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Scream Has A Nightmare On Elm Street Easter Egg I Guarantee You Missed

Freddy Krueger
(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

This story contains MASSIVE spoilers for the new Scream movie, so stop reading now if you haven’t yet seen it. Seriously. 

The new Scream isn’t just a love letter to the popular horror franchise, it’s a tribute to the legacy of filmmaker Wes Craven, who guided the previous four Scream movies as well as many other classic horror entries before dying in 2015. The guys behind the new Scream – co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett – have been allowing the movie to speak for itself at the theaters, choosing to protect the bulk of the movie’s reveals. But now that Scream has made its mark, they sat down with CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast to share some of the sequel’s best secrets.

Including a very subtle Freddy Krueger nod that you I guarantee you missed… because it’s hardly obvious.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett make up the team Radio SIlence. Before Scream, they helmed the notable horror thriller Ready or Not with Samara Weaving. And the more you talk with them, the more you realize they have a deep affection for Wes Craven and his films. So when they came back onto ReelBlend, we had to ask them if there are other non-Scream Craven nods in the movie, and they dropped this bomb on us. 

The Freddy Krueger reference is tied to Amber, the killer played by Mikey Madison. Near the end of the film, Amber is knocked onto a lit stove, and catches on fire. This is Scream, so she’s not dead YET! When a badly burned Amber runs at Sidney and Gale, Matt and Tyler realized that they had an opportunity. Joined by their executive producer Chad Villella, the trio tells ReelBlend:

(One) thing we were able to do was look at the design of the makeup that our special effects makeup team did for her. And they gave her a Freddy Krueger ear as an one more nod to Wes. It’s a copy to a Freddy Krueger ear on the side of her head.

Now I wish that scene was available online so I could pay closer attention to the design of the ear they gave to burned Amber! It really happens so fast, which is why I can practically guarantee that even die-hard Nightmare on Elm Street fans didn’t look at her head and go, “Wait, was that a Freddy nod?” In fact, Tyler Gillett tells us it's the one shot they wish lasted on screen longer so fans could appreciate it. But it’s not the LAST Wes Craven nod. 

Radio Silence continued to reveal to ReelBlend: 

Tyler: (Kyle) Gallner, on his knuckles, has the address of the Elm Street house. … You see them just very, very briefly. Chad: The marquee behind Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) is all Wes Craven movies. Behind Mindy, when she's on the couch, is The People Under the Stairs, which is also behind Randy when he's on the couch in both of those (scenes).

It’s thrilling to hear how much homework these guys did on Wes Craven before diving into Scream. They have a real passion for him, and his films. To the extent that they even included bird sounds in their sound mix because they knew Craven was an avid bird watcher. Chad Villella and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin explained: 

Chad: Our sound designer, Karen Baker Lander, she found out all these different specific birds that he was a fan of, and they're sprinkled throughout the entire movie. I think you could really hear them at the very end, on the ‘For Wes’ dedication. Matt: Well, that's a very specific bird at the end. That was the bird that reminded him of Ohio. That was the one he said in an interview reminded him of when he was a kid.

I’m beyond impressed by the Radio Silence team as they put Scream together. You can listen to our initial, spoiler-free conversation with them by clicking here. And our spoiler-filled convo with them will be on the next ReelBlend episode.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.