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Scream re-invented the horror slasher sub-genre when it was on its knees, all but dead in the mid 90s. Horror director supremo Wes Craven stylishly - and knowingly - brings screen writer Kevin Williamsons clever and also comedic script to life brilliantly.
From the now classic opening scene featuring Drew Barrymore, you're guaranteed to be hooked.
The basic plot is pretty simple. A killer is taking the lives of likeable student Sidney Prescott's friends, with the inevitable final showdown with her a shoe-in, but just who wants her blood and that of her chums so badly?
Could it be the likeable dim wit cop, Deputy Dewey? The arrogant reporter, Gail Weathers? The headmaster, Henry Winkler?
I'm confident you'll be intrigued to find out!
The cast are excellent, with all the leads exceptional, and some cameos from several stars of horror from over the years, such as Linda Blair, and even Wes Craven himself!
The region 2 dvd features several good extra features. Behind the scenes info, interviews, trailers, trivia. Which add to the enjoyment and value of buying this dvd.
An influential, mid 90s, self referential horror-comedy that gets the balance of both near perfect, is great fun and still holds up well today.
Nearly a whole year after her mother was brutally raped and murdered, Sidney Prescott finds herself the target of a slasher killer she believed was safely behind bars. Following the murder of one of her fellow schoolmates, Sidney and her friends have to deal with the fact that there is a killer still at large, and he's coming after her, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.
Scream's emergence onto the horror scene in the mid 90s made horror cool for an entire generation. It combined the high school feel good stereotype that so many films had embraced with the suspense and fright of a genuinely scary movie. The film constantly makes reference to the 'rules' of a scary movie, and what you should do to survive it by making sure its character discuss horror films, but then proceeds to go against its own recommendations, giving us cause for sitting on the edge of the seat and wishing that we hadn't elected to watch this in the dark on our own, after all.
There's no doubting the fact that this is first and foremost a horror film, a slasher movie with a killer wearing a black sheet and a ghost face mask who is intent upon killing everyone in his way in order to get to Sidney. But what it also does is inject the same sort of relaxed and subtle comedy that these teen high school films often do. There's the clown in the group, here played by Matthew Lillard who seems to have been given licence to overact and play the fool, and this is added to by the nosy and determined reporter Gale Weathers, played by Courtney Cox, who manages to bring Monica with her along with some of the comedy the character has. Indeed, there were a few moments where everything was very normal - people cracking jokes and doing funny things that you'd kind of expect from a group of high school kids.
But above it all is Wes Craven's ability to suddenly turn things serious and wipe the smile from your face. Whether it's the deliberately predictable nature of some of the murders, or the steady inclusion of some sinister music, or even the knowledge that any second now the killer is going to jump out and claim his next victim; or whether it's the fact that there are so many moments where Craven builds things up and then lets us down, only to hit us with a jumpy moment immediately after this relax; either way it's edge of the seat stuff and I found myself jumping a number of times as events occurred.
The acting is pretty good. I wouldn't say there's anything special going on here, but then that kind of adds to the power of the film in presenting everyone as just normal people. Neve Campbell takes the lead role of Sidney and is well supported by a young cast such as Skeet Ulrich, Drew Barrymore, Lillard, Cox and others. Henry Winkler gives a nice turn as the principal having to deal with a killer affecting the school's equilibrium, and the support cast largely turns out pretty well. Initially, this disappointed me as I wanted a powerhouse of acting display, but hindsight shows me that all the performances are placed just right to bring forth the power of the horror and scariness of the film.
The film helped combine the genre of teen flick with slasher movie, but don't be fooled into thinking this is regular teen entertainment. The killings are brutal, and at times it's very graphic. I would say it easily earns its 18 certificate just on this alone, and the elements we now consider quite commonplace, such as self-reference when characters talk about what not to do in a scary movie, was actually quite original when this came out. There's real suspense, and the occasional comedic element is placed alongside this as opposed to over the top of it. There's a sense of realism about it, and the few twists the film coughs up will certainly keep you guessing until the final scene pans out in typically clever and effective Craven style. The film has an ability to combine two genres of films in excellent fashion, and is definitely the best of the franchise, which became harder to deliver the same impact that this one did. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the recently released Scream 4, but it'll have a long way to go to live up to this first film in the series. Recommended.
