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Final Girl: Sid

Updated on April 29, 2016

Sidney Prescott is the Final Girl in "Scream"

Neve Campbell Portrays Final Girl Sidney Prescott

I watched Scream online for free by finding a legal link via OVguide dot com:

In the movie, "Scream," the Final Girl is Sidney Prescott. Sidney's character is very interesting and Sid is considered a sort of 'new breed' Final Girl because Sid's strengths as a female character have aligned to the idea of 'female empowerment,' along with 'final girl trope' features.

The "New Breed Final Girl" is essentially different than the standard Final Girl because in standard types, one isn't really aware of an air of female empowerment/feminist perspective apparent within the Final Girl character. With the newest sort of Final Girl, we see some really cool role models and often, more biography of the empowered female character is shown than with standard type final girls.


Sidney Prescott Biography:

Neil and Maureen Prescott's daughter is our Sidney Precott Final Girl. Sidney was born and raised in Woodsboro, California in a pretty standard, structurally sound, middle-to-upper class family environment. Sid' attended and graduated from Woodsboro High School, however, her structurally sound, 'regular' existence was violated and altered during her junior year of schooling.

Sid's mother was murdered during Sid's junior year, and Sidney was the person who found her mother's body. Sid was instrumental in helping the law put her mother's supposed killer away for lifetime incarceration until a court ordered execution for the charges of rape and of first degree murder. The killer: a local man, Cotton Weary.

Final Girl Virginity/Purity:

We'll have to be prepared to settle for "purity" with our Final Girl, Sid. Alas, we have a Final Girl who still manages to convince us of her purity despite her having sex as part of the storyline of this film. Sid strives, however, for keeping her virginity throughout most of the film - to the point that her boyfriend fights with her pointedly about the lack of sex in their relationship. Sid remains assertive and virginal until a very late point in the movie. Yes, right in the storyline of the movie, it is blatantly obvious that Sid engages in sexual activity with her boyfriend, Billy. This sexual activity happens in approximately the last quarter of the film but it happens due to a very devious and deliberate manipulation by her boyfriend - and not with the usual coaxing boyfriend motivations. It would be natural for persons of Billy and Sid's ages to have yearnings and end up having sex. The boyfriend's manipulation, however, is less about natural desires and more blatantly about setting Sid up to be a victim of a murderer.

That all aside, Sid is pretty 'pure,' and shows signs of virtue. She deals with PTSD triggers - reminders of her mother's murder and multiple-triggers about her mother's murder with each unsolved violent murder that happens around her. Her friends are being killed off with great and rapid regularity, yet she mostly keeps her head about her, her thoughts on track, and her mind thinking logically most of the time, regardless of all the stress and turmoil around her.

History With The Killer:

Sid's history with the killer starts to become apparent early on, however, nobody (audience included) knows exactly how the history works in this film until quite far into the film. All we and all that Sid knows is that there has to be some sort of history because the killer starts going after Sid almost from the start. The killer TELLS (through phone calls) Sid there is a history, but Sid and everyone else must piece together a whole bunch of clues in order to figure out the history.

Unfortunately, as well, the secrets to catching the killer are all wrapped up in the history between Sid and the killer. In this film, the killer has a particularly high degree of 'smarts' and has so much knowledge about Sidney that the killer only leaves behind clues that are 'planted' deliberately. There don't seem to be any real mistakes going on here and the killer has multiple plans very well designed in advance for a number of situations. The killer is able to strike and do damage whether people are nearby or not.

Telling readers, at this point, the actual history between Sid and the killer will ruin the whole experience of the film - with no exceptions - for people who have not yet seen the film or who saw the film years ago and don't quite remember it.

The killer in Scream is no different than the killer who murdered Sidney Prescott's mother, and that's about all that should be said about how the killer and Sid share a history.

