Scream Wiki
Scream Wiki

A businessman from Woodsboro, Neil Prescott was the father of Sidney Prescott and the widower of Maureen Prescott. He was the prime suspect in the Woodsboro murders and nearly a victim himself. A small amount of suspicion fell on him during the Windsor College murders, but was proven wrong after Mickey Altieri and Debbie Loomis died. He then continued to work and be a devoted father to his tormented daughter through the next few years.



In his twenties, Neil met Maureen Roberts in Woodsboro. She never told him, however, that she spent two years in Hollywood and gave up a baby conceived from rape for adoption. They married and had a daughter of their own, Sidney.

While Neil was often out of town for his job, Maureen cheated on him a lot of the time in his absence and was never discreet about it. She was murdered while he was away on one of these trips, leaving him the single father of a teenager daughter. This created a very close relationship between him and Sidney.


Loving Father: Lawrence Hecht as Neil Prescott

Neil checked in on his daughter one night when he heard her scream after she had been startled by Billy Loomis sneaking into her upstairs bedroom window. She hid Billy and told her father that everything was fine. Suspicious but trusting, he went to bed.

He woke up early the next morning to catch a flight for a business trip but he was jumped by Billy and Stu Macher on the drive to the airport. They had killed Maureen one year earlier and had just murdered Casey Becker and Steven Orth the night before. They drove his car out to the woods and left it there, while keeping Neil bound and gagged in Stu's house for the next few days. With murders plaguing Woodsboro, Neil became the prime suspect. They used his mobile phone to taunt Sidney before attacking her. Suspicion regarding Neil's involvement grew daily when the police couldn't find him. Sidney worried for her father's safety when she learned he was missing, as any daughter would.

When Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers investigated the sighting of an unknown vehicle parked in the woods, they discovered it was Neil's. Falsely concluding that Neil had come to the party to murder the teens, they raced back up to the house. 

Neil, bound and gagged by Billy and Stu

After Sidney had been captured, Billy and Stu unveiled Neil, bound and gagged, and revealed their intent to frame him for the murder spree. Stu placed their main equipment (the voice changer and the cloned cell phone) in Neil's jacket pocket. They wanted the public to believe he had a psychotic break on the anniversary of Maureen's death and committed the new murders. Their finale plan was to make it look as though Neil shot himself in the head after killing Sidney. They would have appeared to be the only survivors. Sidney, however, with the decisive help of Gale, managed to hide Neil, hide herself and then fight the two killers off and save Neil's life. After hearing the shots, he emerges from the closest trying to help his daughter if possible. Sidney, relieved he is alive goes over to untie him with Randy's help. Randy falls in the effort and Gale walks over and Sidney, even though having a strained past with the woman, shows her gratitude with a calm "thank you" which she helps Sidney untie her father.

Scream 2

After the murders at Windsor College started and it appeared that a Woodsboro Killer copycat was loose, a reporter asked Gale where Neil was. Mrs. Loomis, posing as local reporter Debbie Salt, quickly explained, that he was out of the country on business, but in the same boasted to media trying to get Gale's validation that it sounded alittle "fishy".

Scream 3

Neil, as he appears in Scream 3

Neil visited Sidney at her secluded home and brought her groceries. He told her he'd been in contact with Sheriff Burke following Cotton Weary's murder and that it might not have anything to do with them. He tried convincing Sidney to return to Woodsboro with him, because he was worried about her living like a ghost. As much as she wanted to be with her father again, she refused thinking it was for the best. As a supportive father, he didn't argue with her decision. Still haunted by her mother's death, she began to question her parents' marriage. However, despite how many times Maureen was unfaithful to him, he just smiled at Sidney and stated there were good times. This hinted that he had forgiven his wife a long time ago and may have still loved her as his voice was never spiteful in speaking of her.

Scream 4

Before the official theatrical release of Scream 4, director Wes Craven revealed during an interview, that Neil had passed away in between the events of the third and fourth film when asked about what happened to Sidney's father. Neil's death was presumably caused by a heart attack and was what sparked Sidney to write her self-help novel, Out of Darkness.

Behind the scenes

  • He was described as "late 40's, a severe presence. A distracted man, nervous and pre-occupied" in the script.
  • Randy Meeks, ever the horror movie expert, knew Neil couldn't be the killer because it was too obvious. He deduced Neil would pop up dead in the final reel, which was Ghostface's plan.
  • Presumably, Neil didn't learn about Maureen's affairs until Billy and Stu revealed that they killed her. He seemed to still love Maureen when talking about her a few years later, but didn't seem to know how to talk about her secrets.
  • In Michael T. Kennedy's spec submission to the Weinstein Company for Scream 4 before Kevin Williamson became involved, Neil was one of two killers.
  • Neil is the only dead character whose death wasn't a homicide.
  • It is unknown who played him in the Stab franchise.

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