I am very excited for the release of Scream 4 in the cinema and as the original was being broadcast on TV I thought I'd take the opportunity to watch this again. I have seen all three at some point in the past but probably in the wrong order and so it would be good to finally grasp the story as a whole.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
A year after the tragic rape and murder of a Sidney Prescott's mother, student Casey (Drew Barrymore) receives a mysterious phone call which ultimately leads to her and her boyfriend to be horrendously gutted and hung.
The town of Woodsboro is shocked by the murders, with Sidney (Neve Campbell) feeling a sense of dejavu. Despite the supposed killer responsible her mother's murder, Cotton Weary, is behind bars, Sidney receives haunting phone calls which leads her to suspect the killer is still on the loose.
When Sidney gets attacked, she starts to suspect the people around her. With her father out of town and unreachable; her boyfriend impatient as she wants to wait before sex and her classmates pretending to be the Ghostface killer, everyone's a suspect.
With the help of reporter Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Deputy Dewey (David Arquette), Sidney fights to survive the tragedy that has befallen her and unmasks whoever is behind these brutal killings.
The success of this movie comes from the sheer play on the horror genre and the exaggeration of the clichés make this movie extremely enjoyable. Whilst you would expect a movie that makes fun of a genre to be extremely predictable, this movie keeps you guessing from the very beginning right to the end.
As you would expect certain events to happen at certain points due to the predictability factor (such as killer jumping out from a dark space), the film doesn't fulfil your guesses. The moment you let your guard down, BAM, the killer springs out. This second guessing and throwing you off makes the film unpredictable and jumpy.
The movie on the whole peaked at certain points, mainly when the killer is chasing Sidney, which plateaued for a large part of the film when they try to lay the foundations of the movie/ the rules etc. However, the ending was truly climatic and definitely explosive with lots of humour, leaving you satisfied and wanting more.
Neve Campbell- Sidney
Courtney Cox- Gale Weathers
David Arquette- Deputy Dewey
Also stars Drew Barrymore, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy.
Neve Campbell does a great job as the heroine of the movie. She was believable and genuine with a bit of a kick ass attitude.
I really loved Courtney Cox in this movie despite her constant 'Monica-isms'. She was funny and managed to become a big part of the film opposed to just a cameo.
Drew Barrymore was also very good despite her short screen time. In a sense she almost stole the show with her performance at the beginning.
The DVD can be purchased for under £5 online and in store.
I really liked this movie- it has laid the foundations for the next films. With an original take on the horror genre, and it's unpredictable result, you are left guessing throughout. The film also manages to make you jump and throw you off, revealing the truth only at the very end in a climatic chase. Highly enjoyable.
I cannot wait to see the new Scream 4!
I really love a good horror movie but unfortunately most of them are complete drivel. The scream movies are an exception during the course of three movies they manage to maintain a level of brilliance that is way above the usual standard in this genre and have been imitated time and time again.
The movie starts with shot of a girl alone in a big house. Casey (Drew Barrymore) is making popcorn when the phone rings, she answers and it is a wrong number. The person on the phone flirts with her and asks if she likes scary movies. The conversation continues along these flirty lines when it suddenly takes a different turn and the voice on the phone threatens her. She gets scared and hangs up. The voice phones back and tells her not to hang up or he will slit her throat, she tells the voice that her boyfriend will be there soon and if the voice comes anywhere near her he will kick his ass. The voice tells her to turn the patio light on and when she does she see's that her boyfriend is hanging from a tree murdered.
The voice tells her she has a chance to live if she can answer a question correctly about a scary movie. She gets the question wrong and then all hell breaks loose. It's not a spoiler to say she dies as its well known now in the scream films that the first 15 minutes of the films contain a murder that sets up the chain of events for the rest of the movie but you still root for her to get out alive.
The film starts properly by introducing the characters who attended the local high with Casey. The star of the movie is Sydney (Neve Campbell) and when she is attacked the lead suspect becomes her boyfriend Billy (Skeet Ulrich) Gayle Weathers (Courtney Cox) a reporter who is following the case believes the murders are somehow connected to the brutal killing of Sydney's mother a year earlier and along with local deputy Dewey (David Arquette) begin to investigate.
