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No, please don't kill me, Mr. Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel.

–Tatum to Billy Loomis as Ghostface sarcastically, believing it is Randy Meeks pulling a prank. She becomes the first character to name the villain.

Tatum Riley was one of the main characters appearing in the original Scream (1996 film). She is eighteen years old, a senior in high school, and one of the most popular girls in Woodsboro High. She is also the younger sister of Dewey Riley and the best friend of Sidney Prescott in Woodsboro since childhood.

She was the girlfriend of Woodsboro High student, Stu Macher, who was the accomplice killer to Sidney's murderous boyfriend, Billy Loomis, something she did not know. She was killed in the Machers' residence garage by Billy and her body was later discovered by Sidney wedged in a petdoor. Her death heavily affected both Dewey and Sidney.

She was the fifth victim of the first Ghostface killing spree, also known as the Woodsboro Murders. The fifth film, Scream (2022) reveals Tatum was cremated. It also reveals Alicia Silverstone portrayed the character in the original Stab (1997 fictional film-within-a-film) based on Gale Weathers' best-selling book, The Woodsboro Murders (1997) that documented the night of her murder.

She was portrayed by Rose McGowan.

Biography

Early Life

Tatum Riley was born in 1978 to Mr. and Mrs. Riley. She was born approximately 7 years after her older brother, Dewey Riley. Tatum began attending Woodsboro High School in 1993, alongside close childhood best friend, Sidney Prescott.

After her best friend's mother, Maureen Prescott, was murdered during their junior year of high school, Tatum gave Sidney a spare room to stay at while her father, Neil Prescott, was often out of town on business. In her senior year, she dated Stu Macher. This relationship occurred sometime after Casey Becker dumped him for 18-year-old football player, Steven Orth. However, Stu told Tatum that he dumped Casey for her.

She was popular, spunky, and possibly a cheerleader.

Like Casey and Stu once did, she also watched movies with Stu on their downtime and violates the rules of surviving a horror movie.

The Woodsboro Murders (1996)

Tatum is first introduced at Woodsboro High, when she informs her best friend, Sidney, of Casey and Steve's deaths the night before. After lunch, Tatum is sitting with her boyfriend Stu, Sidney, Billy, and Randy on a water fountain near the school.

Tatum Stu 4k 25 Anniversary Scream 1996 Edition

Tatum reacts in disgust at Randy's remarks at accusing Stu of Casey's murder.

During a discussion about Casey's murder, Tatum discovers, that Casey dumped Stu for Steve after thinking Stu dumped Casey for her. After some gender discrimination against women by Stu, who declares only a man could do, what the killer did to Casey, Tatum declared it sexist, and said the killer could easily be female.

This develops into a conversation about the brutality of men, and how their bodies being gutted would only be caused by a man, according to Randy and Stu. This causes Sidney to leave disgusted by this. Billy, along with Tatum rebuke Stu for his insensitivity. Billy hits him on the shoulder, while Tatum rolls her eyes and shakes her head in disgust.

That night, Tatum has practice (implied to be cheerleading practice). She intended to go to Sidney's house afterwards to pick her up, so she could sleep at her house. After being held up and going into the video store, Tatum is far from reaching Sidney, when Ghostface attacks Sidney at her house.

Dewey Tatum 4k

Brother and sister.

Sidney survives and Tatum quickly arrives at the scene to take her to the police station along with Deputy Dewey Riley, Tatum's older brother. Tatum stays with Sidney to comfort her, but grows impatient at the precinct asking her brother Dewey, if they can go home.

She impatiently replies to Dewey's request, "Goddamn it, Dewey!" right in front of his fellow officers. She pulls Sidney and demands Dewey saying "I'm sorry Deputy Dewey Boy, but we're ready to go! Now! OK?!". She tries to protect Sidney from the media circus forming outside while waiting for Dewey to get the car.

Gale Weathers, who both Sidney and Tatum publicly hate, tries to get answers from Sidney. Tatum rebukes her on sight and pushes the microphone from Sidney away saying, "She's not answering any questions, alright? Just leave us alone." Sidney then tells Tatum, "No, Tatum, it's okay. She's just doing her job, aren't you, Gale?" at which she gives her a fake smile and Tatum glares at Gale with rebuke. Sidney asks her, "How's the book?" which Gale replies, "It'll be out later this year." Sidney replies in hidden discontent, "I'll look for it." and attempts to walk away. Gale replies thinking Sidney was genuinely concerned, "I'll send you a copy." Sidney ends up punching her, because she resents her disbelief in Sidney, the opinions she posed on her mother's death through her book and because of her lack of consideration towards her after her attempted murder.

