A Love Letter to Courteney Cox’s Bangs in ‘Scream 3’
The true horror is always a bad haircut.
Last week I saw Scream 6 on opening night, and as an avid Scream fan I was nothing but pleased—except that (SPOILERS) Neve Campbell wasn’t present at all (I was hoping she’d be in it for at least a second, but alas, she really said no) and neither was Courteney Cox’s very short bangs she had during Scream 3.
After Dewey tragically died in the fifth movie (spoiler, but it’s been a year so I am not sorry)—a twist I really did not see coming—it’s kind of nice to know that because studios didn’t want to pay their star actor what she’s worth, that Sidney Prescott won’t have to battle with Ghostface anytime soon (or ever) and is just assumed to be off with her happy family, guy who played McDreamy and all. But like the rules of a franchise (the movie explains that Scream (and consequently, Stab, the in-universe movies about what happens in the movie) is now not just a bunch of movies but a franchise, with new rules and no expectations), there has to be at least one main character from the original films. And that person is Gale Weathers: present, but bangless.
There are a lot of relentless slashings in the Scream franchise, but no knife-stabbings or garage-door smashings compare to the shameless chop job that Courteney Cox’s hair stylist during the production of the third movie. Ghostface needs to step aside because there’s a new ruthless villain in town: whoever cut the fuck out of Courteney Cox’s bangs in 1999.
If someone gave me that haircut and then expected me to film a two hour-long movie looking like that, I would have cried and then quit never to be seen again. One time when I was in high school, my hairstylist cut my bangs just a little teensy-tiny bit too short and I was so upset I made my parents cover all the mirrors in the house for like three days. Courteney Cox has an entire two hours’ worth of footage of her looking like that. She would be braver than any soldier, except they were clip-ons.
Even for the time that it was filmed, 1999, I don’t think that anyone enjoyed having bangs like that. Even short bangs of this day and age don’t look like that. Someone either had a bone to pick with Courteney Cox or was three toddlers in a trench coat who didn’t know how to use scissors at the time and just tried their best. But I don’t know, maybe people did like having hair that looked like that. I was five that year, so I obviously don’t know anything about anything.
But yet, even with those bangs, Dewey tried getting back together with Gale (until they left each other again and left Dewey in a trailer park where he then gets stabbed multiple times to death in a hospital). That’s what true love is all about.
Now that Scream, in its run of over 25 years, has entered into franchise status, everything we know and expect to happen may not happen. Main characters will die, legacy characters will die even harder, the villain rules may change—we simply do not know what is in store for anyone who used to hang out in Woodsboro. Maybe Courteney Cox will return once again as the last character of the original cast. Maybe her extremely short bangs from decades ago will return too. We can only hope.
My improv team Ghost Rats has a bunch of shows next week! See us in Jubilee! at iO, on Wednesday 3/22 at 10pm; Friday Night Riot at the Bughouse Theater on Friday 3/24 at 8pm; or at Redline VR on Saturday 3/25 at 8pm.