A strict curfew is imposed but the local teens choose to ignore this and hold a party where the movie culminates. Who will get out alive and who is killing these teens in town and why?
The Scream franchise is now 14 years old and is as fresh today as it was back then. This film really invigorated the genre and spewed a whole host of poorly made imitations.
The opening scene with Drew Barrymore was at the time a complete shock as the whole publicity of the film was based on her with the lead position in the poster and her being the biggest star in the film. No one expected the film to kill its lead character in the first 15 minutes and even though it's common knowledge now that no one survives the opening set up it is loses nothing of its power. The scene is really intense and quite harrowing and kudos to Drew Barrymore for making such an impression with so little screen time.
Scream is surprisingly funny in places mostly due to Courtney Cox's ambitious reporter and the film does a really good job in balancing the humour with the horror.
The self referential thing the film does is clever with all the characters having been brought up on horror movies they know not to go out alone or say they will be right back as they have seen people in horror movies doing this and groaned at the stupidity of it. Kevin Williamson's script is brilliant full of one liners and plenty of scary moments and Wes Craven shows why he is the king of the horror movie.
As we all know one of the best things about slasher movies is trying to guess who the killer is and why they are doing it, now in most films it is usually all too easy to guess but with scream the final reveal is set up in a way that will make it almost impossible for you to have already guessed who it is so it comes as more of a surprise.
Recommended for anyone who likes a good scare or laugh!
Running: 113 minutes
Director: Wes Craven
Country: United States
Drew Barrymore as Casey
David Arquette as Deputy Dwight "Dewey" Riley
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
Matthew Lillard as Stuart "Stu" Macher
Rose McGowan as Tatum Riley
Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis
Jamie Kennedy as Randy
What's your favorite scary movie ?
Running: 113 minutes
Director: Wes Craven
Country: United States
David Arquette as Deputy Dwight "Dewey" Riley
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
Matthew Lillard as Stuart "Stu" Macher
Rose McGowan as Tatum Riley
Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis
Jamie Kennedy as Randy
The story is about a brute killer who seems to hunt on High school students. The movie starts with the student Casey Becker who's all alone in her house. She gets a telephone call of a stranger who says he called the wrong telephone number but then calls again and weirder en less friendly. He asks her questions and he asks her to turn on the back garden lights where she sees her boyfriend taped to a chair. If she wants him to survive she needs to answer a few questions about movies and if she answers them wrong he and she will be murdered. The whole story is around Sidney Prescott, whose mother died a few years around the same time. Sidney gets a phone call that night of the same person who called Casey and asks what her favourite scary movie is and that he's standing in front of her front door. She manages to survive the attack, but when her boyfriend turns up quickly after the attack, he becomes suspect number 1. But is he really the one who's responsible for the killing? Nobody seems to be safe. Who's the killer and what does he want?
The acting is fine for this movie. It's a horror movie, but its more the amateur feeling that makes the movie special. Everything looks cheap and simple, like the murderer who's dress in a weird funny costume with a funny mask. The acting is fine with Neve Campbell in the lead as Sidney. She's a girl who goes to High school and lives alone with her father. She seems the main target of the muderer. I liked her acting and she comes across believable. Another known actor is Courtney Cox know for her part in the show Friends. She tries to get the scoop on who the murderer is and goes far in finding out who it is. I liked her acting and it's maybe a little bit over the top, but that's more her character, which makes it so fun. Really nice acting.
There are a few extras on the DVD. You have a few interviews with the members of the cast and crew. Also you have the making off the movie where you get some more information about how the movie was made. Nice extras but not a lot.
Scream made a huge impact and became a huge success. The movie was unique because it felt so amateur. Especially the beginning of the movie really makes sure you get into the story. It's the idea of being alone at home when a stranger calls and says he's at your house. It's creepy and scary and nobody likes that idea. Also the way the movie was shot feels chaotic but at the same time realistic, as you are in the room itself. Everything is about that weird dangerous killer and Sidney and the dead of her mother. The movie never really gets that scary, but it's more about the killing and the story behind is never really told proper. This makes the movie just fun and easy to watch, without you having to think that much. Just a nice simple horror movie.
Next to "When A Stranger Calls Back", this film possibly has the best opening to a horror film....ever. And I know that's a bold statement to make!
