection that makes Deputy Judy go on a killing rampage. Although I am of the belief that there will be two male killers again, Deputy Judy Hicks is an unpredictable character and hard to pin down; so if she is revealed as a second or even third killer, perhaps she is killing on behalf of, or because of her son, Wes as Zack Cherry predicts.

What do you think Deputy Judy Hick's role will be in Scream 5?

Do you agree with these predictions? Who do you think the killer (or killers), victims, and survivors will be in Scream 5? Vote above and share your theories in the comment section below.