Tatum is impressed and calls Sidney a "Super Bitch" later at their sleepover at Tatum's house, where Tatum has a spare bed, indicating it has been a regular occurrence since Maureen's murder. Tatum's mother informs Sidney she has a call. It is from Ghostface (Stu Macher) and after hearing Sidney in distress, Tatum is quick to reach her side and tells her to hang up.

Tatum Stu Sidney 4k 25 Anniversary Edition Scream

"Pathos has its perks"

The next day at school, Tatum begs Sidney to accompany her to Stu's house for his party. Reluctant at first, Sidney agrees and the pair go shopping. Before going shopping, at Tatum's house, the pair also have a moment, where they discuss Sidney's mother, Maureen Prescott, which Tatum posed in a compassionate way, that her mother may have been unhappy and got into those affairs. Sidney begins to rethink Cotton Weary being the murderer and that whomever did murder her mother, is still out there.

Tatum Riley 4k Shot

Tatum suggests Maureen was unhappy in her marriage.

During their conversation, Tatum begs her not to freak herself out, because they had a "long night" ahead of them. Before they depart, Ghostface is seen lurking in the bushes nearby having heard their entire conversation. While shopping at the convenience store for the party, Tatum comments on Sidney's recently-arrested boyfriend Billy Loomis, saying "he and his penis don't deserve" her, which a stalking Ghostface possibly overhears in the background.

Death

At the party that night, Stu asks Tatum to go to the garage to get some more beer and, after initially saying no, she goes anyway to avoid the commotion of Gale's arrival. Tatum is annoyed by Dewey's unexpected appearance with Gale.

Tatum Stu 4k Scream 25 Anniversary Edition Party

Tatum with Stu at 261 Turner Lane on her last night alive.

She enters the garage and heads straight for the fridge, not realizing the door slowly closing and locking behind her. A cat hiding in the garage gets frightened by something and escapes through the cat flap. This startles Tatum, but she calms herself down and heads back to the door. She finds it's now locked, then the lights also turn off.

She turns the lights back on by opening the garage door, but it stops halfway up just as Tatum was about to exit, then closes. Tatum turns back to see Ghostface standing there with a hand on the garage door activator. Thinking it's Randy, she decides to play along with the whole killer/victim scenario.

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Tatum and Ghostface (Billy).

When Ghostface grabs Tatum’s left arm and pulls out a knife, she realizes it isn't a game. Ghostface slices her arm and she drops the beers shattering most of them. Tatum, in shock, walks backwards, until she lands in a lounge chair. Getting straight back up, Tatum runs past the fridge and opens the freezer door behind her, which hits Ghostface in the face knocking him to the floor.

Tatum's Death

Tatum's head gets flattened.


She runs back to the garage door leading into the house and just as she's about to press the button to lift the garage door, she panics, when she sees Ghostface getting back up. Defending herself, she picks up the bottles from the floor that were not smashed and begins throwing them at Ghostface, striking him in the stomach and in the head. She runs out of bottles and he runs towards her. She ducks down, causing him to spiral over her and land on the stairs. Seeing the cat flap as her only exit, she tries to escape.

After getting halfway through, she realizes she's stuck and tries to pull herself back in, but her breasts prevent her from pulling free. Ghostface gets back up and sees her struggle, so he starts the garage door. It begins to go up and while it rises, Tatum screams in pain as the cat flap digs into her rib cage and begs to live. In seconds, she is brought to the top; she is killed instantly when her head is flattened and her neck is snapped. Ghostface admires his work before leaving.

Tatum's corpse

Tatum's corpse discovered by Sidney.

In the next scene, Sidney is shouting for Tatum. Billy suddenly appears at the front door scaring both Stu and Sidney. Sidney even remarks, "If Tatum sees you here, she will draw blood". Later on, when Sidney is trying to escape Ghostface, who is now Stu after pretending to kill Billy, Sidney falls from the roof and lands on a speedboat at the back of the house where the garage is. She looks up after the fall to find Tatum's dead body hanging from the garage door, which she holds her hand over her mouth in disbelief, tears in her eyes, and continues to run. Stu also tries to blame Randy for Tatum's death later on when Sidney holds them both at gunpoint, not knowing which one to trust.

Legacy

The Windsor College Murders (1997)

Tatum is briefly mentioned when Gale recaps the victims in Woodsboro to Randy and Dewey. Dewey still seems sore after his younger sister's death as he looks away in certain pain. It also caused a closer relationship between Dewey and Sidney because of the common loss to the extent that they see each other as surrogate brother and sister. Sidney remarks to Randy in Dewey's appearance after the first two victims of the Windsor College killings by saying, "He's worried, our surrogate big brother." Her original murder was not copied or mimicked in the events of the murders.

