By Alexis Eastman
Illustration by Aidan Jeans (with special thanks to Aaron Keogh)
There is a scene in Scre4m where Rebecca Walters, Sydney Prescott’s book agent, is trying to convince a slightly scraped Sydney, fresh from another Ghostface encounter, to capitalize on the murders that just happened and parlay her perpetual victimhood into cash and an appearance on The View. Sydney’s book, Out of Darkness, essentially recounts the details of the past three movies and her longing to literally “write a new part for herself.” So imagine her incredulity at Rebecca revealing her true exploitative intentions. But Sydney’s no stranger to betrayal and fires her without so much as a blink, retorting “Did you even read my book?”
So it’s like that, but instead it’s me versus the traitor Jay Beattie AKA the guy who wrote and developed Netflix’s Scream. Only I’m wearing the original Ghostface mask and requisite Docs and cloak, sitting in the back upper rows of a movie theatre watching The Exorcist. I’ve got my feet on the seatback in front of me, snacking is hard through the costume so I’m just vaping under the mask kind of suffocating under the smoke and cheap mask plastic but it’s not altogether unpleasant. The theatre is mostly empty and the combination of privacy, the THC and the fact that Billy Loomis also digs this movie, has worked up my courage enough to finally make the call.
I go into my phone and turn on my Ghostface Vox app and call up Jay.
I panic for a brief moment that he actually answered before I compose myself and reply.
Beattie’s getting impatient.
“Who is this?”
So I cut right to the chase and I’m all like:
“Do you want to play a game?”
And he’s all like
“Fuck off, I’m at home with my family.”
And hangs up.
Fair enough, so I just text him:
“DID YOU EVEN READ MY BOOK?!?!?!💀😱🔪🔪🔪”
Hoping that in some way he’ll understand that what I mean to say is, “when you made this TV show did you even watch any of the movies or did your friend’s kid’s friend just tell you about that time he watched Scream 2, edited for television, at his cousin’s house?”.
Then I think he certainly won’t know what I mean because, Craven only knows, he wouldn’t catch a deep cut reference like that if it stabbed him right in the guts. I bet he didn’t even watch the fourth one more than twice!
Cut to the end of the Exorcist and by the time the priest is tossing himself out the window I’ve calmed down and largely feel a sense of pride over how I handled the situation. Rising from my seat and leaving my empty XL cola behind, I pat myself on the back and shuffle down the theatre steps with my mask safely tucked under my arm, clearly the victor.