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One generation's tragedy is the next one's joke.
~ Dewey Riley
How do you know that my dimwitted inexperience isn't merely a subtle form of manipulation just to lower people's expectations thereby enhancing my ability to effectively maneuver without any given situation!
~ Dewey on his skills in Scream 2.

Sheriff Dwight "Dewey" Riley was the deuteragonist of the Scream series.

He's best known for trying to protect his little sister, Tatum Riley, and her best friend, Sidney Prescott during the first murder spree. He flirted with Gale Weathers and was nearly killed by Ghostface. When another killing spree started at Windsor College, Dewey rushed there to once again protect Sidney and stop the killers. He reconnected with Gale and was almost killed once again. When it looked like Sidney was in danger again, Dewey left Woodsboro for Hollywood, where he involved himself in the Stab 3 set.

He investigated this killing spree as well and assisted in saving Sidney from Ghostface. When it was all over, he proposed to Gale. They were married and after a few peaceful years, another spree started. Dewey was now Sheriff of Woodsboro, and had a deputy named Judy Hicks. He, Gale, and Judy then saved Sidney's life once again, and it was (probably) all over. However, another spree would start years later, and Dewery reunited with Sidney and Gale to stop the new Ghostface.

In Scream 5, Dewey approaches the seemingly unconscious killer while reloading his gun, points it at the killer only for his phone to ring which both distracts him and wakes up Ghostface who then stabs him in the stomach, and in the back with a second knife. Ghostface then pulls the knife up Dewey's chest, killing him. GhostFace says to a dying Dewey "It's an honor".

He was portrayed by David Arquette.


In Scream, 25 year old Dwight "Dewey" Riley is the deputy sheriff of Woodsboro, making it his main duty to protect Sidney Prescott from the killer.

During the film, Dewey develops feelings for Gale Weathers. During the film's climax, he is stabbed in the back by the killer, though he survives.

Dewey was originally supposed to die after being stabbed in the back by Ghostface, but Wes Craven liked the character so much that he decided to film a shot of Dewey being carried into an ambulance in case audiences liked the character also. Sure enough, Dewey was a hit with audiences, primarily due to how cool he thought he was, and Wes Craven decided to use the ending where Dewey lives. If you look closely, you can see that whenever Dewey is lying unconscious, he isn't breathing, because he was supposed to be lying dead.

Scream 2

He arrived once again to protect Sidney. Only this time, he has a limp due to a severed nerve caused by his injury in the previous film. Angry at Gale Weathers, who had depicted him as inexperienced in her new book about the murders, Dewey constantly tries to avoid Gale's presence and is rude to her whenever he can't. Later on, Gale and Dewey have a brief emotional moment, only to realize that Ghostface is in fact in the same building. After being separated, Dewey is stabbed several times, with Gale a witness in a soundproof room, directly on the opposite side of a window showing Dewey's location. However, once again, Dewey survives the ordeal.

Scream 3

Dewey is still a police officer in this one, seemingly on leave to act as a "technical advisor" on the set of the film Stab 3. After a new killer has surfaced, Dewey aids in the investigation.

By this point things are still a little bit tense towards Gale and Dewey, and it appears that there are feelings between him and the actress portraying Gale, Jennifer Jolie. By the end of the film, however, things are patched up yet again between Dewey and Gale.

He and Gale arrive at John Milton's mansion following a phone call that they thought was from Sidney; however, it was actually from the killer, using a voice changer to sound like Sidney. Later, they burst in after Sidney has defeated (and stabbed) Ghostface, who was director Roman Bridger. After Roman jumped to his feet, Dewey shot him in the chest several times, but it wasn't effective due to Roman wearing a bulletproof vest. Sidney shouted for Dewey to shoot Roman in the head, and Dewey did, killing Roman.

Afterward, Dewey proposed to Gale, and she accepted.

Scream 4

Dewey is now the Sheriff of Woodsboro and married to Gale Weathers, who is adjusting to small-town life with great difficulty. Alongside his deputy, Judy Hicks, and the rest of the Woodsboro police force, Dewey is in charge of investigating the newest slew of murders. He drives Gale to the hospital after she is stabbed in the shoulder, and later receives a phone call from Judy while he is in the car afterward. Judy informs him that the policemen he told to protect the Roberts house are both dead, along with Kate Roberts, Sidney's aunt. Dewey stops the car and drives there. He, Judy, and the rest of the police arrive to find Sidney and her cousin Jill Roberts unconscious on the ground, near the corpses of Trevor Sheldon and Charlie Walker.