Scream is a gem of a horror movie from the mid 1990's that pokes fun and references past horror films, before this film was made, of course.
But this is no 'Scary Movie'! It's a horror film all on it's own with some humour thrown in for good measure.
I watched this for the first time back in 1996 when it first came out on VHS and was blown away by it!
It's not too often that slasher movies have twists and this has a good one that nobody would expect.
It has some recognisable actors in it such as Courtney Cox (tv show Friends), Drew Barrymore (ET) and Henry Winkler (Fonz from Happy Days).
Wes Craven knows how to create suspense and there is plenty of it, especially during the final half hour of the film when the twist is finally uncovered.
The gore level is fair. There is a moderate amount of blood but it gets heavy in the climax.
The killer isn't Michael or Jason, he's not indestructible, instead he's human like all of us and sometimes it's a little funny when he's on screen chasing his victims and runs into minor obstacles.
This film spawned a lot of imitators that came after this, desperately trying to copy it's style and even injecting their own climactic twists.
But none could match the original!
If you are a horror fan haven't seen this yet then you shouldn't call yourself a horror fan until you see this - THE landmark horror film of the 90's.
Scream stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette the plot is as follows...
The film begins with Casey Becker being taunted over the phone she is told to play a game and if she answers correctly both herself and her boyfriend Steve will be allowed to live. Unfortunately she gets the questions wrong and they are both brutally murdered.
This double murder brings back painful memories for Sidney as a year earlier her mother had been murdered. The killer then begins to target Sidney, as the killer taunts her she comes to the realisation that an innocent man may be in prison for her mother's murder. If that is the case who is the real killer and what is there motive.
Pretty soon everyone is a suspect but the question is how many more will die before the killer is caught?
You can buy Scream for £3.99 on Amazon, it has a classification of 18 and the running time is 106 minutes.
The Special Features on the disc are as follows...
-Audio Commentary By Wes Craven
-Behind The Scenes On The Scream Set With Drew Barrymore
-Questions And Answers With The Cast And Crew
-Special Effects Gallery
-Cast And Crew Profiles
-Did You Know Trivia Information
-Two Theatrical Trailers
When I first watched Scream I was only about 13 so it did really scare me, now it doesn't so much although that may have something to do with watching Scary Movie. The plot is one of the best in any horror, very effective in scaring the audience. There is plenty of suspense and tension, causing the viewer to be on the edge of their seats. There is a fair amount of blood and gore, but to be honest there has been more gruesome horror films in recent years such as Hostel and Saw. I do think at the time it also probably helped bring a new wave of horrors into our cinemas.
The beginning is one of the best parts of the film as it sets up a very dramatic start and got me hooked straight away. Another point to make is that the victims often end up dying in different ways other than being stabbed. This makes it a little bit more interesting, it could be quite boring if they were all killed in the same way. I also like how everyone comes under suspicion and when I first watched I was never quite sure who the killer was.
The main characters all work well together and I especially liked the character of Gale (Courteney Cox) as she is almost as relentless as the killer as she tries to get the story. Neve Campbell does a great job as Sidney, the main character who is being stalked by the killer. On some occasions her character is a little bit annoying but it doesn't put me off watching the film.
Scream has a great ending with a very good twist, it is one of the better horror films and I definitely recommend watching it!
In 1996 Wes Craven, director of classics such as The Hills have Eyes and A Nightmare on Elm Street, released what was to become one of the most popular and successful horror series of all time starting with this the first one - 'Scream'. It also spawned in years to come many spoof films too.
Srcream is well worth watching and features a load of talented young actors and actresses at the time including Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell and David Arquette. This slasher movie sparked a wave of others that were made afterwards to try and compete but for me none were better than this original one that started the craze.
The beginning of the movie is very intense and scary. An anonymous caller threatens the lives of high school girl Casey Becker played by Drew Barrymore and her boyfriend unless she can answer certain horror movie questions such as 'Who was the killer in Friday the 13th?'. Even if the answer is right there is no guarantee of survival.
The main plot surrounds two of the main characters. First there is Sidney Prescott played by Neve Campbell as she attempts to survive the attacks in the movie of a slasher movie fanatic with ghostly mask and armed with a knife. She is helped out by Gail Weathers played by Courtney Cox who is a dirt seeking news reporter. She gets involved in the horror and saves Sidney from certain death. They are shocked to discover who the attacker behind the mask is as the movie has a few twists towards the end.
