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After four Scream films, and the fifth installment set for release next year, David Arquette’s Sheriff Dewey has survived the infamous legacy of the killers known as Ghostface each and every time. With new people inhabiting the role in the Scream saga every time it returns, you’d have to wonder if Arquette has a personal favorite. Well, he does definitely have a favorite actor in the role, but it’s not who you’d expect. You see, for David Arquette, the ultimate Ghostface is the man who gave the slashing specter its voice: Roger L. Jackson.
While discussing his latest thriller, Spree, I had to ask Mr. Arquette who his favorite slasher was in Wes Craven’s long beloved horror franchise. And in a creative and heartfelt admission, David Arquette couldn’t help but choose Jackson, the man who’s voiced the infamous slasher from Scream since the first film’s release in 1995. As he further explained, Arquette specified his preference as follows:
My favorite is Roger, the voice of Ghostface. I’ve never met him, he’s been on every set I’ve worked on, I don’t know what he looks like. It’s such a crazy thing. Wes would have him come to the set, call in on the different scenes, and be the actor you’re working opposite. But I’ve still yet to meet him, so that guy, to me, is the scariest of them all. … He’s got such a menacing voice, it creates such a picture and brings up so many crazy moments in the films.
Just like Neve Campbell’s Sydney Prescott and the various victims claimed and pursued in the Scream franchise, David Arquette is most afraid of the haunting voice that accompanies one of the most notable horror masks in history. And much like those who have been chased on screen since Scream stabbed its way into the hearts of moviegoers in 1995, Arquette has never met the face behind the voice behind the mask.
Knowing just how much the late director Wes Craven loved to capture moments of pure fright, through franchises such as this and his initial and concluding entries in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, it’s unsurprising that Craven wouldn’t want his actors to meet Roger L. Jackson on set. But past that fact, it is rather shocking that David Arquette wouldn’t have run into Jackson at a premiere party or some sort of official function. Then again, without knowing what he looked like, it’s not like he could seek him out by face, which makes the haunting quality of his voice all the scarier. Although, if you want to see what Mr. Jackson looks like, you can see him in the photo below, standing next to Malcolm McDowell:
However scary Ghostface is, the circumstances that David Arquette’s Kris faces in Spree are pretty harrowing too. Especially considering his own son Kurt (Joe Keery) is an infamous murderer in his own right as he chases social media clout. Putting these two legacies together, a match up starts to form in one’s mind, and another question must be asked: could Ghostface take on Kurt from Spree, even if Arquette’s chosen warrior of Roger L. Jackson was the one wielding the knife. After asking David that very question, he had only this to say.
I don’t know, I think Roger would be able to take Kurt, to be honest.
And it all comes down to the reason that David Arquette picked Roger L. Jackson as his favorite Ghostface: that haunting voice. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, how tough you may be or even if you have all the answers to that pop quiz the maniac on the phone is administering: if you’re on the phone with Ghostface, that voice is going to chill you to your core. Who can forget the first time Jackson’s voice terrorized an audience, as poor Drew Barrymore was put through the ringer in the opening to Scream:
As Scream 5 starts to gather steam, with cast members both veteran and newbie joining the ranks for another game of phone tag, David Arquette is about to do battle with Ghostface yet again. No matter who ends up wearing the mask in the grand revival from Ready or Not directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, so long as Roger L. Jackson’s voice is present, you can be sure that Arquette, and his co-stars, will be on point in the latest game for their lives. But if you want to see David Arquette fighting against a killer of a different stripe, you should check out Spree, which is currently out in theaters, as well as available on VOD for rental and purchase.
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August 22, 2020