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"You make yourself harder to find. Disable GPS, cover up your camera, delete social media..."
—Wes to Liv McKenzie.

Wesley "Wes" Hicks is a character who appears in the Scream (2022) reboot, informally known as Scream 5. He is the teenage son of Sheriff Judy Hicks and a good friend of Tara Carpenter, who he appears to have a crush on.

The character's name is an homage to late franchise veteran director and acclaimed horror filmmaker, Wes Craven (1939—2015). Hicks is an example of a false main character, sometimes known as part of the Decoy Protagonist trope of hiring more famous actors than their co-stars (in this case Dylan Minnette) in a major role that is later revealed to be a small part, with the character being one of the first victims.

In the events of the film, he is the very first out of Tara's friendship group to die, despite his precautious state of mind. Minnette's character's shower scene is also a gender-inverse homage to Janet Leigh in the 1960 Hitchcock classic, Psycho. In the eulogy party at Amber's house, the teen voices chanting, "For Wes!" are previous employees of Craven, honoring his memory.

Wes was the overall third character to fall victim to the fifth Ghostface killing spree, known as the Legacy Killings.

Biography

Early Life

Wes' contact number image, as shown on Judy's phone screen.

Wes was born to Judy Hicks and an unnamed father sometime in the fall of 2003. By September 2021, his mother appeared to be his sole caretaker, and his parents were uninvolved as early as 10 years prior, during the events of Scream 4 (2011).

He was around eight years old during the time of the Woodsboro Massacre Remake (2011). In the early-mid 2010 decade period, a teenage Sam Carpenter babysat him and they become close friends.

It is speculated that Samantha would bring Tara along with her, as she was Wes's age. Though given Wes and Tara were close to the same age, they may have simply known each other through middle school already. Even until high school, Wes' mother still remains quite overprotective of him, arming him with a stun gun.

Background

With his mother a trained officer at the Woodsboro Police (Deputy Sheriff and finally Sheriff after succeeding her predecessor, Dewey Riley), Wes developed into an independent, compassionate and self-sufficient child.

He is shown knowledgeable about practical safety measures in an Edward Snowden-esque way. It is possible his technophobic hyper-vigilance serves as a precursor to his introduction in Scream 5 (2022), given his background as the son of a high-appointed law enforcement person.

Wes as a child, shown after Judy's murder.

Being a police officer, Judy was a helicopter parent to Wes, always ensuring that he carried a taser and mace with him, much to the mockery of his friends. Sometime in the early-mid 2010s, during or following the 2011 Woodsboro Murders, Judy hired teenage Samantha Carpenter to babysit Wes, a regular occurrence.

Undetermined Timeframe: It is unknown whether the babysitting gig ended abruptly following Samantha's legal troubles (such as Judy firing Sam) as a delinquent teenager, or whether Judy possibly showed lenience to her situation, given she was close to her son.

Unexplained Absence: It is unknown whether Wes had a relationship with his father, as they did not share the same surname, though his absence in Scream 4 (2011), during which Judy faced a high-risk case with Jill Roberts and Charlie Walker, suggests he likely was staying with his father.

The face-off largely occurred on the weekend of Friday and Saturday. In Judy's first appearance, it is a Thursday morning while she is at work (and she is unseen off-duty), and the following day is a Friday, where much of the action takes place. In the fifth film, we first meet Wes on a Monday, following the weekend.

As prior stated, Wes is not seen or mentioned during the 2011 Woodsboro Murders, however given that he was alive during this time, it is likely Judy took precautions to keep him safe. It is also possible he was staying with his father at the time, prior to Judy becoming sole caretaker to her son.

2021 Woodsboro Legacy Murders

On a regular Thursday night around 9.30pm, Tara Carpenter is attacked and stabbed seven times by Ghostface, an entity masked by Jill Roberts that almost killed his mother a decade prior.

A weekend of public safety concern ensues off-screen, including Tara's surgery, and informing the police of her account of the night and so forth. Despite reservations, on Monday morning, Wes Hicks decides to reluctantly call her estranged sister, Samantha Carpenter, despite the pair not being on the best terms.

It is obvious from Sam's later interactions with both Tara and Judy that Wes committed to this from his own volition, rather than a suggestion by someone else, showing his good relationship with Sam.

He texts her then she calls him, informing her about her sister, Tara's stabbing and her subsequent surgery. This leads a concerned 24-year-old Sam to drive from Modesto, California to Woodsboro, California, over five years after she left in her hometown.

