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06 October 2011

Scream (1996) [Horror Marathon] 1#



Directed by: Wes Craven
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery & Suspense 
Runtime: 108 Minutes 
Thriller expert we Craven may not be one of my favourites but I must say he has style. “Scream” is a slasher thriller that is both thrilling and comic in some places. The film overlooks previous Craven films and even the first scene mentions his earlier workings. The film is inventive and genius in a way which makes it an enjoyable experience with plenty of movie references and homages thrown in.

Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is having a rough time lately: she is still getting over the brutal rape and murder of her mother a year ago, and a lunatic who harassed her with terrifying phone calls, then stabbed her to death while wearing a Halloween costume has killed now one of her friends (Drew Barrymore). Soon Sydney is receiving similar phone calls, quizzing her on the arcane details of such films as “Friday the 13th” and “Prom Night”, and is attacked by the same cloaked maniac. 
With her father missing, she has hardly anyone on her side except her best friend Tatum (Rose McGowan) and Tatum's brother Dewey (David Arquette), a half-bright cop. The murderer could be any number of people: Syd's father; her cute but overly intense boyfriend Billy (Skeet Ullrich); Tatum's goofball boyfriend Stuart (Matthew Lillard); or Randy (Jamie Kennedy), who works at the local video store and seems to like horror movies just a little too much.

The direction was superb and Craven deserves credit. The editing was slick, the scenes were well co-ordinated and it is filled with glorious movie references. It is as if “Scream” knew it was entering the world of modern horror with its new inventive style of being witty, shocking, surprising, comic and edgy. Keep in mind the wonderful script was conceived by Kevin Williamson, who I commend for his solid job.
The killer seems very goofy in this as we see him being tripped up, beaten with a fridge door and even kicked in the stomach a few times. The masked figure was a good comedy element to the film, which also lessens the seriousness of the film. In many ways, this is not a full-blown horror, bot more of a comedy-horror that can have thrills and some shocks, while maintaining the comedy aspect.
The actor of Billy Loomis Ulrich is an undeniable spitting image of a young Johnny Depp, who director Craven worked with on “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. Craven chose Ulrich because of his shocking resemblance and I am glad he did. It is an uncanny resemblance and every time he was one screen, I kept thinking it was young Depp. Besides that, he is a reasonable actor and was good to see on screen.


Drew Barrymore, Jamie Kennedy, Tatum Riley, Skeet Ulrich and Neve Campbell were all excellent in their American teenager roles. Campbell gave a strong independent female character who certainly knows how to outsmart killers. Everyone played their role with good energy. Courtney Cox plays the annoying Gale Weathers; a tabloid reporter who we discover has met Sidney before.
When you get to the final 15 minutes of the film, it is when you realise the genius of the film. It becomes an ultimate whodunit and finger-pointing mysteries were the possibilities are endless and give you that big rush of excitement. Next to that, it is witty and comical. That is what makes this film such a rush of excitement.

Craven a director of so many successful horror films did not taking this film seriously and it has turned out beautifully. If you’re looking for some good slashing fun then “Scream” is good to watch with friends. It is a half-tribute to the 70’s and 80’s horror films featuring teenagers. Just remember, if you hear a knock at the door, never say who’s there. Favourite quote: Movies don’t make killers, they make killers more creative”.

My Rating: 8/10

3 comments:

  1. I'm not a big fan of horror movies, but I did like this one. I agree that Williamson deserves a ton of credit. It was the writing, especially the referential and self-referential stuff, that made the movie so great. He did the same thing on the first season of Dawson's Creek, but they made him stop all of that after the first season and the show went downhill.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is a great film James, yeah it was pretty interesting to do.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved this movie, and everything about it, especially the performances of Jamie Kennedy and Skeet Ulrich, which I think are the best. great review!

    ReplyDelete

 

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