The Hollywood Murders (2000)

Steven Stone antagonized Ghostface, who he thought was Dewey, by mentioning Tatum's death. He said to 'Dewey', "Maybe I'm just checking to make sure there's no killer in here waiting to off you like he did your little sister."

Later, after Sidney tried to track down Angelina Tyler after she forgot a hairbrush, she stumbled onto the Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro set and walks right out of the front door to the Macher house. She had many flashbacks. She looked in a certain direction outside of the Macher house and headed that way. It led her right to the garage. There is a raised garage door, an open refrigerator with beer bottles around. The pet-door frame was empty, but also stained with blood of a hand-print. She remembers seeing Tatum dead years ago in the same pet door-frame, which brings tears to her eyes and painful memories.

The Woodsboro Massacre Remake (2011)

Tatum and Jenny Parallel Opening Remake Twist

Tatum's death is given subtle references many times in the fourth film. In one of the opening kills, Jenny Randall tries to escape Ghostface using her garage door which links back to the fact that Jill Roberts and Charlie Walker were trying to recreate the original massacre's deaths. The garage door crushes her back before Ghostface raises it back up and pulls her over to stab her.

Tatum Prop Stab A Thon

Gale's dead sister-in-law is a murder victim prop at the third annual Stab-A-Thon (2011).

Also, Tatum's death scene was briefly mentioned during the Stab-A-Thon when Robbie Mercer and Charlie are introducing the Stab films. Charlie tells them to drink when they "close a refrigerator door and jump at a harmless animal", mirroring Tatum's situation in the garage when the cat scared her. As well as a blonde mannequin hanging from a faux garage door as a decoration when Gale comes to the Stab-A-Thon.

Tatum and Olivia Parallels

Robbie's subtle Tatum reference as "the school's hot chick" who is "savaged beyond recognition".

The character of Olivia Morris, was originally the "Remake" of Tatum, both were beautiful and popular senior students from Woodsboro High and best friends of the "Survivor" of their respective massacres, in this case, Olivia was the best friend of Jill Roberts (False Sidney Remake) and Kirby Reed (True Sidney Remake). In a deleted scene, Judy Hicks says that she finds it weird that Olivia's corpse had a cat flap around her neck, making the connection between the two characters. Even though that reference has been removed, Olivia is still considered to be the Tatum remake. After the murder of Olivia, Sidney apologises for her death to Jill, believing their dynamic to be similar to the one Sidney had with Tatum. She responded by apologizing to Sidney for her loss of Rebecca Walters (whom Rebecca acts as an older Tatum and still feisty). Sidney thought Jill was like her when she apologized, but in reality, Jill being more of a female version of Billy who also killed Tatum.

In the timeline of the movie, the emotional discovery of the death of Sidney's aunt, Kate Roberts, marks around the same time she discovered Tatum's body in the original. The remix is where they attempt to fight Ghostface together with her aunt as she would've if she was with Tatum in the original.

The Woodsboro Legacy Murders (2022)

Tatum Ashes Scream 5

To the right, Tatum's ashes in Dewey's trailer.

26 years after her death, Dewey is shown to be in possession of Tatum’s ashes which are kept in a box with her name on it in. He keeps them on a shelf with candles and a white rose surrounding it as part of a small shrine. Her brother is later murdered one day after the 26th anniversary of her murder.

She is referenced by Amber Freeman with her dark humor attitude, her green shirt, and going to the solitude area for beers alone. Also by Liv McKenzie, she referenced to Tatum by the designer skirt she wears.

The New York City Murders (2023)

In Richie Kirsch’s shrine, the clothes she was wearing, lime green shirt and an artsy light red skirt, during Stu’s curfew party was hung up in remembrance of her murder during the original Woodsboro Massacre in 1996. Also, the bottom piece of the garage door she was killed with is seen hanging above her outfit. The garage piece shows the pet flap which is covered with blood.

Deleted Scene Reference in Scream 4

Non-canon: on the DVD/Blu-Ray, moments after Olivia Morris's death as the paramedics carry Olivia's corpse outside of the Morris house, Deputy Judy Hicks, who has taken photographs of Olivia's dead corpse, which supposedly had a pet door around her neck tells Dewey how strange that is to her.

To him, he knows all too well what it means and it brought back 15 years of painful memories about his younger sister, Tatum, and how she was a victim of the original Woodsboro Murders. He goes on to say that the murders are not just random murders, but they are planned to look like a remake of the original murders. This symbolizes a connection between both characters, Tatum and Olivia.

