In the Scream franchise, there are some rules mentioned in every film about how to survive either a horror movie, a horror movie sequel, a horror movie trilogy, a remake and remember.
Rules to succesfully survive a horror movie:
- You may not survive the movie if you have sex.
- You may not survive the movie if you drink or do drugs.
- You may not survive the movie if you say "I'll be right back", "Hello?" or "Who's there?"
Rules to succesfully survive a horror movie sequel:
- The body count is always bigger.
- The death scenes are always much more elaborate, with more blood and gore.
- Randy starts to describe the third rule: "If you want your films to become a successful franchise, never, ever...' before being interrupted by Dewey. However, the film's original teaser trailer featured an extended version of the rules scene which reveals that originally the third rule was supposed to be "Never, ever, under any circumstances assume the killer is dead." This referenced Randy's last line in the first Scream which stated that a killer always comes back to life for one last scare.
The lack of a third rule in the film's final cut was a deliberate in-joke by the crew, referencing the fact that it is impossible to ensure that a horror franchise will be successful.
Rules to succesfully survive the last chapter of a horror movie trilogy:
- "You've got a killer who’s gonna be superhuman. Stabbing him won’t work, shooting him won’t work. Basically in the third one, you gotta cryogenically freeze his head, decapitate him, or blow him up."
- "Anyone, including the main character, can die. This means you, Sid."
- "The past will come back to bite you in the ass. Whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest! Any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you."
Although, in the first few drafts, there was a fourth rule: "Never be alone" but was taken out because Gale immediately goes off alone afterwards.
Rules to successfully survive a horror movie remake:
- 1. Don't fuck with the original.
- 2. The death scenes have to be way more extreme.
- 3. Unexpected is the new cliche.
- 4. Virgins can die now.
- 5. New versions are always 2.0, so the latest technology is always involved and intregal to the plot. This means the killer may start filming the murders.
- 6. You have to have an opening sequence.
- 7. If you want to survive in a modern day horror movie, you pretty much have to be gay.
Rules to successfully survive a horror movie remember: Dewey is the one who quotes them and these rules are:
- 1. Never trust your love interest.
- 2. The killer always has something to do with the past.
- 3. The first victim always has a circle of friends that the killer is part of.
- Throughout the installments, it can be seen how the franchise follows or rather creates its own rules, which it repeats throughout the films.
- The first victims are two and usually a couple (Casey Becker and Steven Orth in Scream, Maureen Evans and Phil Stevens in Scream 2, Christine Hamilton and Cotton Weary in Scream 3, Marnie Cooper and Jenny Randall in Scream 4). Scream (2022) does not follow this rule.
- The main killer has an emotional bond with the protagonist (Billy Loomis is Sidney's boyfriend, Nancy Loomis is Sidney's boyfriend's mother, Roman Bridger is Sidney's half brother, Jill Roberts is Sidney's cousin, Richie Kirsch is Sam's boyfriend).
- In each movie, one of the killers returns to give "the last scare" (Billy Loomis, Mickey Altieri, Roman Bridger, Jill Roberts, Amber Freeman).
- One of the survivors from the previous movie dies in the new installment (Randy Meeks in Scream 2, Cotton Weary in Scream 3, Judy Hicks and Dewey Riley in Scream (2022)). Scream 4 does not follow this rule, although in a deleted scene it is mentioned that Neil Prescott died.
- At the end of the movie, some of the characters who were believed dead are revealed to be alive. (Dewey Riley in Scream and Scream 2, Judy Hicks in Scream 4, Mindy Meeks-Martin and Chad Meeks-Martin in Scream (2022)). Scream 3 does not follow this rule.
- Each movie contains a character who is a horror movie specialist who explains what the killer is trying to do. (Randy Meeks in Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3, Robbie Mercer and Charlie Walker in Scream 4 and Mindy Meeks-Martin in Scream (2022))
- The protagonists are targeted by murderers for something related to one of their parents. (Sidney Prescott for being the daughter of Maureen Prescott and Samantha Carpenter for being the illegitimate daughter of Billy Loomis)
- When the protagonist manages to defeat the assassin, he says a generally iconic phrase. Such as, "Not in my movie." (by Sidney), "You forgot the first rule of remakes, Jill. Don't fuck with the original." (by Sidney) and "Never play with the daughter of a serial killer" (by Sam).
- The Ghostface most of the time are usually 2 people. Scream 3 does not follow this rule.
- Even though the rules are for the victims, the killers as of Scream 2 have rules (although they adhere to them sparingly)
- In Scream 2, killers kill people who share names with victims from the first installment (example: Maureen, Stevens, Casey)
- In Scream 3: The killer kills in the Stab 3 kill order and each kill leaves behind a picture of teenage Maureen Prescott.
- In Scream 4: the killer records the deaths and uploads them to the internet.
- In Scream (2022): The killer attacks people related to the original victims or killers. (example: Stu's nephew Vince, Billy's illegitimate daughter Samantha, Randy's nephews Mindy and Chad)