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Scream is based on a script by American screenwriter Kevin Williamson who meant to present a satirical view of other slasher movies, e.g., Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980), so these movies can be said to provide part of the ideas on which Scream is based. Scream is also partly based on the Gainesville Ripper (real name: Danny Rolling), an American serial killer who murdered five students in Gainesville, Florida. Due to its box office success, Scream is followed by Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), and Scream 4 (2011), along with Scream (2015). Edit
Billy is suspected of being the killer by the cops and Sidney, largely because he has a cell phone. At the time, in the mid 1990s, cell phones had just recently become widely available. Many adults did not have one and it was rarer for a teenager to have one. Since Billy knew most of the victims and since the killer had called some of them, his possession of a cell phone made him suspicious. Edit
Casey and Steve: Billy and Stu were both there, Billy was the caller and Stu was the attacker. Kevin Williamson was the one who confirmed it was Stu. If you pay attention when the friends were having lunch, Stu said he dated Casey for like two seconds before she dumped him for Steve so it was a personal motivation for Stu
Sidney's attack: Same as the Casey/Steve attacks, Billy was the caller and Stu was the attacker. This one is pretty obvious when Billy comes through the window and drops the phone. This one was on purpose because Billy wanted to get framed and arrested so when Stu calls Sidney at Tatum's house he tells Sidney that she framed the wrong guy. This was all a plan for Billy to guilt trip Sidney into convincing her that he's not a killer and to get her to have sex with him.
Sidney's bathroom attack: This one was most likely a student playing a sick prank, if you looked very close the attacker didn't have a knife or any weapons in his hands.
The bushes and store: Again this was a prank, that's not exactly attacking, that's just plain stalking. Besides both Billy and Stu were at the video store talking with Randy.
Himbrey's death: It was Billy, Stu was busy inviting party guests.
Tatum: Also Billy, Stu was inside entertaining his guests.
Sneaking up on Randy: This one was Stu. But in real life believe it or not Skeet Ulrich was in the costume.
Kenny: Probably Stu, Billy was "dead" in the bedroom.
Stu: Obviously Sidney.
Billy: Again, Obviously Sidney. Edit
This was probably not the actual Ghostface killer, but rather a prankster.
One fan theory though, is that Sidney's half-brother Roman Bridger (as Ghostface), who was the killer in Scream 3, was stalking Sydney and Tatum in the supermarket and in Sydney's backyard. Bridger did reveal himself in Scream 3 as the architect behind the Ghostface murder sprees. Again, this is just a fan theory.
A more realistic reason would be such scenes perhaps provided a sense of menace, suspense and/or frightful effect. Since, after all, Scream is a horror movie. Edit
Prior to its theatrical release the movie had to be cut to obtain a R rating. Several violent scenes were trimmed down a bit. The cut scenes include:
- The scene where Steve is gutted by Ghostface includes his intestines pouring out of his stomach. His dead body is seen in the R-rated cut but the entrails have already fallen out. - Casey's gutted body hanging from the tree: the initial wide shot of the corpse lasts a second longer in the unrated Director's Cut. The tracking shot to her that follows afterwards is much more slower as well.
- The crushing of Tatum's head lasts a few frames longer. This isn't noticeable unless you compare both of the versions side-by-side
- The throat slashing of Gale's cameraman Kenny: in the unrated Director's Cut he looks at the blood on his hand and Ghostface in shock before cutting to Sidney's horrified reaction. The R-rated version cuts to Sidney before Kenny properly reacts to the wound.
- Billy and Stu stabbing each other: Stu is stabbed by Billy on-screen. There's also a static shot of Stu's bloody hand fidgeting and Neil tied up in the background. In the unrated Director's Cut, blood is seen pouring from Stu's hand and collecting in a pool below.