Courtney Cox puts in a great performance as Gail and is supported ably by other cast members. The interesting thing about this movie is that it's not all out horror and the script is actually quite funny. So although it is a horror movie it is also reference to alot of other horror movies and often pokes fun at them as well as itself. It is not a spoof film in a sense but is not the blood fest horrors that leave you completely terrified. I found myself frightened but at the same time laughing at how crazy it all was which is a strange way to get to audiences.
Overall this was the best of the Scream movies and is a good one to watch for the first time or again if you've not seen it in a while
I love the movie Scream, it is so tongue in cheek and yet it works wonderfully as a horror movie as well as making you laugh in places. The whole idea of the film is to take every horror movie cliche and turn it around so that it now forms part of the plot of this film.
The cast is pretty impressive as it features Courtney Cox, Drew Barrymore and David Arquette to name but three of the stars.
The film opens with a young girl being attacked while she babysits and the pattern of the attack is the same as a murder that took place a year earlier in the area and soon the media descend on the sleepy town to follow the hunt for a seriel killer. The previous year Sydney mother was killed and she and her friends are now caught up in the killers sights however one of the group is a movie geek and he explains how all of them are suspects and how to avoid being killed by avoiding all the usual horror film traps. Sure enough the body count begins to rise pretty quickly.
Courtney Cox is quite impressive in this movie as an ambitious reported while Neve Campbell plays the heroine to great effect. This is a clever film with some good direction that builds the tension and certainly has you on the edge of your seat quite a lot of the time. I also liked some of the clever camera work and use of lighting to create just the right effects.
It is a scary movie and while not entirely original it does work as a horror film and as such I would recommend it.
Last night the quest to make me like scary films continued, the latest offering being 'Scream.' As reluctant as I was (hiding behind my coat for the first 5 minutes or so) my friends stuck to their word and didn't deliberately jump at me to scare me, and I ended up quite enjoying this gory thriller.
'Scream' (1996) is the first film in the Scream Trilogy, although after looking on the internet, it seems a fourth one is currently in discussion.
The film starts off with the brutal murder of Casey Becker and her boyfriend Steve. Both are students in the same high school as Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) who is suffering due to the anniversary of her mother's brutal rape and murder. However, with more student's turning up dead, the hunt is on for the murderer, and the police and students are not short of suspects.
I'm really not a big horror or thriller fan. I get scared very easily, and I don't like the idea of watching films which might stop me getting to sleep at night. Despite this, 'Scream' is a fairly amusing look at horror/thriller films. The killer "Ghostface" is less than co-ordinated, falling over at times, and as you hear Ghostface talk on the phone to his victims, the conversations make him seem more human, leaving you feeling slightly less scared. As more people die, you find yourself trying to work out who the killer could be, with a few things happening near the end to confuse this and make it almost impossible to guess.
I personally found the suspense around when Ghostface was going to appear more frightening than any of the actual killing scenes. Despite the death scenes being gory, the worst is the opening scene, and compared to that there are less disturbing images of the dead teenagers.
The way in which the film seems to poke fun at the horror/thriller genre is easy to pick up, and enjoyable. The character of Randy (Jamie Kennedy) seems to believe they are living in a horror film and comes up with many 'rules' which should be followed if you are going to survive. The fact that horror movies are a strong feature throughout the film also causes amusement - especially in the final showdown when Halloween is playing in the background. The way in which Randy talks through the murders and comes to his own conclusions is also interesting, as he uses the way in which killers in movies work to come to his conclusions. Overall, the characters using the way killer's work in films, to work out what is happening in their situation is amusing.
Gale (Courtney Cox) is probably one of my favourite characters, as the super bitch reporter who seems to be willing to do anything for a story. However, although I started off hating her, as the film went on I started to warm to her, especially by the end of the film. Another favourite of mine was Billy ((Skeet Ulrich) who has a fairly creepy persona from the beginning, leaving you wondering if maybe he is the murderer. He is Sidney's boyfriend, which makes him both a likely and unlikely murderer as she is an almost-victim many times.
