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Scream

A 1995 horror/satire Directed by Wes Craven written by Kevin Williamson

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4 Stars: Someone has seen one too many scary movies

  • Oct 29, 2010
Rating:
+5
If you are going to survive a horror film there are rules one must abide   (1. You can never have sex, (2. You can never drink or do drugs (you will be too out of it to escape the killers rampage), (3. Never under any circumstances say,  “You'll be right back"(because you won't be back). So what if someone took those rules and used them to there advantage? What if someone took there love of scary movies one-step further and brought there buried homicidal nature to the surface to unleash on the ones around them? What if a killer started to stalk you just like in the movies, how would you survive?





Director Wes Craven and screenplay writer Kevin Williamson  have taken all the dark twisted and oddly demented clichés and ideas from past slasher flicks and have  accumulated them together in one film  where a group of teenagers  are stalked by some psychotic freak in a mask and you know what, its just like in the movies. When "Scream" was originally released in December of 1996 (a strange month to release a horror film), it racked in the money at the box-office grossing more than 173 million dollars worldwide and positioning itself as one of the scariest and most successful horror films ever made. The massive success of this film is largely due to the sharp, knee direction of horror veteran Wes Craven and the wry wit and originality of screenwriter Kevin Williamson's script  which merge together to help give what could have been a clichéd slasher flick the needed originality and flavor. "Scream" is a wholly original piece of work that uses the clichés established by other teen slasher flicks like the "Friday the 13th" series (1980-1933), "Nightmare on Elm Street" films (1982-1994), "Prom Night” (1980), and "Fun house"(1981). Some of these films actually mentioned in the film by the resident horror buff Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy in a hilarious performance) this is the distinction that sets "Scream" apart from other slasher flicks. You see in this film the kids in the movie have seen horror films they know how it goes, they know the rules of the game (the rules which I included in this review, check paragraph one) so incidentally if a real killer should try to kill them they would know what to do right? Right, Williamson, and Craven throw every cliché in the book into this movie and use it fully. Like for instance in the very beginning of the film a young perky blonde(In this case Drew Barrymore) is home all alone making some popcorn  getting ready to watch a scary movie with her boyfriend who is going to join her in watching the film. However, if you have seen any horror films you know the perky blonde-haired woman always dies right in the beginning of the film and coincidentally her boyfriend does too. But that is what makes "Scream" so great you get to see all theses clichés that have been used before like the killer calling his soon to be victim over the phone (When a Stranger calls), the first victims being a blonde-haired woman and her boyfriend (Halloween). "Scream" writer Kevin Williamson and director Wes Craven uses these horror formulas to there advantage and flesh them out into something of a Meta film this is kind of a film within a film about another film like Wes Craven previous film "New Nightmare.” "Scream" is one of the most original and most terrifying horror films that ever been made about horror films. This a true tribute as to why teenager in horror should always been aware of horror films it gives them a more intellectual advantage and gives this formulaic framework the added originality it needs to be called a classic of horror.




"Scream " not only broke the wall surrounding horror films where the characters have never seen a horror movie, but it defined a generation and established itself as the last  great entry in the slasher genre. After "Scream”, no slasher could match its wit, its scares and its uses of references to other great (and not so great) horror films. This is the kind of film that after watching it you and your friends go to a video store (I am referring to when this film was released) and actually rent the films mentioned in this film. This movie defined a whole generation (my generation) of teens and young adults giving them hope that the long running horror genre still had some oomph left in it. Craven and Williamson have not only redefined the slasher genre in a way that no one could have imagined they have taken what we all know and turned it on its heel. This is the intelligent horror fans kind of film if you are looking for an all out splatter sex fest than you will just have to look somewhere else because your blood thirst will not be quenched here, that's if your blood thirst is not too strong than this film might do it for you. "Scream" is the quintessential  horror/ satire   forget scary movie(which is just a straight out spoof anyways)  If you want big scares, big laughs and bold horror references than look no further than this true work of genius. "Scream" is the ultimate horror film for the ultimate horror fan.





