When Scream premiered in 1996, it was meant to satirize slasher flicks. It poked fun at a tired genre, using cliches for laughs and packing in meta moments where the characters discussed the very tropes the film was working to subvert. But, likely due to its charismatic cast and excellent direction from horror icon Wes Craven, it pulled double duty and became a classic slasher in and of itself.
Based on the real-life case of the Gainesville Ripper, Scream was creative. It broke rules, found a wide audience, and breathed new life into the horror genre, spawning its own franchise and even inspiring its own parodies. It also gave many members of its cast widespread fame and set them on the path to fascinating careers and personal lives. So whatever happened to those Scream teens? Here's where they are decades later.
Drew Barrymore was already a household name by the time she appeared as Casey Becker in Scream, with a front-row image on the poster and starring credits - which made it all the more shocking when she was immediately slaughtered in the first 10 minutes.
Barrymore may have had a rough childhood up until Scream - including struggles with addiction, emancipation from her parents, and momentary has-been Hollywood status at just 14 years old - but she was on an upswing in her 20s. After Scream, she went on to act in films like The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed, Charlie's Angels, Donnie Darko, 50 First Dates, He's Just Not That Into You, and many others. She also made TV appearances on SNL, Family Guy, and Santa Clarita Diet. She even produces and hosts her own talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show, and has been a producer for quite a while. She founded the production company Flower Films early in life and produced many of the films that got her career back on track in the late '90s/early 2000s. She's directed several projects, as well, including Whip It, her 2009 feature-film directorial debut, which she also starred in.
Off screen, she has numerous interests and business ventures. She has written two autobiographical books (Little Girl Lost and Wildflower) and has launched cosmetics, wine, and clothing lines. In her personal life, she's been married three times (divorcing her most recent ex-husband in 2016), is a proud mother of two, and is also a vegan.
Although Neve Campell's portrayal of the witch Bonnie in The Craft was her first lead role in a feature film, just seven months later, she'd snag the role that would really make her famous: Sidney Prescott in Scream. Her part in the wildly popular franchise made her a fan-favorite scream queen, earning her accolades at the MTV Movie Awards, Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, and Saturn Awards for her efforts.
Outside of horror, she had an indie phase from about 2000 to 2011, starring in films that were well-reviewed but never really reached a wide audience (among these, 2000's Panic and 2002's award-winning Last Call with Sissy Spacek and Jeremy Irons). During this time, she also co-wrote and produced a couple of films (one centered around her love of ballet, being a former ballerina herself), and even took to the stage for her theater debut. She did eventually return to mainstream entertainment in 2012 with a more TV-based approach, appearing in everything from The Simpsons and Grey's Anatomy to Mad Men and House of Cards. And finally, she confirmed Sidney would return for Scream 5 in 2022.
As for her personal life, she happily revealed the adoption of her second son in 2018.
Spunky Tatum, Sidney's best friend with an unfortunate end, was played by Rose McGowan, who would go on to work in movies like the 1999 cult film Jawbreaker, Monkeybone, and Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse films. As for TV, she's appeared in several shows including Nip/Tuck, Law & Order: SVU, Chosen, and Once Upon a Time. One of her most memorable career roles (aside from Tatum) was that of Paige Matthews on Charmed, where she co-starred alongside Alyssa Milano.
Her professional life extends off-screen, as well. She's worked on a number of musical projects, including singing for the Grindhouse and Charmed soundtracks, appearing in music videos for Marilyn Manson, RuPaul, and Charlie XCX, and even releasing her own album called Planet 9. She wrote a memoir titled Brave (published in 2018), has done voice work for video games like Terminator Salvation and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, directed a short film (Dawn) that received critical acclaim at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and starred in a documentary series about her art and activism titled Citizen Rose.
More recently, she showed her support for the Me Too movement by speaking out against Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly assaulted her while she was working on Scream. Time later recognized her as one of the Silence Breakers who were collectively named the magazine's 2017 Person of the Year.
As for her personal life, she's had long-term relationships with Marilyn Manson, Robert Rodriguez, and artist Davey Detail (whom she eventually married and divorced). In 2021, she became a permanent resident of Mexico with a home in Tulum.
Like Neve Campbell, 1996 was a big year for Skeet Ulrich. Back to back to back, he starred in Boys (with Winona Ryder), The Craft (with Campbell), and, of course, as Sidney's boyfriend and one of the killers in Scream (teaming up with Campbell yet again). From here, he gained more starring roles in films like As Good As It Gets (reuniting with Scream alum Jamie Kennedy) and Chill Factor. As for TV, he appeared in the multiple-Emmy-nominated miniseries Into the West, the TV film The Magic of Ordinary Days, as a recurring guest voice on Robot Chicken, and on procedural dramas CSI: NY, Law & Order: LA, and Law & Order: SVU.
More recently, his biggest role was likely that of F.P. Jones, the father of Jughead Jones, on Riverdale - but he apparently left the show because he got bored.
In his personal life, he has said before that he's not exactly interested in fame and hates having his picture taken. He's even self-conscious about his early films. “My god, most of my beginning films, like Boys, the first one, I was horrific,” he says. “And I thought I was really bad in The Craft. I was like, This is horrible.” Perhaps it was a good thing then that he went on something of a self-imposed break from his fame when his children (two twin boys) were born so he could be a present and active father (a break that ended with the aforementioned Riverdale casting).
Lastly, he apparently really enjoys woodworking, specifically making furniture.