Scream (1996)

scream

“Do you like scary movies?”

justinbanner

Justin’s rating: AHHHHHHH!!! (okay, whaddya expect?)

Justin’s review: The tragedy of Scream is that, for as successful, daring and even scary as it was, today we tend to poo-poo it as a has-been that was responsible for a rash of self-referrential wannabes that followed after. It wasn’t the most terrifying movie ever made, but it deserves to be honored as a horror classic for its ingenuity and meta twists.

Horror wasn’t doing so hot by the mid-1990s; there weren’t any great new franchises, but instead the limping remnants of 80’s series — Jason, Freddy, Chucky, Michael Meyers, and the like.  Horror never got that much respect from critics and peers, and instead had to rely on cheap productions and profitable grosses for inspiration.

Then comes along Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, who together turn the genre on its ear.  They were going to make a whodunnit slasher with a new villain (Ghostface) who preys on a group of teenagers and Neve Campbell in particular, but they were going to do it with one significant twist — as in reality, many of the characters would know horror films and the cliches and “rules” that came with them.  It wouldn’t be just another movie with dumb sheep who don’t know better when a killer is after them; it would be both a physical and mental race to see who’d come out on top: the clever killer or the clever kids.

Perhaps in our current age of Japanese horror, torture porn, and Jason Friedberg/Aaron Seltzer flicks, it’d be hard to look back on Scream and pronounce it as anything other than a quaint relic of its time, and certainly not as scary as what we watch today. I’d beg to differ on that. Scream wasn’t freaky because of its jump scares, slow dread-inducing buildups, or brutal attacks (although those helped) — it scared us because it took the time to build up a cast of characters that we cared about.  So many horror films forget to do that, but it’s an essential ingredient.  If I don’t care about the people running for their life, then I’m not so much on the edge of my seat. And Scream’s cast, with Campbell, Rose McGowan, Matthew Lillard, Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, Drew Barrymore, Jamie Kennedy and David Arquette was right up there with one of the most talented and personable horror movie stars that we’ve ever seen.

While I felt that the sequels lessened the triumph of the first, Scream remains today a towering achievement and a great example of how to do a scary movie right.

andiebanner

Andie’s rating: 5 out of 4 Drew Barrymore stab wounds

Andie’s review: Scream is hands down my all-time favorite horror movie. Trust me, I’ve seen ’em all and this one is the best. At first glance, you might think, “typical teen slasher movie” right? Well, the first difference is the killer; anything but typical. He is a cell-phone-toting, halloween-costume-wearing, movie-trivia-spouting madman, terrorizing a group of small town teenagers. The teenagers aren’t typical either. The boys are hilariously funny, especially Randy (Jamie Kennedy) and Stuart (Matt Lillard). The girls can actually **gasp** fight back for once. These females give the killer a pretty good run for his money.

The reason Scream is so good is because it doesn’t resort to stupid scares. It doesn’t overload you with startles and jumps, but it spices ’em in every so often. In between the good scares is some of the funniest dialogue you’ll ever find. The highlight of Scream is the 13-minute opening sequence in which Drew Barrymore gives an awesome performance as the first victim. That sequence alone is definitely worth the price of admission.

Overall, Scream is a great movie for horror buffs and a good movie for anyone else who wants to laugh til they ache and be so scared they grab the person next to them.

kylebanner

Kyle’s rating: Five shiny knife blades out of the kitchen set

Kyle’s review: I love horror movies. As much as I like romantic comedies and action adventures films, I love watching some scary movie late at night and then wandering around till dawn making sure the windows are shut and that creak I keep hearing isn’t some spawn of Satan looking to collect on that gambling debt.

I also love Scream. I went with three friends to see it on the big screen, and we were all jumping in our seats and gasping at every scare. It was great. Scream is fantastic, and it hasn’t lost anything on the transition to the small screen.

This movie works because it’s more about plot than trying to scare us. Yes, you’ll barely control your bladder with some of the things this movie throws at you, but the devil is in the details, and that’s where this succeeds.

Things that happen early on matter later. If you pay attention, there are little clues scattered throughout that help you find out who is really killing everybody. Pay close attention, because this whole movie is one cool trip to watch. Lots of in-jokes, lots of little stylish details, lots of fun dialogue. Dammit, this movie is cool, alright? The guys are funny, the girls are hot, the scares are chilling, and people fight back. It’s all a little too ironic to cause any permanent psychological damage, but this is a treat for hard-core horror fans and people who just want a good scare. So enjoy it!

scream1
Well, this is only slightly more terrifying than Drew’s wedding night with Tom Green

Intermission!

  • Here is a list of the horror movie “rules”: Don’t just stand there, never say “I’ll be right back”, never say “Who’s there?”, everyone is a suspect, never go out to investigate strange noises, never have sex or do drugs and alcohol, and NEVER EVER under any circumstances scream!
  • Linda Blair as a reporter
  • Wes Craven found the Ghostface mask in a store while location-scouting in California.
  • The special effects artists used about 50 gallons of blood.
  • The school janitor Fred (Wes Craven) can be seen wearing Freddy Krueger’s outfit
  • Tatum wears a jersey with the number 10 on it. This is the same thing Johnny Depp’s character wore in A Nightmare on Elm Street

Groovy Quotes

Casey Becker: Who’s there?
Ghostface: Never say who’s there? Don’t you watch scary movies? It’s a death wish. You might as well come out to investigate a strange noise or something.

Tatum: Who am I? The beer wench?

Randy: If you were the only suspect in a senseless bloodbath– would you be standing in the horror section?

Randy: I never thought I’d be so happy to be a virgin!

Killer: Do you like scary movies?
Sidney: What’s the point, they’re all the same. Some stupid killer’s stalking some big breasted girl who can’t act, who’s always running up the stairs when she should be going out the front door, it’s insulting.

If you liked this movie, try these:

  • Scream 2
  • Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
  • When a Stranger Calls

16 comments

  1. […] My major quibble with The Faculty lies not with Jon Stewart’s brief role as a bad guy, but instead of the casting as Wimp Supreme Elijah Wood as yet another hero getting in the way of everyone’s knickers. I know I’m not alone in staying that he topped my list of characters I wanted to see under 200 feet of water in Deep Impact. Ah, well, you can’t get everything you want. Despite this flaw, The Faculty is an unappreciated film that deserves to be placed next to 90s horror classics like Scream. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s