Truth is I have always had a thing for Neve Campbell she is one of the sexiest actresses I have ever seen and the only thing that seems to out beat her sex appeal is her talent as an actress. In "Scream” (One of Campbell’s earliest leading roles),   she plays the titular heroine of the story Sidney Prescott. Sidney is like any other High-school girl, well not exactly her mother was murdered a year prior to the events of the film and ever since Sidney(Sid to her friends) has been in a permanent funk to which there will be no end. Sidney  starts out like any other type of horror heroine(the ones who survive) she is  a usual teenager there is nothing really remarkable  about her  except her beauty and her high intelligence and also her seemingly shocking distaste for horror films. Sidney Prescott as any other teenage girl the only problem is that a psychopath in a ghost facemask is stalking her. Neve Campbell brings a certain subtlety to her character making Sidney a regular teenage girl with brains and some serious survival skills, Campbell is a capable actress and she is more than qualified to play a not so typical teenager in a not so typical horror film. You see what makes Campbell's Sidney Prescott so unique is what makes the film in its entirety so unique. She knows about horror films, grant it she may not be a fan of them however, she does know of them  the second thing that makes Sidney so unique is the way she is strong willed  she will not give up and die so easily like most teenagers do in horror films. In fact Sidney does not make the same mistakes that most of the teenage heroines do she is smart, resourceful and resilient she is, for a lack of a better word, a fighter and that is the key to this series success and popularity a strong hero/heroine, a witty sharp script, fine acting from its young hip cast and solid firm direction gives this film a solid believable heroine and a solid premise to sticks its bloody knife into. The rest of the cast including Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy, Henry Winkler, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan and Drew Barrymore all deliver fine supporting performances  in one of the best horror films of the last 20 years.   







After nearly two decades "Scream" remains one of  modern  horrors greatest achievements thanks to in part to Kevin Williamson and the tight direction of Wes Craven  this film is an A grade horror/ satire  that not only pokes fun at the dull clichés of horror films. They also uses them to make a film more terrifying because if you think you know what is coming next you expect however, with this film you don't know how it will end you don't know who is going to live or who is going to die. "Scream" is as much of a whodunit  as it is a satire on the formula of horror this is the  film for people who would not be caught dead at a horror movie  for those "Scream"  will be the ultimate slice of entertainment. Let me tell you that this is not the film for the squeamish; this is the kind of film for those who can handle someone being disemboweled or stabbed multiple times and then subsequently hung from a tree. This is for people with strong stomach if you can handle the heavy amount of blood and gore than you can survive the consummate thrill ride. Craven and Williamson has crafted a film where everything has a state of awareness  all the characters  know what horror films are they know the rules but how do you  use those rules when a real killer who is imitating the horror movies is out to kill you? What do you do then? I will tell you... RUN! Pray you have the skills to survive because you never know when someone you know will go insane and try to kill you.
4 Stars: Someone has seen one to many scary movies

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November 27, 2010
I have mixed feelings about this one, but during that time I will have to admit that I developed a small liking to it. Thanks for bringing us back in time for SCREAM 4!!
November 27, 2010
Thank you, to be honest this was the very first horror film I ever saw as a young boy but the one horror film that really made an impression on me was John Carpenter's classic slasher film "Halloween" which stands today as my all time favorite horror movie of all time, "SCREAM" comes in a very choice third. And no problem I will finish reviewing sometime next week I just wanted to space out the time during which the films were released.
 
October 30, 2010
Excellent review and you are right on the money, I still love this flick all these years later. Part 4 is on the way.
October 30, 2010
Thank you very much. And I can't wait for part 4 I just hope its good enough to stand up to the first two.
 
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C.R. Lopez ()
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About this movie

Wiki


Scream is a 1996 American horror film directed by Wes Craven from a screenplay by Kevin Williamson. It was released by Dimension Films. Filmed mostly in Santa Rosa, California, the film tells the story of the fictional town Woodsboro, California being terrorized by a masked killer who enjoys tormenting his victims with phone calls and movie references. The killer's main target is Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), a teenage girl whose mother, Maureen, fell victim to a brutal murder one year earlier. The film takes the form of a "whodunit" mystery, with many of her friends and townspeople being fellow targets and suspects.
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Details

Director: Wes Craven
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Mystery
Release Date: December 20, 1996
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Kevin Williamson
DVD Release Date: Dec 8, 1998
Runtime: 111 minutes
Studio: Dimension Films
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