Scream Wiki
Scream Wiki

Tatum Riley was one of the main characters appearing in Scream. She is portrayed by Rose McGowan. She is seventeen 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. Her death heavily affected both Dewey and Sidney.

She was the fourth victim of the first Ghostface killing spree.


Tatum was Dewey's seventeen-year-old kid sister, Sidney's best friend and she dated Stu. She was very popular before her death and a feisty girl, who always liked to be in the middle of attention.

Also, her formal rival was Casey Becker, the first victim of Ghostface, because both of them dated Stuart. Like Casey and Stu once did, she also watches movies with Stu on their downtime and violates the rules of surviving a horror movie.



Tatum Riley is first introduced at Woodsboro High, when she informs her best friend, Sidney, of Casey Becker and Steven Orth's deaths the night before. After lunch, Tatum is sitting with her boyfriend Stu Macher, Sidney, Billy, and Randy by the school's water fountain. 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 defended females in saying, that women could do whatever men do. Stu continues to be insensitive about the deaths and Sidney, disgusted by this, leaves. Billy along with Tatum rebuke him. Billy hitting him on the shoulder, while Tatum rolls her eyes and shakes her head in disgust.

That night Tatum has practice for some unspecified sport and was meant to go to Sidney's house afterwards to

Tatum and Stu

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. 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 are 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 away Sidney saying, "She's not answering any questions, Alright? Just leave us alone." Sidney then tells Tatum, "No, No Tatum, it's okay. She is 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.

Sidney and Tatum talking to Ghostface on phone.

Tatum is impressed and calls Sidney a "Super Bitch" later at their sleepover at Tatum's house. Sidney soon gets a call from Ghostface and after hearing Sidney in distress, Tatum is quick to reach her side and tells her to hang up.

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 shopping at Tatum's house, the pair also have a moment at Sidney's house before the party, 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 being the murderer and that whomever did murder her mother, is still out there. 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

Tatum and Sidney discussing Maureen, Sidney's mother.

and his penis don't deserve Sidney", which a stalking Ghostface possibly overhears in the background (This was probably Billy or Sydney's unknown half-brother at the time Roman).


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. 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 get 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. 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 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 discovered

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.

Scream 2

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 about the first Windsor College by saying, "He's worried, our surrogate big brother."

Scream 3

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, she stumbled onto the Stab 3 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 leads her right to the garage. There was 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 remembered seeing Tatum dead years ago in the same pet door-frame, which brings tears to her eyes and painful memories.

Scream 4

Tatum's death scene is referenced many times in the fourth installment. In one of the opening kills, Jenny Randall tries to escape Ghostface using her garage door which links back to the fact that Jill and Charlie were trying to recreate the original movie deaths. The garage door crushes her back before Ghostface raises it back up and pulls her over to stab her. In the alternate opening, she also shows similarities to Marnie Cooper. Marnie's arm is slit (like Tatum's) and this is about the time she realizes that the killer wasn't a prankster, also like Tatum. This opening is only on the blu-ray American disc.

Also, Tatum's death scene was briefly mentioned during the Stab-a-thon when Robbie 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.

In a deleted scene, on the DVD/Blu-ray just moments after Olivia'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 out to look like a remake of the original murders. This symbolizes a connection between both characters, Tatum and Olivia.

Later Sidney apologises to Jill for her loss of Olivia, thinking she was like Tatum was to her. Jill responded by apologizing to Sidney for her loss of Rebecca (whom parallels an older version of Tatum by feisty personality as well as blending Gale Weathers personality). Sidney thought Jill was like her when she apologized, but in reality, Jill being more of a female version of Billy, Olivia was meant to die in her eyes as Billy killed Tatum in the original. 

In the timeline of the movie, the emotional discovery of the death of Sidney's aunt 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 with Tatum in the original. (Due to the fact Billy killed Tatum, the killer is most likely to be Jill because she is the "female Billy".)

Behind the Scenes

Rose's original hair color, as seen in the Scream photoshoot

  • She was described as "TATUM RILEY, same age (with Sidney), feisty, carefree" in the script.
  • 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.
  • As witnessed in the movie, Tatum's death was caused by her large breasts, 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 enlarged breasts 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 hair blonde for her role as Tatum Riley, in order to make her appearance look different than Neve's, since at the time they both had black hair.
  • Tatum actually makes a reference to the movie's the 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. Cindy's friend, Buffy, 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.
  • Training Day 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.



Scream - Tatum Riley's Death Scene

  • Tatum Riley is the first character to refer to the killer as "Ghostface".
  • Tatum's death is heavily debated as which killer is Ghostface at the time. It's most definitely Billy, since he was not at the party at the time and showed up almost immediately after Tatum's death. Stu was the one who locked Tatum in the garage, as he could easily do that, and blend right back into the party. However it’s also very likely Billy tricked Stu into locking the door because it’s very obviously likely Stu doesn’t know Billy killed Tatum.
  • Tatum's death, like those of Casey Becker and Kenny Jones, caused conflict between director 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. McGowan was cast as Tatum because the production team felt she best embodied the "spunky" nature of the character. 


  • "'I'll send you a copy.' BAM! Bitch went down! 'I'll send you a copy.' BAM! Sid! Super Bitch!"
  • "Stupidity Leak!"
  • "What am I, the beerwench?"
  • "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 all right? Just leave us alone."


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