Scream (2022) ending explained: Who is the new Ghostface killer?
It’s a delight to report that this entry sticks the landing, delivering a conclusion that pulls the rug out from under you with a shocking reveal that sets a gripping final showdown into motion.
Scream has become one of the world’s most beloved horror franchises thanks in part to its playful deconstruction of the genre, including the now infamous third act twist.
To find out more about what we thought of the movie, check out our spoiler-free Scream review, which explains why this is a reboot done right.
Ideally, you should go into the new movie knowing as little as possible, but if you have an appetite for spoilers or need something explained in more detail, we have your full breakdown of the Scream ending below.
One last time for the people at the back: there are spoilers ahead!
Scream ending explained: Who is the new Ghostface?
Among the many rules of the Scream franchise is that there has to be a party which ends in catastrophe, so it isn’t surprising to discover that’s where the third act takes us.
This time around, the event is a boozy wake for slaughtered student Wes Hicks (Dylan Minnette), who recently became the latest victim of the Ghostface serial killer.
Principal target Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) initially has no intention of attending, choosing instead to skip town with younger sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) and boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid).
However, when Tara begins having an asthma attack, she realises that she left her inhaler at the hospital and the closest one available is her spare at Amber’s house – where the party is being held.
Richie reluctantly agrees to drive them there for what is intended to be a quick in-and-out visit, but inevitably devolves into something far deadlier.
After discovering that Amber’s house is the same one that belonged to Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard), one of the original Ghostface killers, Sam realises that they have been lured into a trap.
She alerts Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) to the imminent danger, with the duo already on their way after placing a tracker on Sam’s car following their brief encounter at the hospital.
Soon, only Sam, Richie, Tara and her closest friends are present in the house and paranoia is running rampant, with suspicion being cast everywhere.
Accusations are hurled at Liv (Sonia Ben Ammar), who runs into the house with bloody hands but insists she isn’t the killer, a fact which is confirmed when Amber pulls out a gun and shoots her in the head.
The group scatters and Amber (Mikey Madison) attempts to play the victim when Sidney and Gale turn up, but these seasoned pros aren’t buying it – unfortunately, they take action too late and Gale is shot in the stomach, but remains conscious.
Sam finds Tara in a closet upstairs, having been restrained with duct tape by Amber, but thinks twice about freeing her as Richie suggested earlier she could be the second killer (the rules state there are always two).
Sidney begins systematically making her way through the house while taking a call from Ghostface, but her only discovery is Richie cowering in a cupboard.
Ghostface appears from nowhere and they plummet over the mezzanine to the ground floor below, but the killer recovers fastest and manages to disarm Sidney.
Sam returns and is relieved to see Richie is still alive, but he stabs her in the stomach as she rushes over to embrace him, revealing himself to be the second killer.
He explains that he had Tara’s inhaler the whole time, but had been hiding it to get them back to the Macher house for the perfect finale, while also taking glee in the fact that he made her doubt her own sister.
Together, Richie and Amber shepherd Sam, Sidney and Gale into the kitchen, where they reveal that they have been in cahoots this whole time, after being brought together months earlier by their fascination with the Stab movies.
They say that the only way to restore the franchise to its former glory is to give the filmmakers a true story to adapt and they believe they have devised the perfect ‘requel’ (a reboot-slash-sequel).
Just as our heroes seem to be cornered, the phone rings. It’s Tara. As it turns out, Sam did make the wise decision to free her sister from her binds, making her their sole hope of rescue.
The two killers split up, with Amber staying in the kitchen with Sidney and Gale, where she reveals that it was her who killed the latter’s former partner and best friend, Dewey (David Arquette).
For a moment it seems as though she might make it to a hat trick of original Scream cast kills, but the women are able to outmanoeuvre her, with Gale delivering the fatal blow as an act of vengeance.
Meanwhile, Sam is busy fighting her former lover Richie, who begins ranting about how fandom can never be toxic and that avid Stab viewers like himself deserve an ending they approve of.
At the last moment, she is able to grasp onto a dropped knife in the corner, telling Richie that a new rule for the franchise is “don’t f**k with the daughter of a serial killer”, before stabbing him repeatedly in the chest.
The line is a reference to Sam being the illegitimate daughter of Billy Loomis, the other killer in the original Scream.
After slicing his throat open, Sam watches Richie bleed out, before stepping back to join Sidney and Gale in the reception area, where she is told that the villain always comes back for one last scare.
That’s not possible for the mutilated Richie, but instead Amber comes dashing towards them from the kitchen, but is shot in the head by Tara.
In the closing moments of the film, Sam gets some final words of wisdom from Sidney before getting in an ambulance with Tara, while we also discover that twins Mindy and Chad Meeks both survived their encounters with Ghostface.
If the film does earn a sequel, it feels as if it could focus solely on this new group, as a thoughtful Sidney and Gale appear to be making peace with their traumatic experiences in the final scene.
Arguably the strongest arc is awarded to Gale, who declares an intention to stop profiting off the Woodsboro tragedies and instead launch a new book series that honours her fallen love, Dewey.
Scream is out now in UK cinemas. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.