Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in The Scream Movies

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Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in The Scream Movies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Timothy MacAusland
These "Scream" characters need to go back to horror movie school. For this list, we'll be looking at choices made by characters in this horror franchise that are ill-advised and have serious consequences. Our countdown includes “Scream”, "Scream 2", "Scream 3", and more!
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Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in Scream


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in Scream.

For this list, we’ll be looking at choices made by characters in this horror franchise that are ill-advised and have serious consequences. If you haven’t seen the first four movies, here is your spoiler alert.

What’s your favorite scary movie? Scream about it in the comments!

#10: Trying to Escape Through the Cat Door

“Scream” (1996)

You know what they say about dumb blondes? Yeah, now apply that to a horror movie character. While Tatum is probably smarter than she lets on, her wits aren’t really about her when Ghostface corners her in the garage. She starts the interaction in a dumb way to begin with, thinking Ghostface is Randy playing a prank, even though some classmates of hers have already been murdered. Once realizing the danger, Tatum actually proves rather resourceful, using a freezer door and some beer bottles to incapacitate Ghostface. But instead of doubling down the punishment, she tries to escape through what’s probably technically a doggie door and gets stuck. Now all Ghostface has to do is press one button to send Tatum to her doom.

#9: Being Bad Cops

“Scream 4” (2011)

Cops in horror movies are almost universally stupid, but Anthony Perkins and Ross Hoss - yes, those are their names - take it to a new level. Between doing crossword puzzles and ogling high school girls, they’re already not cut out for security detail. They prove this when they get lost pursuing Ghostface - apparently for several minutes - allowing him to kill Olivia. Somehow getting assigned to the same detail the next night, Perkins makes the idiotic decision to play a prank on Hoss when the latter returns from a perimiter check, giving Ghostface the perfect opportunity to ice the two. Now this is why cops always die in movies.

#8: Leaving Derek Strung Up

“Scream 2” (1997)

When Sidney’s boyfriend Derek decides to give her his Greek letters, he adds a target on his back from his fraternity brothers, you know, in addition to the Ghostface one. After seeing Sidney taken to safety by police officers - mostly smart ones, for a change - Derek is promptly kidnapped and taken to a hazing party. Using a prop used by the theatre department, the brothers string him up and take to pouring beer down his shorts. Trouble is, after leaving and pretty much cleaning up what must’ve been the shortest party ever, they leave Derek there. Though this is believable frat bro behavior, there’s still a killer on the loose, and they virtually get Derek killed as he’s unable to defend himself.

#7: Getting Wasted

“Scream 4” (2011)

Speaking of ill-timed parties, we don’t see why anyone in the “Scream” universe would think of throwing one, and yet, they always do. Heck, even Ghostface killers like Stu and Roman have been seen imbibing knowing full well they’ll be masking up soon. Still, the worst offender has to be Robbie from “Scream 4,” who, though less näive than his friends, still allows himself to get hammered at two different gatherings. Worse yet, he decides to wander around the house alone, we guess to appeal to his live webstream? Yeah, what’s the deal with that thing anyway? Whatever the case, he drunkenly fiddles with his headset long enough to give Ghostface an easy kill.

#6: Trusting Their Partners

“Scream 2” (1997) & “Scream 4” (2011)

If you’re evil enough to deceive your friends and kill them one-by-one, you’re evil enough to betray your partner. Mickey was the first to learn this the hard way, as Mrs. Loomis shoots him as soon as he’s of no more use. Though he survives this round of bullets, we bet he still learned not to trust people he meets on “psycho websites.” In “Scream 4,” Charlie similarly places way too much faith in Jill. Though she’s probably been sleeping with him to manipulate him, he still trusts she’s gonna “shoulder” him in their efforts to make them look like victims. Speaking of which, who’s to say Billy didn’t intentionally cut too deep with Stu in the first movie?

