Scream: Mirroring Casey Becker
When I was in middle school, I was obsessed with Drew Barrymore. I watched every film she was in. Because I’m that old, my family would get me VHS tapes of her movies for Christmases and birthdays. One year, I got Scream.
I did not watch the movie when it first came out, and being a kid, I had heard little about it. I knew Drew Barrymore was on the cover, though, and I was excited. I popped the tape in my VCR, not knowing what to expect, and began a love for the horror genre that has endured my whole life.
What’s funny is Drew Barrymore died within the first ten minutes of the film. I was angry, but I got over my anger quickly because the movie was that damn good. I know Scream has its haters, and I plan to write up a defense on it at some point eventually, but I want to discuss Drew’s iconic role in that film, because that character has stayed with me all these years. It’ll take a series of posts, because I’m that verbose and this character is surprisingly deep, but let’s gut her open (again).
These movies are old, but are worth watching, so if you haven’t seen the Scream series and don’t want to be spoiled, you will probably want to stop reading here.
What’s cool about Scream is that it is not afraid to reference or make fun of itself. Casey Becker’s death scene was iconic not only in the Scream series, but in the horror genre, and it has been referenced and mirrored several times throughout the series. The series keeps paying homage to the character. I can make a case that Casey is in every Scream movie. Let’s explore.
Stab – Casey Becker
Introduced in Scream 2, Stab is a movie within the Scream series based on Gale Weathers’ book about the Woodsboro murders that took place in the first Scream. Casey is played by Heather Graham, and she is the first character to die in Stab. Heather’s awful blonde wig is what gives her away as Casey. The taunting phone call and subsequent death scene are very similar to Casey Becker’s, but it was almost like they were making fun of the original Casey. Knowing the tongue-in-cheek approach of making fun of the horror film genre in Scream, I’d be willing to bet they were. Casey’s death scene was filled with ridiculous horror movie cliches, like her stripping down naked right before Ghostface called. And the dialogue. Good lord, the dialogue.
I don’t even know you, and I despise you already.
Casey’s death scene in Stab is used twice in the Scream series to distract other characters from noticing other, real murders taking place. Casey’s screams covered up Maureen Evans being stabbed in Scream 2, and Gale Weathers being attacked in Scream 4.
Casey was stabbed and hung from a tree in Stab just like Casey was in Scream.
Scream 2 – Cici Cooper
Played by Sarah Michelle Gellar from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, Cici shared many likenesses with Casey Becker. First off, they had an obvious likeness in appearance. Both were young, attractive girls with short blonde hair. Second, they shared a name. Cici was short for Casey. Cici’s name made her a victim, as she was selected to represent Casey by the killers in a copycat recreation of the original Woodsboro murders. And finally, there is her death scene.
Just looking at Cici at the time of her death makes me think of Casey Becker. She was wearing a sweater like Casey, and she had a cordless phone in her hand. The killer called and taunted Cici before killing her, much like he did Casey. There was also an elaborate chase scene before Cici was stabbed and thrown off her balcony. Cici’s death was over a lot more quickly than Casey’s, but it, too, stayed with me.
What’s interesting is both girls showed kindness to their killers over the phone. They indulged their killers in conversation and appeared to be sweet genuine people. Cici was sober sister for her sorority, standing by to go pick up any drunk girls who may need a ride.
Another important tidbit: both girls were fans of film. Cici is seen in Randy’s film class where she speaks out in a debate about sequels.
Scream 3 – Sarah Darling
Sarah Darling is a stretch at best to compare to Casey, but I think she’s worth exploring for her similarities in her death and appearance, and for the role she was to play in Stab 3. Her short blonde hair immediately made me think of Casey Becker. How she was taunted on the phone by the killer before she was stabbed invites comparisons.
Although Sarah was the third to die in Scream 3, Candy, the character she was going to play, died second like Casey did in Scream. Sarah even mentioned how Candy’s boyfriend had just died, and in Scream, Casey’s boyfriend Steve was killed first.
Even more interesting is that Sarah was to start her scene naked, in the bathroom, like Stab Casey.
I don’t think Sarah Darling was intended to pay homage to Casey Becker, and their similarities are probably coincidental at best. You have to admit their similarities are interesting, however.
Scream 4 – Kirby Reed
I spent a lot of time thinking about which character was most like Casey in Scream 4. At first I thought about Marnie Cooper and Jenny Randall, the first two girls killed in Scream 4. I didn’t like it, though. Aside from them being blonde, pretty, big-breasted, and dying first in a big house, there really weren’t many similarities. Marnie didn’t even like scary movies, and that was an essential part of Casey’s character.
The character I’ve decided is the mirror of Casey Becker in Scream 4 is Kirby Reed, played by Hayden Panettiere. I know Kirby was a main character in this installment, and got more character development than Casey did, but hear me out. This makes sense, I promise.
Their similarities begin with their appearance. They are both young, attractive females with short blonde hair. Kirby’s is a lot shorter than Casey’s, but it works. They are both film buffs. Kirby is seen at the Cinema Club meeting where Sidney and Gale are invited to speak. She also speaks about film throughout the movie, and she knows her stuff. They both like horror movies. Kirby is particular passionate about them, and has seen them all.
The death scene is where their similarities strike gold for me. Charlie Walker is tied to a chair outside of Kirby’s house. To save him, Kirby has to answer film trivia questions. This is exactly what happened to Casey and her boyfriend, Steve. Kirby thinks she wins the game, and runs out the door to untie Charlie, only to find out he is the killer and be stabbed by him. Casey saw the face of her killer as well.
With how fast the camera cuts away, it’s hard to tell if Kirby really died. We’ll have to wait for the fifth installment of the series to find out.