They assume that Trevor and Charlie were the killers and take Sidney and Jill to the hospital. Dewey visits Jill and they talk, with Dewey revealing to Jill that Sidney survived, but might not remember anything when she wakes up. Jill states that she and Gale should write a book together, as both of them were stabbed in the shoulder. Dewey then visits Gale, who asks him how Jill knew where Gale was stabbed. Dewey realizes that Jill is the killer and calls Judy over to help him and Gale save Sidney from Jill. As soon as Dewey arrives however, Jill knocks him out by bashing his head with a bedpan six times. Dewey survives, and Gale runs off to get doctors for him after Jill has been killed (by Sidney).

By the time Scream 4 rolls around, Dewey is more confidant and serious. He has also mostly recovered from his limp through physical therapy.

Scream (2022)

At some point between the events of 2011 and 2021, Dewey and Gale split up. Dewey's life went downhill whilst Gale's went up. Dewey retired from the Woodsboro Police and lived a reclusive life in a small trailer park in Woodsboro.

When GhostFace returns once more, Dewey is approached by Samantha Carpenter and Richie Kirsch, seeking his help. He gives them two minutes and tells them the rules to survive Ghostface killings. He then kicks them out of his trailer and calls Sidney and Gale to inform them about the new murders.

Dewey later changes his mind and meets the rest of the teenagers at Martha Meeks's house to get them up to speed on the murders and the history of Stab. They deduce the Killer's motive is to create a "requel" to Stab 8 and Dewey informs them that the Killer is amongst them.

When Judy and Wes Hicks are killed, Dewey is informed about the loss of his friend and then races to the hospital with Samantha to save Tara Carpenter from Ghostface. Dewey is able to shoot and subdue the killer but then goes back to shoot him in the head, however the Killer is able to catch Dewey off guard and uses multiple knives to slice him open and kill him. As Dewey dies, GhostFace tells him that "it's an honor".


  • Intelligence: He has wise intellect that aids in solving investigations in crime. In the first film, after the killer failed at killing Sidney at her house he told the Sheriff that the costume purchase couldn’t be tracked due to being sold all over the state. The day after the Sheriff believe that Ghostface cellular phone bill came from Neil Prescott but Dewey hypothetically claimed that it might’ve been cloned which later in the night a Stu's house party was proven corrected. In Scream 3, he had a photo of Jennifer as Gale and recognized that the buildings from behind her were the ones where in the photo actual Gale had given him of younger Maureen Prescott were the same ones and realized the killer was connected to her murder. In Scream 5, when Sam and her boyfriend Richie came for his help he told them everything he knew about surviving Ghostface killings and the certain rules that were needed to follow.
  • Weapon Proficiency: In the franchises, Dewey was capable of handling firearms for being a officer for years. In the third film, after surviving Jennifer's mansion being exploded, Roman Bridger as Ghostface attempted to stab Gale and he was able to fire his revolver from further feet causing him to flee. Then when Bridger jumped to his feet, Riley shot him in the chest several times, but it wasn't effective due to Roman wearing a bulletproof vest. However Sidney shouted for Dewey to shoot him in the head killing Roman. In the last film, Riley in his old age was still a great marksman as he shot the new Ghostface Amber Freeman in the chest which caused her to fall to the ground but didn’t kill the latter due to the bulletproof vest she wore underneath the costume.
  • Physical Strength: Even though his career as a deputy to sheriff didn’t require him to exercise, he has watch his diet and possesses great muscle strength. As shown in Scream 5, he was able to restrain Amber as Ghostface knife attacks with his grip and managed to flip her overhead with ease and kicked her off him.
  • Bond Creation: During each film, Riley has a compassion for making great bonds to others in times of facing danger as he kept everyone in Jennifer's mansion close by until one’s of them died. In the last film, he managed to gather the young kids in Martha Meeks house to inform them of the present day Ghostface and how solve his identity which was a useful advantage.

External Links


           Dimension Films.png Heroes

Live-Action Films
Eric Draven | Sarah | Seth Gecko | Sidney Prescott | Dewey Riley | Gale Weathers | Randy Meeks | Juni Cortez | Carmen Cortez | Ingird Cortez | Gregory Cortez | Alexander Minion | Robot Children | Willie Stokes | Marcus Skidmore | Max | Sharkboy | Lavagirl | Dwight McCarthy | Marv | John Hartigan

See Also
Lantern Entertainment Heroes | Lionsgate Heroes | Miramax Heroes | Paramount Heroes | Scream Heroes | Tarantinoverse Heroes

          SCREAM.png Heroes

Sidney Prescott | Dewey Riley | Gale Weathers | Randy Meeks | Sam Carpenter | Emma Duval