Wes and his friends, Amber Freeman, Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin (collectively referred to as "the twins") visit Tara in the hospital, under the watchful eye of Wes's helicopter mother, Judy Hicks, now Sheriff. Notably absent is Liv McKenzie, for unspecified reasons she is unable to attend. Sam is happy to see Wes, telling her boyfriend, Richie Kirsch that she used to babysit him as well as the twins. Wes and the others leave Tara's hospital room to give the sisters privacy in their reunion.

Later that night, the rest of the teens hang out in a bar, following the Woodsboro High Principal (voiced by Drew Barrymore)'s announcement that classes are suspended the following day due to public safety concerns. This gives the kids time to themselves. Due to being underage, they are at "a kiddie's table" at the local bar on Maine, where they can't buy a "real drink" (according to 22-year-old, Vince Schneider). During their pool season, the kids begin to discuss Tara's recent attack.

Mindy Meeks-Martin declares they are all suspects, except Liv because she's "too boring to be a psycho". Mindy in particular singles out Wes in this discussion, with his noticeable innocence painted as intrigue for the audience, a possible red herring deception. She notes his crush on Tara, suggesting his motive could be, "If I can't have her, no-one can".

In the bar, they are approached by Vince, Tara and Liv's former co-worker as well as Liv's summer fling ex-boyfriend. Vince attempts to win Liv back, but Wes' friend, Chad, Liv's boyfriend, threatens him, leading to a dispute that gets all of them, including Wes kicked out of the bar. Later that night, Vince is killed in the alleyway by Ghostface, the first victim of the 25th anniversary Legacy Killings.

The following day, it is a Tuesday. With school off, Wes goes to Martha Meeks' house, the sister of Randy Meeks, an original Woodsboro Murders survivor (and subsequent Windsor College Murders victim). Martha is shown to be the mother of the twins. She is excited about "suspects", delivering the kids popcorn, much to Amber's amusement.

They bring everybody to discuss Sam and Tara's attacks, as well as Vince's murder the previous night after they left the bar. Wes proposes Dewey Riley is the killer, because he "crawled into a bottle" after being "dumped by his famous wife". Dewey is offended and hurt by this, and says in a restraint way, "Well maybe you're the killer, because that cut deep". Wes briefly gives him a gaze of sympathy.

Mindy determines the killer is creating a real-life "Requel", a reboot/sequel to the original Stab (1998) featuring her uncle's character, following rejection purism of its sequels. In her view, the killer is designing what is essentially a remake of Stab 8 (2021) directed by Rian Johnson, as a Requel, following its disappointing reception from the fanbase (known as the StabHead Army).

Wes picks up on Mindy's commentary, and expresses concern for himself, and his mother, saying, "Jesus, my mother was a character in one of them". Mindy reassures her that nobody cares about the "shitty inferior sequels", therefore he is safe, but she and her brother, niece and nephew to Randy Meeks, are "screwed". With the actual killers overhearing this exchange, a diversion is used. Judy and Wes are, in fact, the next targets after all.

Death

"Ever seen the movie, Psycho?"

After returning from Martha's, Judy is ordering sushi for dinner, and leaves to pick it up. She is startled by Wes who has returned home from exercising, and doesn't respond to her calls as he is wearing headphones.

Whilst Judy goes to pick up dinner, Wes showers, by his mother's suggestion, unaware that Ghostface is threatening his mother on the phone while she has drove off in the car.

From the back-and-forth communication with Ghostface (later revealed to be Amber), it is clear that she is already inside of their house, asking her, "Ever seen the movie Psycho?" as the scene intercuts with Wes taking a shower, and Judy hauntingly remembering her suggestion for him to take one. She alerts all units to her house, and rushes to the front door, yelling out her son's name, before she is stabbed violently to death by Ghostface.

Wes, unaware this has happened, gets ready for dinner by preparing plates, cutlery and drinks and starts hearing noises in his house. He searches the house and finds the front door open, and when he closes it, Ghostface jumps out behind him and attacks. Wes tries to hold back Ghostface's knife, but the killer (Amber or Richie) is eventually able to force it through his throat and kill him.

Aftermath

Sam Carpenter expresses shock and concern for him, after seeing Judy's corpse being covered by the police. Deputy Farney indirectly confirms to her that Wes also did not survive, saddening Sam. She contacts Richie about this, who appears to be back in the motel, watching a critical Youtube video on Stab 8 (2021).

