With Scream (2022) introducing Ghostface to a new generation, we decided to look at all of the Ghostface killers, past and present.
The killers from the MTV Scream TV series were not included in this ranking, because they wear the “Brandon James” mask instead of the classic Ghostface costume. Spoilers for Scream (2022) lie ahead, so turn back now if you haven’t seen the new slasher movie.
Ghostface Ranked #1: Stu Macher (Scream 1996)
The first R-rated movie I ever saw was Scream. I was way too young, and I was a big fan of the live-action Scooby-Doo movies. Matthew Lillard plays both Shaggy and Stu Macher, a class clown with a dark sense of humor who turns out to be the Ghostface killer. Lillard’s unhinged performance gave me nightmares for weeks as a child, and it was a long time before I could look at Scooby-Doo the same.
As an adult, revisiting Matthew Lillard’s performance is always a delightful treat. He has some of the best lines in the entire franchise (i.e. “My parents are going to be so mad at me!”) and his terror is nearly unmatched to this day. Stu Macher is such a beloved character that many scripts featuring his return have been written, but none have stuck…so far.
Ghostface Ranked #2: Billy Loomis (Scream 1996)
Stu Macher’s partner in crime, the second Ghostface was Billy Loomis, played by Skeet Ulrich. Billy was Sidney Prescott’s boyfriend, but he became Ghostface after murdering Sidney’s mother Maureen. He killed her as revenge for sleeping with his father, going on to start the very first Woodsboro killing spree.
The horrors of Billy Loomis and Stu Macher started the Scream franchise, inspiring many copycat killers to follow in their footsteps. Even today, the shadow of Billy Loomis hangs over the Scream franchise. The new series lead, Sam Carpenter, is actually the daughter of the deceased Billy Loomis, cementing his legacy. She is perpetually haunted by visions of her father, and gleefully tore apart her killer ex-boyfriend in the third act of Scream (2022). Could Sam become the Ghostface of Scream 6?
Ghostface Ranked #3: Roman Bridger (Scream 3)
Roman Bridger is one of the most unique versions of Ghostface to grace the silver screen. He was the only killer to operate on his own, as there are almost always two Ghostface killers at work. As the director of Stab 3, an in-universe movie about the Woodsboro murders, Roman used his resources and knowledge of special effects to slaughter the souls of Scream 3.
His story reframed the original Scream trilogy entirely, revealing that he had orchestrated the death of Maureen Prescott and thus kick-started the entire Scream franchise. He decided to kill Maureen, and later Sidney because Maureen was his long-lost mother. He was the product of assault, and his birth-mother did not want to have a relationship with him. Roman used this as an excuse to kill, but he was eventually defeated by his half-sister Sidney.
Ghostface Ranked #4: Beth (Scream: Resurrection)
Scream: Resurrection was a VH1 6-episode miniseries reboot of the franchise. It took place in Atlanta, GA, where a group of high-school students, the so-called “Deadfast Club”, were killed off by a new Ghostface. The series had no connection to the original franchise or the earlier TV series. In fact, the events of Resurrection all happen because of Beth. She was an emotionally unstable child with an affinity for the horror genre. As her desire to kill grew, so did her desire to fashion an amazing horror story in the real world. Inspired by the films she loved, Beth takes inspiration from the original Ghostface’s motivation, over two decades after Scream came out.
Beth was played by Giorgia Whigham, who also stars in season two of The Punisher on Netflix. Beth’s knowledge of horror cinema made her into Resurrection’s version of Randy Meeks. Almost every project in the franchise has a Randy analog, and Giorgia filled that role, and the role of Ghostface perfectly.
Ghostface Ranked #5: Jay Elliot (Scream: Resurrection)
Jay Elliot was the half-brother of RJ Cycler’s lead character Deion Elliot. He knew secrets about Deion’s past which drove him to hatred, and eventually, murder. When he met Beth, she was looking for the perfect origin story and saw it in Jay and Deion. She seduced him into joining her as the second Ghostface.
