Panic (2022), the fifth installment of the horror franchise started in 1996 by Wes Craven e Kevin Williamson, arrives in Brazilian cinemas this Thursday the 13th (and not Friday) and tomorrow in much of the world, such as the USA. The most recent chapter is not directed by Craven (died in 2015), the first being directed by other filmmakers, or text by Williamson; but brings back the trio of protagonists played by Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox e David Arquette, in addition to presenting a whole new cast of names formed by Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid e Dylan Minnette.
To get in the mood for the new film, which debuts to a great deal of excitement from fans of the slasher franchise, we decided to create a different list in this matter. Here we will point out the most heartfelt deaths of the first four films in the franchise – not to give spoilers yet about who dies and who stays alive in the fifth film. What does that mean? They say that a horror movie only really has an effect when we care about the characters and whether or not they can survive the end of the feature. AND Panic does this very well, creating identifiable characters that we hope to survive. Not everyone always makes it to the end. And here we will point out which deaths hurt the heart the most throughout the first four chapters. Check it out below and don’t forget to comment.
Olivia (Marielle Jaffe)
We start the list with the beautiful Marielle Jaffe, to Olivia from panic 4 (2011). The actress, unfortunately, during these ten years since the premiere of the feature, has not been able to stand out in any other production. What matters is that the fourth film in the franchise was its most defining moment in cinema, managing to be among characters that have become very dear to fans over the 26 years since the first one was released. And your Olivia is part of the class of new characters added to the plot. Although we know that she will be one of the first to be discarded, and that we don’t spend much time with her to know who she truly is, what stands out is that her death is what makes the plot spin after the metalinguistic opening, which is a great balcony. Other than that, the way the girl is “discarded”, in an extremely brutal and violent way, undoubtedly showed that the fourth film would not go easy on the gore issue.
Now we jump to the fourth film in the franchise, released late in 2011 (a pace that the fifth closely follows being released even ten years later). The nerdy-style characters always arouse our sympathy. That’s because throughout the history of Hollywood teen cinema we’ve been taught that they are true underrated heroes and that they just need a push to demonstrate their true potential, overcome adversity and stay with “the girl”. the franchise Panic tried to build his own beloved character along these lines, with Randy. In the fourth movie, we get “two Randys” at once – with Robbie and Charlie. So it pained us to see Robbie meet a cruel fate and Charlie… well, you know.
When it was announced that the young Sarah Michelle Gellar would be in the cast of panic 2, an immediate follow-up to the previous year’s slasher hit, all the horror-loving teens were in an uproar. This because Gellar was a hot name at the time, it was the star of the popular Buffy – The Vampire Slayer (which was in full swing in the air in its first few seasons) and had just starred in I Know What You Did Last Summer – first successful “clone” of Panic. Contrary to what many expected, Gellar’s participation is very short – but everyone had that glimmer of hope that she could survive a little longer. Nothing done. The girl is thrown from a balcony to the ground floor – a scene that Gellar herself did without the use of a double.
The best thing about the third movie for many, and a boring and unbearable character for so many others, it is unquestionable that the performance of Parker Posey is caricatured and exaggerated, functioning solely as a way of being the great comic relief of the third and weakest example of the franchise Panic. The thing is, your character was purposely created this way, and the interpretation of Posey is accurate in this sense. She plays Jennifer Jolie (a play on Angelina Jolie – on the rise at the time; and we even have another character named Angelina in the movie), a moody actress who is playing Gale Weathers in the movie. In addition to everyone hoping that the “suitcase” character would survive in the end, her death shows that in fact, originally, there were two Ghostfaces in the third film – the only feature in the franchise to reveal only one killer at the end.
One of the formulas implemented by the franchise Panic in his films is that it would always be necessary to have a famous victim at the opening of each of his chapters. And as in the original none other than Drew Barrymore gave the official kick, for the second (even more metalinguistic) episode, Jada Pinkett-Smith was climbed. There’s a lot to pay attention to in this first scene of panic 2. The murders take place inside a movie theater, for example, and while the victims were watching a scene from the original (or the film version of this event within the movie) – precisely the scene where the victim from the original is killed, thus linking the two openings even more. Other than that, Maureen (the character of Pinkett-Smith) shares the same name as Sidney’s mother, and engages in an argument with her boyfriend about the fact that African Americans are always the first to die in horror movies. And there’s no other way, Maureen inaugurates the deaths of the two. It’s a metalanguage beating.
Villain or wronged man? Cotton Weary appears briefly in the Panic original, only through news footage of being arrested for the rape and murder of Sidney’s mother. Having spent a year in jail, wrongly accused by the protagonist, the character of Liev Schreiber joins the cast of the second film, looking to definitively clear his name and earn his 15 minutes of fame. Cotton even becomes one of the suspects for the crimes in the second film, but in the end, after considering the right thing to do, the guy triumphs as the great hero of the sequel, killing the villain and saving the girl who denigrated him. And where to go with such a fair and brave character? To death, of course! After all, the aim of Panic it is to show that nothing and no one is ever safe. Thus, Cotton becomes the first victim in the third feature in the franchise.
A big favorite for many fans of the franchise, Tatum is the best friend of the protagonist Sidney in the original film. Deep down, her death didn’t come as a surprise to anyone, after all, all you need to do is watch some horror movies to know that your best friend always dies. In this way, Tatum was predestined to meet a tragic end. And it takes place inside a garage, with the young lady trapped in the door by the dog pass, having her pretty little head crushed. Be that as it may, Tatum is an original, sassy, funny, witty character, full of attitude and good wits. She was also Dewey’s younger sister, and she didn’t show him any respect, not even for the uniform the guy wore.
This one was a fierce contest. Many will say that Tatum is a better character. Younger ones, however, will point to Kirby as a supercharged version of Tatum. the curious of panic 4 it is its subversion of values regarding the new characters introduced, which are nothing more than altered versions of the characters from the original. Take Jill, for example, is the twisted version of Sidney, who alongside Randy (Charlie) are shown to be the real killers, even killing their Billy Loomis (Trevor). Thus, it was left to the “Tatum” (Kirby) of the new cast to be even more incisive and predominant in the narrative – herself being an expert in horror films (the scene in which the reshoots of the last few years as a machine gun to the killer is too good). Fans love Kirby so much that before the release of the fifth film, many wanted to see her back, believing a theory that the character had not truly died.
It’s not for anyone. The argument about which is the better character, Kirby or Tatum, may even exist. But when it comes to Randy, any fan of the franchise knows there’s no contest. Even the original directors, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, say they regretted eliminating the horror-movie geek in the second film. Randy even appears in the third film, but it’s through a VHS tape that he left recorded with tips in case he didn’t survive. Randy is definitely the franchise’s most sorely missed presence, a presence that could add a lot if he were still present in the latest horror episodes.
The first victim we never forget. And blondie Casey Becker had the honor of being the first to die in the very first film – making room for a string of famous victims over the course of four films. Well, if we’re going to be more literal, the first victim was actually her boyfriend, but you get the idea. The gimmick behind Casey’s death is that her interpreter Drew Barrymore was then the most famous name of the cast, and their gimmick. That is, many unsuspecting believed that this was a film starring Barrymore – which was climbing to success at the time. And when they were faced with his death in the very first scene, they realized that anything could happen.