Welcome to another episode of I Would Have Saved/Killed. It goes like this: one of our writers will pick a character, big or small, from a movie and explain how they, for whatever reason, would have altered the fate of that character.
Don't worry, we will never spoil anything pre-jump, though obviously everything after the break is operating under the assumption you've seen the film at hand, so be warned. And a big tip of our hat to Arbogast on Film for inspiring us with his post The One You Might Have Saved.
Method of Escape: Remaining the most morally upstanding of her friends in part one, and using experience points to thwart her assailants in the subsequent sequels.
Verdict: I would have killed her in Scream 3
Reason: Say what you want about Scream 3, I think it nicely wrapped up that character. Sidney thwarts the man responsible not only for the latest rash of killings but whose actions are the genesis for her entire nightmare. The moment at the very end of the movie wherein her unlocked door blows open and she happily walks away without closing it signifies that that character's journey is complete and she no longer need live in fear that the killer would come back. Don't get me wrong, there is a good deal of garbage throughout the remainder of that film (Jay and Silent Bob in a freaking horror film, really?) but that ending is perfect.
The third Scream film, in relation to the franchise, had (or at least should have had) only two outcomes. One would be the ending it featured being the final sendoff of the series with Sidney at peace and all facets of the story explored and concluded. The other alternative, had they really wanted to continue making sequels, would have been to kill Sidney and move on with a cadre of brand new characters. The script for Scream 3 too tightly binds it to the previous films for it not to be a concluding chapter, hell Randy even uses those very words to describe the film during the all-important meta moment of the film that became a trademark of the franchise. So if there was ever any doubt in Craven's mind as to the finality of Scream 3, he should have paid tribute to the script and killed Sidney off.
I would have had Sidney face down Roman, let all the same (incredibly farcical) exposition unfold, and then have Sidney sacrifice her own life to ensure Roman's death and the cessation of the killings. I would have had the fight between them spill over from the screening room into a massive storage room full of old 35mm prints of horror films that Sidney then ignites to kill an escaping Roman. How perfect would that have been? The ultimate horror tribute movie riding off into the sunset by using horror films in a very practical way to bring closure to the hero's story. But no, Craven chose to not only let Sidney live, but complicate the compactness of the trilogy by including the already finished characters in a whole new, and therefore entirely separate misadventure. I am more than a little concerned.