A real-life 'Scream': The serial killer who inspired the iconic horror film

Left: A Ghostface mask used in Scream (1996) at the Prop Store film memorabilia exhibition at the BFI IMAX at Waterloo in central London. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images). Right: “Lights, Camera, Murder: Scream,” a Tubi Original d

Modern horror movie-making changed forever in December 1996, when "Scream" burst onto the scene as a brand-new type of self-aware slasher. But did you know the iconic horror flick was inspired by a real-life serial killer?

The new Tubi documentary "Lights, Camera, Murder: Scream" combines Hollywood history with true crime intrigue, as it shines a light on the story of the Gainesville Ripper, a.k.a. Louisiana-born Danny Rolling — a real-life serial rapist and murderer who inspired "Scream" screenwriter Kevin Williamson to create his iconic Ghostface villain. 

RELATED: A ‘Hellraiser’ fan on the pins and outs of Hulu’s horror remake

Operating between 1989 and 1990, Rolling murdered eight people, four of them students at the University of Florida. He was also known to spy on women in their own homes. 

"Lights, Camera, Murder: Scream" lays out Rolling’s story while exploring which aspects of his life made it into the film. So whether you’re a true crime aficionado or a horror movie buff, there’s something here for you. 

WATCH FREE ON TUBI: "Lights, Camera, Murder: Scream"get the app

Williamson learned about Rolling’s horrific story via a documentary and thought it could provide a strong jumping off point for a slasher story. The fear of being watched inspired arguably the most iconic scene in the "Scream" franchise: The opening prologue where Drew Barrymore’s Casey Becker chats with Ghostface over the phone as he watches her from afar. 

WATCH FREE ON TUBI: "Scream 4"get the app

However, Williamson also wanted to flip the script of the helpless female victim and created the character of Sidney Prescott (Neve Cambell) — one of the most empowered "final girls" in the horror movie genre. 

Across its 84-minute runtime, "Lights, Camera, Murder: Scream" explores the psychology that drove Rollings, as well as how Williamson and director Wes Craven changed and adapted elements of his story for "Scream." For instance, during Rollings’ trial, his defense claimed he didn’t know the difference between movies and reality and was driven to kill after watching "The Exorcist III," a factoid that helped fuel the meta nature of "Scream." 

If you’d like to celebrate the peak of spooky season with a documentary that examines both fact and fiction, you can find "Lights, Camera, Murder: Scream" streaming free on Tubi.

About Tubi: Tubi has more than 40,000 movies and television series from over 250 content partners, including every major studio, in addition to the largest offering of free live local and national news channels in streaming. The platform gives fans of entertainment, news and sports an easy way to discover new content that is available completely free.

Tubi is available on Android and iOS mobile devices, Amazon Echo Show, Google Nest Hub Max, Comcast Xfinity X1, Cox Contour, and on OTT devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Vizio TVs, Sony TVs, Samsung TVs, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S, and soon on Hisense TVs globally. Consumers can also watch Tubi content on the web at http://www.tubi.tv/.

Tubi and this television station are both owned by the FOX Corporation.