Motives are the most important aspect of a cold-blooded killer. They’re the driving force as to why the individuals do what they do. Motives help investigators determine who is committing the murders. They are akin to the final piece in a 1,000-piece puzzle. Motives bring everything together.
Seven killers make up the cold blooded roster in the Scream franchise: Stu, Billy, Mickey, Mrs. Loomis, Roman, Charlie, and Jill. The lead killers, as we shall call them, all had great motives for why they were out to ruin and end Sidney Prescott’s life. Billy and Mrs. Loomis were out for revenge. Roman had a mixture of jealousy and hate for Sidney. Jill was straight up jealous for the celebrity status that Sidney had achieved thanks to the previous killers.
What about the remaining Scream killers? Let’s call them the “side killers.” Frankly, they had pretty weak motives. Not discrediting Kevin Williamson (Scream, 2, 4) or Ehren Kruger’s (Scream 3) writing. I actually think that the weak motives that these characters have was genius writing. I’ve always cocked my head to the side at these side killers. Let’s dive a little bit into their motives.
“Peer pressure. I’m far too sensitive.”
Scream’s side killer was Stu. His place in Sidney‘s life resided in her friend group, notably as her best friend, Tatum‘s, boyfriend. Yet, when the reveal hits that it’s Billy and he who are the killers, there is no true motive for Stu. Well, aside from the sarcastic comment of: “Peer pressure. I’m far too sensitive.”
If you look closely while Billy is revealing that he’s killing due to his abandonment issues, Stu seems surprised. Billy may not have shared why he was killing. So it’s possible that for Stu, this was all just a big game; playing off of horror movie tropes to set themselves up as legend, or as a precautionary tale for the generations to come.
One could assume that it started off as a “revenge” of sorts as Stu did date Casey Becker, who was the second victim in their bloodbath. There’s a mention that she dumped him in a pretty unforgiving way. That gives no further reason to continue the killing with Billy.
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“[…] it’s possible that for Stu, this was all just a big game […]”
This has been played with around the internet, before, but is worth mentioning. Aside from the fact that Stu’s psychotic barriers were a little thin, making him prone to the killing, what if he was actually in love with Billy? His relationship with Billy seems just a little on the obsessive side. Why else would you kill for someone when there’s literally nothing to gain? It’s sort of like giving your soul away which – in some regards – is what doing whatever you can for the person that you love.
If it wasn’t the close vicinity that Stu keeps with Billy in almost every scene that they’re together then it was the line that he delivers to Sidney during the final confrontation that had lead me to this conclusion: “Everybody dies but us. Everybody dies but us!” It is delivered with such gusto and passion. A passion that is only held for someone who could possibly love someone.
Whether it be because of notoriety, revealing psychotic tendencies, or for love, Stu made his decision. He dug his grave, and now he’s lying it.
“Mickey is a sick f*ck who wants to get caught. Yeah!”
Whew, Mickey. The film school student was literally just a fly hovering around the business of Sidney and the fellow survivors of Woodsboro. He’s one of the most obvious killers throughout the entire series. He’s a psycho. And he knows it.
Mickey legitimately wants to be found out for the murders that he helped commit. His endgame is to stand trial for those murders so that he can blame his acts on “the effects of cinema in violence.” Whereas Billy and Stu were casual about blaming movies, Mickey is full fledged throwing that motive on the table, and wants to serve it up as a five course meal.
That’s what I like about Mickey. He’s not ambivalent about his motive. “Mickey is a sick f*ck who wants to get caught,” he exclaimed at Sidney during their final confrontation. He follows that statement up with a celebratory, “Yeah!”
“He’s one of the most obvious killers throughout the entire series. He’s a psycho. And he knows it.”
Of course, there could be some past trauma that led Mickey to this place. As far as story goes, we know nothing of his past. All that we do know is that Mrs. Loomis found him on the internet, and promised to pay his way through school for his help in the murders. Mrs. Loomis was no idiot, though. She saw Mickey for exactly what he was. “Mickey was a good boy, but my God, that whole blame the movies motive. Did you buy that for one second? That boy was completely out of his mind.”
Don’t worry, Mickey, you’ll live on in infamy. Just only in infamy, cause you died.
“Last two teenagers standing. This time Randy gets the girl.”
Poor Charlie, this generation’s Randy. He went along with Jill’s insane plan to restart the “franchise” by making herself the final girl. Kill their friends, kill Sidney, blame the cheating ex-boyfriend, Trevor, and then it would be their turn to live famously.
What was Charlie’s place in all of this? It’s only mentioned in a quick bit that Charlie and Jill were in “love”, mirroring the bit on Stu and Billy’s possible romance. So maybe Charlie did it for love, and that the fame that would follow would be an added bonus. “Last two teenagers standing. This time Randy gets the girl,” he says as he moves in for a kiss from Jill.
We view Charlie as Jill viewed Charlie. He is there to just aide Jill in getting what she wants, and once she has it, she kills him. Not much more is explained for him. He doesn’t get a Mickey exposé or a lengthy Stu “What is his motive, exactly?” time to wonder. Jill didn’t have time for that so neither did we.
“We view Charlie as Jill viewed Charlie. He is there to just aide Jill in getting what she wants, and once she has it, she kills him.”
Love, infamy, notoriety, nothing … these three’s motives are all over the place. And for two of them, they were really nowhere at all. That didn’t stop them from doing sinister things to innocent people. Not having a motive is actually a scary tactic. yet they were no Michael Myers ‘18 or Black Christmas‘s Billy. They only struck fear into the hearts of people when they had the Ghostface mask on. Without the mask, and with silly, outlandish motives, they weren’t scary. They were just dangerous.
What are your thoughts on Stu, Mickey, and Charlie? Have you caught any bits that drew your into their motives, or better explained their motives? Let us know over on our Twitter, reddit, Instagram, or on The Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!