The news media has given me the impression that fictional police are more efficient better than the real thing no matter how many psycho killers they let rampage for a couple of hours/chapters/episodes before the big shoot out
However as a general rule the police don’t tend to come out of horror films looking too good; they tend to be stupid, prejudiced or killed – sometimes all three
There are a wealth of examples of this, but the police in the Scream franchise take police ineptitude to a new level so deserve a special mention. The following will contain spoilers, sorry, blame the police.
In the first ‘Scream’ film the police are constantly too late and too slow to be stop the killers. They arrest the wrong man for Maureen Prescott’s murder – although I admit that Cotton Weary looks very suspicious and there is some pesky circumstantial evidence.
The police even have one of the actual killers in custody for a time, they fail to maintain even a pretence of an effective curfew. Deputy Sheriff Dewey Riley is a joke even before he gets stabbed in the back by the killers, left for dead and then rescued by the girls.
By ‘Scream 2’ deputy sheriff Dewey Riley doesn’t seem to be actively in the police anymore as he drops everything to run to Sidney’s side – he has also obtained a limp and bum arm which are apparently related to nerve damage from his attack in the first film.
Once again Dewey is an advert for inept policing, poor Randy gets butchered in the news van as Dewey stands a couple of feet away.
As the death count increases the actual police pick up Sidney in the dead of night to transport her to a safe location, they get tricked by the old diversion sign trick and killed; leaving Sidney roaming the streets with a killer.
Dewey gets attacked and left for dead again, he stays out of the pictures missing the entire big finale until he gets wheeled into an ambulance at the very end.
(Photo from ThisNext)
In ‘Scream 3’ Dewey is now working as a consultant for the set of ‘Stab 3’ – in a mascot sort of way. He is around when several cast members are killed, then gets tied up by the killer after it turns out that the party isn’t a social event.
There is an active police detective called Kincaid who seems very iffy and seems to have a bit of an obsession with Sidney. He also attends the party and gets knocked out.
I actually don’t remember Kincaid doing anything after he got knocked out, however Dewey is actually about for the finale and even gets a pivotal shot off! He then decides that this was too smart a move for a cop in a horror film so counterbalances it by proposing to Gail Weathers.
(Still from ‘Scream 4’)
‘Scream 4’ (aka ‘Scre4m’) really didn’t need to be made, let alone be an attempt to start another trilogy, however it happened and I watched it. Dewey is now the sheriff and has an inept staff of his own, including Judy Hicks who seems more interested in breaking up his marriage and getting in his pants (not necessarily in that order) than actual police work.
If anything ‘Scream 4’ is where the police really show their ineptitude. The police get a dead body dropped in on their press conference, all but watch a girl get stabbed in the house next door to the one they were assigned to watch and two of them get killed through their own stupidity.
(Still from ‘Scream’)
Lots of dead bodies later and following Gail (and Sidney) blundering about and getting clues by boarder-line flirting with high school students the police do finally seem to take things seriously – mostly because Sidney ‘fleeing’ the scene of one of the crimes makes Judy think she can save the day AND get into Dewey’s pants finally.
And the girls save the day again, no thanks for Dewey who has been beaten into submission by a teenage girl welding a bedpan.
‘Scream’ still remains one of my favourite films and has taught me not to trust the police to solve anything at all.
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