Director: Wes Craven
Written by: Kevin Williamson
Weapon of Choice: Knife
Other movies in this series:
Rish Outfield's reviews
Clever. Clever. Clever. This film basically re-invented the horror genre in the 1990's. And I love this movie: the myriad references, the Ghostface mask (I love the way he cleans the knife after a kill), the return of Henry Winkler, the music (both the songs and eerie score), the Halloween video, the voice of the killer, the look of the town, the unexpected laughs, and the way it plays upon your expectations then turns them around, so many things spring to mind. Kevin Williamson's fun, spooky, and smart script entertains by pointing out all the over-done and insipid cliches in 'scary movies,' but manages to create new situations and surprises from beginning to end.
Seriously, this is the horror equivalent of Shakespeare. Wes Craven does his best work in a decade, keeping the action going, yet never taking his focus off the best thing about Scream--the characters. The cast (all talented and mostly pretty) do exceptionally well, and are all given great dialogue. This is a career-maker (I had never heard of Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, Matthew Lilliard, or Jamie Kennedy before Scream, but have seen them all in movies since). See, I told you cellular phones were evil. The revelation of who the Ghostface is caught everyone off-guard, and remains powerful after repeated viewings. This was a fantastic movie that worked on many different levels: horror, comedy, mystery, social commentary, and even a teeny bit of romance (Courtney Cox must be something else, for me to hate her that much, yet still want her to live).
Best Scare: The entire first sequence with Drew Barrymore is tight and consistently scary.
I'd Recommend It To: Anyone and everyone . . . even my mother.
Note: I have seen this film several times and am constantly amazed by how well-thought-out it is, and by how fresh it seems with subsequent viewings. I'm sure it will be looked upon as one of the great horror films of the post-Halloween era, and deservedly so.
The tyranist's thoughts
When this movie first came out, I did not want to see it. In spite of the fact that I have committed my meager life to seeing every horror film, I thought that Scream would probably be a collossal waste of my time. I was so wrong. This movie gets better every time I see it. The dialogue is brilliant. The situations are legitimately frightening. And it is so nice to see moderately high production values for a change. This is the one that sold me on Kevin Williamson.
I watched this again last night and the thing that struck me most this time around was the soundtrack. Marco Beltrami's score is beautiful and creepy and hits at just the right spots. On top of that the songs that play throughout the movie are all in a similar vein and all very good. We overlook the music in horror movies sometimes, but it really makes a difference. In this case, I think that the great sountrack made Scream seem like twice the movie that it would have seemed otherwise and really added to the tension that Wes created.
Total Skulls: 17
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie||Frankenstein, Halloween|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|What the hell?|
|x years ago . . .|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood hits camera|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|