The storyline of this film isn't amazing, but it's gripping all the same, as you genuinely guess your way through the movie, trying to work out who the murderer is. The gore isn't too much, but enough to make you cringe sometimes, and the 'horror' part of it is more funny in places, mainly due to the mask that the killer wears.
Overall, this film is worth a watch. It's slightly 'scarier' than some other things I've seen, but then coming from me - that isn't surprising! It's worth watching if you like horror/thriller films, and it's more amusing than I would expect, although still leaves you on edge while watching. The three stars are purely because it's not my kind of film, as many others would enjoy it a lot more!
I'd like to start my review by clearing something up, Scream is not a cheesy horror like some people have claimed. The Urban Legands and I Know what you did trilogies are cheesy but Scream is simply tongue in cheek. It does play on all the old slasher movie stereotypes but not in the same way such films as 'Scary Movie' have, Wes Craven's aim wasn't to ridicule the old classics but more to slightly poke fun at them. The film has many references to the old slasher movies we all watched growing up, the most memorable one is in a scene where Wes Craven himself has a small cameo as the school janitor in which he wears a striped red and black jumper, and if that doesn't give it away already the character is also called 'Fred'. The film and wes himself dont seem to have a problem with the audience having a giggle at thier expence. In the first scene Drew Barrymore's character Casey is heard to voice her dislike for the directors early work on A Nightmare On Elm Street saying, 'The first one was (scary) the rest sucked!'.
The characters in the film were also stereotypes, there is the jock Billy (Skeet Ulrich), the bimbo Tatum (Rose McGowan), the self obssessed bitch Gale weathers (Courtney Cox) and the list goes on. The difference is, because the writer Kevin Williamson wants to pay homage to these classic characters he makes them larger than life which makes the film so much fun. I thought some of the dialogue was brilliant, some of the lines and quotes wouldn't be out of place in a tarintino movie. 'Whats your faveorite scary movie?' will go down in film history but there are plenty more, or in the words of the fantastic Stuart (Matthew Lillard) 'But wait,there's more'. There are 3 characters (other than the masked killer) that I particulary enjoyed watching were; Gale Weathers- A semi famous news reporter, she will step over anybody to get what she wants and that is fame. Courtney Cox is perfect in the part even though it is completley different to her other roles she's played before and since. She is so dry, blunt and inconsiderate that it's ammusing. Stuart- He's the joker of the bunch. He is rude, crude and eccentric. Matthew Lillard seems to always play the comic character but not as well as I think he does in Scream, it might be just me but although he is very funny in the film I always thought he came across slightly menacing. Billy- He is the good looking, popular guy. He was creepy from begining to end, I mean everything about him from his voice to his piercing eyes. Perfect casting. I have said before how important it is to like/care about the characters in a horror film, there is nothing worse than not caring whether they 'make it or not'.
**SPOILER ALERT** I have also read that some people dont like how little Drew Barrymore is in the movie. In a interview Drew revealed that she loved the idea of being knocked off so early because it would be so unexpected. The idea was that if the best known actress could be killed than so could anyone else, it gives the film some unpredictability very early on. I think it sets the mood for the whole film, exquse the pun but it puts it on a knife edge.**
Scream is a slasher movie but it also started a new genre called teen slashers (for obvious reasons) but I believe it is also a modern murder mystery, a 'who done it' type film. Everone is a suspect which leads to dozens of twists and turns, suspicions and accusations.
Now to the horror part, the story is simple but very effective, the film is bloody although not very gory, so the film relies on the dialogue, the characters and the suspence to make it such a spine tingling horror. So is it scary? Who isn't scared when the phone rings in the middle of the night and you don't know who is on the other end of the line? to add to his fearsome lines such as 'Hang up on me again and I'll gut you like a fish', the killer also uses a voice changer to add to the suspence. The rumour is that even the actors on set didn't know or ever meet the person who did the voice of the killer, which made them feel abit on edge and freaked out every time they heard that haunting voice. The kills are very imaginative and original for its time (1996), there have been alot of daft over the top kills in films such as 'Final Destination' since but again for its time it was shockingly entertaining. Jason's hockey mask, freddy's glove, Michael's (William Shatner) mask and now there is the 'Ghost Face' costume! The mask is a simple but terryfing prop that was inspired by a painting called 'The Scream' by Edvard Much. The killer seems to have the ability to disapear/escape really quickly like Michael Myers does in Halloween, except there is nothing remotely supernatural about ghost face, which for me makes him more real and therefore more scary.