#5: Not Unmasking Ghostface

“Scream 2” (1997) & “Scream 3” (2000)

As scary as Ghostface can be, his kill count goes down significantly once the various killers unmask themselves. Following that logic, you’d think protagonists would be more eager to do it themselves when given the chance. In “Scream 2,” Sidney has the opportunity to unmask an unconscious Ghostface after a car wreck, but initially decides to flee with her roommate Hallie. She regains her senses and tries to go back, but soon discovers Ghostface has come to and crept around to kill Hallie. In the next one, Gale too has a similar opportunity, but chickens out before he wakes up. You know the only character to successfully unmask Ghostface? The very first protagonist, Casey, though she’s pretty much already dead.

#4: Letting Teens Party

“Scream” (1996)

Though the cops from “Scream 4” are pretty terrible, we often forget how negligent Dewey is in the first movie. Despite the fact that the police department has issued a city-wide curfew, Dewey personally escorts Sidney and his sister Tatum to Stu’s party. And we all know how that goes. Though he’s probably more concerned with impressing Gale, he proceeds to let all the vulnerable, underage youths drink the night away. Worse yet, Dewey eventually abandons the party to investigate the report of a suspicious abandoned car with Gale. As much as we love Dewey, based on his actions here, he probably deserved to have that knife plunged in his back.

#3: Not Killing Randy

“Scream” (1996)

We all know about the countless times Ghostface killers have either failed or neglected to kill Sidney when they had the chance, but this is downright inexcusable. After all the nameless teens ditch the party to morbidly gawk at their dead principal, Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy, is left to finish watching Jamie Lee Curtis’s “Halloween” alone. Too drunk to defend himself - that whole thing - Randy should be easy pickings for Ghostface. Instead, Ghostface hears Sidney shrieking outside and attends to her when he could’ve easily made a quick cut anyway. Heck, even Billy largely misses later on what should’ve been an easily fatal point-blank shot. Thank goodness for those rules.

#2: Accidentally Revealing Herself

“Scream 4” (2011)

Jill, Jill, Jill… You arguably came the closest to getting away with it all. You framed your ex-boyfriend, killed your partner, put Sidney down for the count, and staged the scene in a horrific display of self-mutilation. Though Jill’s biggest mistake was assuming two stabs to Sidney’s gut would do it, this particular mistake is rookie stuff. While recovering in the hospital, Jill references Gale’s stab wound to Dewey. Though Dewey initially thinks nothing of it, it’s Gale who puts two and two together. This of course sets Dewey and Gale in motion to rescue Sidney, whom Jill already had in a vulnerable position. And, naturally, if you give people enough time, they’ll ultimately put you in their place.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.

Putting an Ear Against the Stall, “Scream 2” (1997)
Phil Listens in on His Bathroom Neighbor and Gets Quite a Surprise

Stalking in Broad Daylight, “Scream” (1996)
Ghostface Doesn’t Even Plan on Attacking Yet Is Still Compelled to Enter a Supermarket

Backing Up to the Van, “Scream 2” (1997)
You Were Much Safer in the Wide-Open Field, Randy

Hiding From Security, “Scream 3” (2000)
Fearing Ghostface, Sarah Inadvertently Hides from the Guard Who Could’ve Saved Her

Putting Her Back Against the Mail Slot, “Scream 4” (2011)
Kate Helps Sidney Shut the Door, but Ghostface Has a Special Delivery

#1: Going Back in the House

“Scream 3” (2000)

There are no characters in “Scream” dumber than Tom Prinze. Sure, Derek does something similar in “Scream 2,” but he at least thought he was being heroic and lives. Tom, on the other hand, does this out of fear, and promptly dies. At a wrap party of sorts for the now-cancelled “Stab 3,” Gale, Dewey and the actors start getting threatening faxes from Ghostface - keep in mind this movie came out in 2000. Like sane people, the group migrates to the backyard, but Tom’s just gotta know what the end of the message says. He uses a lighter to read in the dark, only to realize the place is rigged to blow. Honestly, they probably all should’ve smelled the gas, right?
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