Scream: Resurrection is notable for being the only TV show in the franchise to feature a classic Ghostface. Jay and Beth delivered a number of amazingly gruesome and violent kills throughout the miniseries, despite the restrictions of TV compared to film. Tyga’s reveal as the killer caught me totally off-guard, making him one of my favorite Ghostfaces ever.
Ghostface Ranked #6: Jill Roberts (Scream 4)
Jill Roberts, played by Emma Smith is a Ghostface from Scream 4, and she may be the last truly great killer on the list. She was the cousin of Sidney Prescott, whom Jill felt her mother loved more. She grew irrationally jealous and spiteful of Sidney, eventually devising a plot to bring back Ghostface on the fifteenth anniversary of the first Woodsboro murders.
She sought to start a new bloodbath which would take the lives of everyone, including Sidney, but herself. Jill wanted to be the sole survivor, and to bask in the fame which Sidney possessed, fame she coveted with all her being. Jill was a real lunatic, and her self-absorbed, vicious character commanded almost every scene she was in.
Ghostface Ranked #7: Richie Kirsch (Scream 2022 AKA Scream 5)
I remember when they cast Jack Quaid for Scream 5. At that time, something in my gut told me that Quaid’s character would be revealed as Ghostface. During the film, Dewey strongly indicates that Richie Kirsch could be the killer. But by the time the mask came off, and he was revealed, I had begun to think that Ghostface was someone else.
As frustrating as that was, my hat is off to the writers for maintaining a shocking twist. The reason Richie is ranked so low on this list is because of his motivation. Richie was a huge fan of horror, especially the Stab movies. He hated Stab 8 so much that he began a new Woodsboro killing spree, one that could serve as inspiration for a new Stab movie. The commentary on toxic fandom worked more often than not, but he’s the third killer on this list to murder because he watched too many scary movies.
Ghostface Ranked #8: Amber Freeman (Scream 2022 AKA Scream 5)
Mikey Madison stars in Scream (2022) as Amber Freeman, the second Ghostface alongside Richie Kirsch. She met Richie on a Stab subreddit, where their hatred of Stab 8 lead them to plan a new series of murders in Woodsboro. She fell in love with the franchise when her parents moved them into the old house of Stu Macher, the first Ghostface killer.
Amber Freeman carved up some of the most violent kills to date alongside Richie, including the gut-wrenching death of Dewey. She was almost as good a Ghostface as Richie, but she got slightly less screentime, and therefore a slightly lower ranking.
Ghostface Ranked #9: Debbie Loomis (Scream 2)
Debbie Loomis was the surprise reveal of Scream 2. She decided to follow in her deceased son’s footsteps and take on the Ghostface mantle as revenge for Sidney killing her son. She had been operating under a fake name throughout the film, making it almost impossible to guess that she was Ghostface. Her motivation was bland, her performance was mediocre, and her kills generally unmemorable.
Ghostface Ranked #10: Mickey Altieri (Scream 2)
Mickey Altieri was the partner of Debbie Loomis in Scream 2, a film that I personally consider to be the weakest installment in the franchise. He decides to kill people as Ghostface because he wants the fame and attention serial killers receive when they are captured.
While the idea that he was going to give himself up as the killer is interesting, Mickey’s character was somewhat half-baked and forgettable.
Ghostface Ranked #11: Charlie Walker (Scream 4)
Charlie Walker is Jill’s partner in Scream 4, a huge fan of horror and the Stab franchise. He sees himself as the remake version of Randy Meeks, and Jill as the remake version of Sidney Prescott.
He wants the story to end differently this time, with Randy & Jill ending up together as lovers. Unfortunately for Charlie, his story ends like Randy’s – bloodily, and without much fanfare.
While they may not have topped our list, Scream 2022 has presented fans with two new Ghostface killers and a wonderful new Scream story. While some left a more lasting impression than others, every Ghostface has had their own unique impact on the horror genre.
Who is your favorite Ghostface? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!
KEEP READING: Scream Review: Scream Calls the Franchise Back to Form