Scream is clever, iconic, funny, sharp, has great plot twists and great acting but above all is SCARY AS HELL! So any horror fan who hasn't seen or bought Scream yet need to get their hand in their pockets!
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Scream is the start of a very successful trilogy of comedy horror films that were welcomed as very refreshing antidotes to the normal horror formula of a masked killer perfunctorily killing off a set of annoying teenagers. Whilst this film included those elements, it did so with a satirical bent, openly mocking the conventions of the genre whilst also including some clever and outrageous kills, ensuring the gorehounds get their fill.
The film opens as Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) is murdered violently, left hanging from a tree. This in itself sets the tone for the film - it decieves the audience (through the marketting at the time and the construction of the scenes) that Drew Barrymore would be the star of the film, but in fact, she's killed within the first fifteen minutes, leaving the viewer already uncomfortable and vulnerable before the film even really gets going.
The murderer wears a strange "ghostface" mask, and his weapon of choice is a large knife. This murder coincides with the anniversary of the rape and murder of the mother of the film's actual protagonist, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), who is then attacked by the killer the next night. Her boyfriend Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) is held under circumstantial evidence, whilst she stays with her friend Tatum Riley (Rose McGowan) and Tatum's brother Dewey (David Arquette). What's more, Sidney has to deal with the nosy and business-savvy reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), who has made a living off of Sidney's misery. As a party begins, whilst most kids are unaware of the killer's presence at the party, things can only go bad to worse.
This is a very special film that's one of the few postmodern horror films of its time, cleverly parodying the conventions of the genre. This is amusing, bloody good fun, even if as the sequels progressed, they more and more became the films they were spoofing.
Scream in a horror slasher movie that was released in 1996. It was directed by Wes Craven, who is well known for directing the 'A Knightmare on Elm Street' movies. I noticed not many reviews make reference to the DVD itself, so I've added some information about the extras.
The opening scene is very typical for a horror movie, as there is a girl (played by Drew Barrymore) alone in a large house in the middle of nowhere, at night. At the beginning various camera shots are used to build up suspense; such as a shot of an empty swing moving, accompanied by an eerie creaking sound, and a close up of the oven hob lighting. The girl is having a somewhat playful conversation with the mystery man on the phone, untill he says "I want to know who I'm looking at". This line is followed by suspenseful gesture of music, which suggests the horror is about to begin. I particularly like this scene as it it well edited, especially with the music, and draws the viewers into the the film.
LEAD ROLE AND ACTORS
Neve Campbell take the lead role in the film, and does so well. She plays a girl call Sydney Prescott who is still deeply affected by the murder of her mother, and soon learns that the killer is now stalking her and her friends. She initially comes across as timid, but we soon learn that she is a strong character that is willing to fight untill then end.
Other key actors in the film include Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, Skeet Ulrich and Rose McGowan. I great choice in my opinion as all acting is believable, with different character traits making compelling viewing (especially from Sydney and her friends).
TEEN HORROR MOVIES
The film is typical of teenage horror movies, where the main characters get picked off one by one, leaving one person to face the horror (usually with success). There are many moments in the film which will make you jump, aided by the loud brass gestures, such as when the masked killer suddenly appears from around a corner.
REFERENCES TO HORROR MOVIES
Throughout the film their are several references to existing horror movies, as early as the opening scene where the masked killer says to the frightened girl "You should never say 'who's there', do you never watch scary movies?" and such. The character named Randy is especially aware of horror movies, and constantly reminds his teen friends of the 'rules' they must follow in order to survive the killer. There are many other films which are either referred to, or lines are quoted from such as A Knightmare on Elm Street, The Exorcist, Halloween and many more. I like this aspect of the film as it puts the characters in the same position as the viewers as the viewers are usually in when watching a horror movie.
The extras on the DVD include and optional commentary on the film by the director Wes Craven, trailers, production featurette, behind the scenes footage, a gallery of the special effects used, Q and A with the cast and crew, cast and crew profiles, and a Did You Know fact section. This is a brief summary of what I thought of each.