Relationships

Family

Allies

Enemies

Quotes

  • "'I'll send you a copy.' BAM! Bitch went down! 'I'll send you a copy.' BAM! Sid! Superbitch!"
  • "Stupidity Leak!"
  • "What am I, the beer wench?"
  • "Cute! What movie is this from? I Spit on Your Garage?"
  • "No, please, don't kill me, Mr. Ghostface. I wanna be in the sequel."
  • "Cut, Casper. That's a wrap!"
  • "Lose the outfit. If Sidney sees it, she'll flip."
  • "Oh, you wanna play psycho killer? Can I be the helpless victim?"
  • "That is so sexist. The killer could easily be a female. Basic Instinct."
  • "Billy and his penis don't deserve you."
  • "Nice welt, sweetie."
  • "Don't go there, Sid. You're starting to sound like some Wes Carpenter flick or something. Don't freak yourself out, okay? We've got a long night ahead of us."
  • "She's not answering any questions, alright? Just leave us alone."
  • "Fucker!"
  • "Is that you, Randy?"
  • "They didn't ask me if I like to hunt."
  • "Or a man's mentality."
  • "Randy you geek I'm eating here".

Trivia

Scream_-_Tatum_Riley's_Death_Scene

Scream - Tatum Riley's Death Scene

Scream characaters

Rose McGowan (centermost) with her original hair color, as seen in this Scream photoshoot.

  • Moments before she enters the garage, the song "Drop Dead Gorgeous" by Republica can be heard playing, and the camera lingers on the garage foreshadowing her demise.
  • Tatum Riley is the first character to refer to the killer as "Ghostface".
  • In the Scream universe, the fifth film reveals Alicia Silverstone portrayed her in the 1997 film, Stab based on Gale's best-selling book, The Woodsboro Murders (1997). Coincidentally, Tatum says "As if!" in the film, and Stu says, "Oh really, Alicia?", a reference to Silverstone herself.
  • Tatum is killed by Billy as Stu is still hosting guests amid her murder, while Billy shows up later and nods at Stu, as if to confirm the deed is done.
  • Her older brother was also murdered by Ghostface exactly 26 years later.
  • Tatum's death, like those of Casey Becker and Kenny Brown, caused conflict between director Wes Craven and the MPAA film rating board. Craven was ultimately forced to reduce any lingering shots of her body, necessitating a quick visual cutaway once she dies.
  • Actresses Melinda Clarke and Rebecca Gayheart also auditioned for the role. Rose McGowan was cast as Tatum because the production team felt she best embodied the "spunky" nature of the character.
  • She and Casey Becker were the only female characters to be killed in the first Scream movie.
  • She was described as "TATUM RILEY, same age (with Sidney), feisty, carefree" in an early script for Scream.
  • She is the first victim in the Scream franchise who didn't die from knife wounds.
  • Rebecca Gayheart auditioned for the role of Tatum, but later got a smaller role in Scream 2. Coincidentally, Rose McGowan starred in a movie with Rebecca Gayheart, entitled Jawbreaker (1999).
  • As witnessed in the movie, Tatum's death was caused by her chest, which made her not able to fit through a garage cat flap door. In the TV show Charmed, Rose McGowan played Paige Matthews. Her character magically got a bigger chest after using her magic for personal gain. Brad Kern, the producer of the show, mentioned it was a reference to her role as Tatum on Scream.
  • Rose McGowan was forced to dye her dark hair blonde for her role as Tatum Riley, in order to make her appearance look different to Neve Campbell's, since at the time of the first movie's production, they both had the same hair color.
  • Tatum actually makes a reference to the movie's director, Wes Craven, in Scream, "Don't go there, Sid. You're starting to sound like some Wes Carpenter flick or something."
  • Tatum's death is satirized two times in Scary Movie (2000 film). Cindy Campbell's friend, Buffy Gilmore, uses funny and clever retorts and acts like Tatum before she is killed. Later in the film during the party, a "day player", who is overweight, goes to the garage to get more beer where she is attacked by Ghostface, and tries to go through a cat flap that is clearly too small for her.
  • The O.C. and Nikita actress Melinda Clarke turned down the role of Tatum Riley.
  • Training Day (2001 film) actress Charlotte Ayanna also turned down the role of Tatum Riley.
  • Rose McGowan discovered that she could actually fit through a pet flap. When they lifted the garage door up, however, Rose kept on slipping out of the pet flap. Eventually, the producers had to staple her shirt to the flap in order to keep her from slipping out any more.
  • Rose McGowan and David Arquette also worked together in the pro wrestling movie Ready to Rumble (2000 film). There, she played a fictional WCW Nitro girl named Sasha, while Arquette played a wrestling fanatic named Gordie Boggs, who had a crush on her. Lewis Arquette also had a minor role as the father of Oliver Platt's character, Jimmy King.
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Tatum Riley has a Photo Gallery.

Appearances

Character Guide

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