Scream (1) Trailer: Drew Barrymore Scene Highlighted - and several clips of "SID"

Final Girl Intelligence and Curiosity:

This new breed Final Girl, Sidney Prescott, is complex. Her life experiences and recent live events are complex and confusing for her, for her friends and for the viewers of this movie. The recent murder of her mother actually puts regular Final Girl Intelligence and Curiosity at a low point for Sid.

In my opinion, what has to be Sid's natural intelligence shines through in the end rather than the usual Final Girl curiosity and typical Final Girl planning and formulating of logical designs for survival.

The usual qualities of a Final Girl, for the most part, are severely impaired in our Final Girl character for this film. They're impaired by the killer's absolute close understanding of Sidney Prescott, how her mind is still affected from recent loss of her mother, and by the fact that the killer is physically, mentally and emotionally close to Sid while she can't recognize who the killer is.

Sid tries to begin survival planning and sleuthing to find out who the killer is - but this is all hampered by the closeness the killer enjoys to her. The killer can change the environment as soon as it becomes apparent that Sid might be getting close to certain realizations. Sid actually compounds and ruins any successful logic by not being emotionally prepared to follow her own logic at all times. This almost ruins her persona as a Final Girl, if truth be told. She actually denies information that normally, a Final Girl will act upon...

She pieces together logical tidbits and pinpoints a suspect/killer, then is led away from her ideas by a sort of peer pressure or emotional pressure from her boyfriend. She comes to suspect the same person again - through logical means - and is again led away from her ideas by a close peer. She refuses to listen to logic, as well, when it would be beneficial do to so, and the logic pertains to her mother's killer. She mistrusts the source this logic comes from and her emotions rule how she makes decisions. This is another strange complexity that almost makes Sid a rotten candidate for being a Final Girl, but her other qualities are so strong that we cannot discredit her in her Final Girl role.

What Sid does intelligently in this film is that she reacts quickly and intelligently to the killer's movements once she does realize who the killer is. Probably the most steadfast quality Sid displays throughout the film/storyline is her fearlessness.

Sid Prescott is one of the most fearless Final Girls I've seen, particularly when I consider the crazy-making behavior going on around her in the film. There are deliberate crazy-making actions and events being planned around her, by the killer, most of the time. Sid has to be terrified most of the time but she walks through her fear and faces her fear at every opportunity. She stands and fights even when things appear ridiculously one-sided and bad for her, and she doesn't isolate herself out of grief even when she's aware that the killer is likely near her.

Sidney Prescott clips, Song "Fighter" (Spoiler scenes)

Final Girl Resourcefulness:

Sidney's best resource is her own quick thinking and adaptability in crazy-making situations. She doesn't seem to be able to show other solid signs of resourcefulness because in this film, the killer is so close to her, she's not able to do any resourceful pre-planning. Essentially, as soon as the killer sees she's getting some breathing room and rest, and that she might turn her 'smarts' on and be able to use her intelligence, the killer strikes, causing a crazy-making situation for Sid, causing a death close to Sid, or some other crisis or questionable situation. 

Comments

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    • profile image

      Chika Lovable 

      7 years ago

      She basically broke one of the major rules that was stated by Randy. But I'll admit that Sid is awesome and 1 of my fav charactors...

    • mythbuster profile imageAUTHOR

      mythbuster 

      8 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Ah, no1, you've mentioned some of my fave final girls, too - Ripley and Laurie Strode. I also think Sid is cute but you're right... she almost fails the "final girl" test 'cos she wasn't "virginal," and - as the hub outlines - a couple of other reasons. Thx for commenting.

    • profile image

      no1 

      8 years ago

      Sid fails my final girl test. Laurie Strode and Ellen Ripley are the best. Ripley for sci-fi-horror. Laurie Strode for plain old slasher-horror. Sid is cute tho.

    • profile image

      MrMidNight 

      8 years ago

      Sidney Prescott my analysis, shes basically the final girl for all the screams, accompanied by dooey the doofus and Gal Weathers the stalker, hahahaha, i enjoyed this hub, i find your insights on horror very informative.

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