For someone with little knowledge of horror films, I really enjoyed this one. By reading Lord Naseby's blog on how to make a good horror film, I have figured out the basic cliches of horror films and familiarized myself with Scream, so thanks to Naseby for that. Anyway, I have figured out the main cliches, thus I know that Scream manages to sidestep a lot of them when not spoofing them. Honestly, this is probably the best spoof film ever made, mostly because Wes Craven and everyone involved in this movie pretty much treats it like a genuine horror film.
The thing that's wrong with most spoofs is that the directors (AKA people like Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg) don't take their parodies seriously, and Scream actually takes the films they are parodying seriously (mostly because those spoofed films were mostly also made by Wes Craven). Anyway, Scream is about the small town of Woodsboro, reacting to the death of two teenagers who were gutted and obviously killed. The focus of the story then centres to Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), who is almost attacked by the killer one day before the anniversary of her mother's murder. Sidney is further targeted and things start to get more dangerous. It all culminates at a house party where Sidney must face off with the killer and fight.
I must admit that the synopsis I just gave is a very poor synopsis for a film like this. The film is oftentimes very scary (even though I didn't really think that it was all that scary) but also is quite tongue-in-cheek and at times quite funny. As for jump-scares, there is only a few but I could understand that some people may be scared by it. The dialogue is one huge sendup to horror movie conventions and while it sidesteps a lot of those horror cliches, it talks about them a lot in some really obvious dialogue. Needless to say, the dialogue made the movie scary and funny at the same time.
Scream also features something very different from typical horror movies. It features good acting and good characters, and I cared if the characters lived or died. If they killed off Sidney Prescott at the end of the movie, then I would be kinda pissed off. Along with her, Randy Meeks, Tatum Riley, and Dewey Riley, their lives actually mattered to me and if they died, I cared. The acting was actually very good too, like Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, Rose McGowan, and even.....dare I say it, Jamie Kennedy. I have absolutely no idea how they are in the sequels, but they're all pretty good here.
All in all, Scream is a very good scary movie that I certainly like (haha get it "I Like Scary Movies"). I will hopefully get to the sequels soon and I hope I'll at least find them passable. It's not that scary, but I can definitely see why some people would be scared, so just watch at your own discretion. This is definitely good enough to warrant a recommendation, but only for those who can handle it. Good acting, a good complicated story, decent characters, and some good bone-chilling scares mixed with witty dialogue makes for one of the best scary movies of all time. I know I have no real knowledge of horror films, but I can tell when I see a good one, and this is it.