The night after Wes dies, Amber hosts a "memorial" for Wes at her house, 261 Turner Lane, which turns into a typical high school party, with many guests. It is a tactic intended to lure Sam, Tara and the legacy survivors inside. After she reveals herself as the killer, she imitates the stabbing noises from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho to Sidney Prescott, a callback to her earlier Psycho reference, speaking with Judy on the phone about Wes, showing her involvement in their deaths.

When the credits roll after Amber and Richie's defeat, "For Wes" can be shown, a reference to Wes Craven.

Relationships

Family

Allies

Enemies

Quotes

  • "Ghostface is back."
  • "Fuck... you!" (His final words to Ghostface before dying)
  • "For Wes!" (Chad toasting Wes after his demise, a nod to late movie director, Wes Craven).
  • "You got stabbed a billion times, got dumped by your famous wife, and crawled into a bottle. I think it's safe to say you're on the suspect list." (Wes suspecting Dewey Riley).

Character References

  • Named after veteran director, Wes Craven (1939—2015), who directed the first four films prior to his death.
  • Meta: a woman by the surname Carpenter babysits a teenage boy named Wes, a reference to Tatum's misspoken line reference to Wes Craven/John Carpenter (director of the original 1978 Halloween), telling Sidney she is starting to sound like some "Wes Carpenter flick or something"
  • Wes is a modern gender-inverse of the typical blonde female character used for objectification and is killed early in the film.
  • The famous shower scene in Psycho, portrayed by Janet Leigh.

    References to Marion Crane from Psycho (1960).
    • Ghostface (Amber) asks Judy if she has seen the film Psycho (1960), referencing Wes showering, in a vulnerable Marion Crane role.
    • A false main character (but not the leading false protagonist like Marion), similar to Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, killed 30 minutes in during the shower scene.
    • Dylan Minnette was the most famous actor of the younger newbie cast, and his background and name implied he would be more significant to the film. Instead, he is the first of the new kids to die.
  • Holds many references to first seen Scream (1996) and Scream franchise character, Casey Becker.
    • Portrayed by a high-profile actor like Drew Barrymore was, where fans anticipated a bigger role for each; however, they were the first teenagers killed off. (Technically, Casey dies second, but Steve Orth is a cameo role, and is mutilated off-screen).
    • Both are blonde teenaged victims.
    • For the Stab version of Casey Becker portrayed by Heather Graham, they share the infamous shower scene, except Wes is male.
    • Mothers (Mrs. Becker / Judy Hicks) distraught over their death. (The requel for Scream 5 (2022) reverses this, where Judy is distraught over Ghostface's warning that he will kill Wes.)

Trivia

  • His character name was confirmed by HelloSidney.com. [1]
  • Name is a reference to the late horror movie director, Wes Craven who directed the first four Scream films.
    • His phone number includes 1939, which is the year that Craven was born.
  • His status as Judy Hicks' son was revealed on the promotional tiktok account @toobrashsarah.
  • In the first 2019 screenplay draft, titled Scream Forever, Richie's attack on Sam in the climax is referred to "just like with Wes" by description, indicating he is Wes' killer. It is not known if this is canon in the final product, though with on-screen events, very little changed from the first draft written in 2019 other than simplified dialogue and Dewey's re-introduction.
  • Draft Goof: Also in the draft Scream Forever, Wes states his mother was "a character in Stab 4". This was a failed meta reference to Scream 4 (2011), as that film already covered that Stab already released five sequels to Stab 2, with the most recent entry being Stab 7 starring Kristen Bell as Chloe.
    • Strangely, the script draft also makes a direct reference to Kristen Bell's role as the killer in Stab 7, making the goof a simple case of forgotten continuity.
    • The final version states him to be a character in "one of them", a vaguer meta reference that fixes the draft error. Despite this, from examining basic continuity, Judy would only possibly be a character in Stab 8.
    • It is likely the vaguer description in the final cut used to correct this was to prevent audience confusion, and to streamline-reference the past instead. After Judy and Wes die, Richie sits at the motel eating pizza, watching hateful commentary on the film, another indication he is the killer.
  • His existence may cover Hicks' Ghostface red herring in Scream 4 (2011). Her disappearance acts possibly stemmed from routine check ups on her son (and his then-14-year-old babysitter, Sam Carpenter).
  • His character's "momma's boy" complex resembles Billy Loomis (a possible red herring).
  • Ironically the first of his friend group to die. (As the Sheriff's son, he took preemptive safety measures and warned others to do so as well).

Gallery

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Wes Hicks has a Photo Gallery.

Appearances

Character Guide

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