My Favorite Movies – Scream (1996)

8 May

By Tanner Smith

“Scream” became popular for still being a solid slasher-horror film while satirizing slasher-horror films. When a serial killer is on the loose, a bunch of savvy high-school kids recognize the scenario as something from a slasher movie. The rules for survival are put in place:

1) Don’t have sex.
2) Don’t drink or do drugs. (An extension of #1, in that committing any sin gets you killed.)
3) Never EVER say “I’ll be right back,” because chances are…you won’t be right back.

Other rules scattered in the film are not to say “Who’s there?” or investigate a strange noise outside your safe zone. And also, as movie-geek Randy (Jamie Kennedy) exclaims, “EVERYBODY’S A SUSPECT!!!”

This was from a 1990s point-of-view. With the solid horror movies of today, we have a new important rule: just do what you can do and hope for the best. That way, things are less predictable in knowing who lives and who dies.
It’s a lot scarier when there are no rules (which is something that Scream 4 (or “Scre4m”) proclaimed in 2011).

I love “Scream.” It has a neat mystery, a unique blend of horror and comedy while still keeping a consistent tone, and likable characters (which is more than I can say for a lot of other ’90s horror films).

But this one part always bugged me–for all the beatings the killer takes, wouldn’t it have been interesting if one of the suspects ended up with a black eye or a broken nose or something? That would’ve added to the mystery element!

I also really like “Scream 2,” which I think is underrated. The commentary about that thin line between horror and reality (which was hinted at in “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”) is more compelling in this one, particularly in the prologue that shows a horror-movie audience applauding a murder, not realizing right away that there’s a murder happening right in front of them and it’s not fun anymore. And the twist involving the identity of one of the killers, I thought was very well-done and I didn’t see it coming. (Though, that scene in which the boyfriend serenades Sidney in the cafeteria…yeah I always skip through that part.)

“Scream 3″…sucks. I can’t beat around the bush when it comes to this one–it’s just not as memorable because it’s just not as fun or energetic as the other two films.

I like “Scre4m” a lot more now than I did when I first saw it. It’s got a lot of good stuff in it.

The late Wes Craven made good horror films because he focused on making good films first and good scares second.

My favorite scene: a drunken Randy watches Halloween alone and shouts advice at the TV (“LOOK BEHIND YOU!”), totally unaware that the killer is creeping behind him. That’s the best piece of satire in the whole film.

And always remember not to blame the movies for violence in real-life, because “MOVIES DON’T CREATE PSYCHOS–MOVIES MAKE PSYCHOS MORE CREATIVE!!!”

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