Watching the film with the Wes Craven's commentary is interesting if you want to know more about the chose of sound FX, camera shots, directing of the the film and such. Obviously if you are watching the film for the first time you won't want to be disturbed by this commentary.
The trailers are a fair addition, if you want to see how the film was promoted back in the day. There are two trailers on the DVD which are pretty much identical. The production featurette is similar to the trailer, however it features short clips of the actors and Wes Craven discussing the film. I found this quite interesting to see the cast and crew commenting on certain bits of the film.
The behind the scenes footage, which basically shows some scenes being filmed with sound and camera crew. Although rather short I found this enjoyable to watch, as it shows the actors being told how to perform certain scenes. There is another behind the scenes section, which is dedicated to Drew Barrymore's opening scene of the movie.
The Q&A with the cast and crew is basically two questions "What's your favourite scary movie?" and "Why are people so fascinated by horror films?". We see clips of the cast and crew giving a few words for each. This probably didn't need its own section.
The cast and crew profiles gives a bit of background information about the main actors, and some of the crew members. Good if you particularly want to know more about them, but I can't imagine many people venturing to this section as you could probably find similar and more updated information on the internet.
The special effects gallery showcases images of hand drawn sketches and models of props used in the film. Its good to see where the ideas originated from, and I would imagine for artists and aspiring film producers/directors this would be quite interesting.
The final DVD bonus titles "Did You Know?" includes a string of facts about small details of the films and topics surrounding it. I must say, I did enjoy skimming threw these random yet intriguing facts.
In summary, Scream is a great film if you are into Slasher movies, and this will always be a classic in that respect. I particularly like the way the music has been used to appropriately build up suspense, along with its editing. There success of this film has resulted in two sequels, and rumours of a 4th to be released next year.
5/5 (based mainly on the film itself)
Scream was released in 1996, is a teen slasher film, and is the first in a trilogy. It revived this genre in the 90's and paved the way for more films like this to be released. Scream is rated 18 due to occasional strong language, mild sexual references and lots of horror, blood and gore. It is 111 minutes long.
In the small town of Woodsboro, teenagers are being picked off one by one by a masked serial killer. At the beginning of the film, we see Casey Becker, alone in her house making popcorn and then the phone rings. She tells the man on the phone that he has the wrong number and puts the phone down. Mystery caller rings back and starts playing a game with her about horror films. When she starts getting scared, she tells the guy on the phone that her boyfriend will be there soon but she soon finds out he has been disembowelled on the back patio. Casey gets another round of questions but refuses to answer; leading to the masked called to chase her around the house until he catches her and kills her.
After we learn that the killer wears a silly ghost mask, we meet Sydney and her friends. Sidney is in a bit of a bad mood as it is, without kids from her school being killed, because it is the anniversary of her mothers' death. Things don't go well for her as the killer contacts her at home (by phone) and tries to kill her too but she gets away.
Sidney decides to stay with friend Tatum for some moral support and to get away from the menacing reporter, Gale Weathers. (Yes, that is how cheesy this film is) As more and more kids from the school are being killed, everyone is put on a curfew (because obviously killers don't kill anyone in their homes do they?). Sidney starts to think she's safe but did she accuse the wrong guy?
David Arquette - Deputy Dwight 'Dewey' Riley
Neve Campbell - Sidney Prescott
Courteney Cox - Gale Weathers
Skeet Ulrich - Billy Loomis
Rose McGowan - Tatum Riley
Matthew Lillard - Stuart Macher
Jamie Kennedy Randy Meeks
Behind the scenes
Q&A with cast and crew
Special effects gallery
Cast and crew profiles
Scream is one of my all time favourite slasher films. I won't call it a horror because it isn't really scary; it's more funny most of the time than anything. At least the makers of the film acknowledge that it is just a film and it was supposed to be fun.
I really liked the twist Kevin Williamson put in with the killer. I don't really know anyone that hasn't seen this film but I don't want to give anything away for those that haven't. A lot of these kind of films from the late 80's and early 90's included killers where everyone knew who it was and this was the first film for a while to break away from the mould and do something different, giving us a 'whodunit' story. I really liked this because films like Friday the 13th and A nightmare on Elm Street were getting too predictable and boring. We all knew who the killers were the whole way through and with Scream, even though we thought we knew, we were left guessing until the end.
I really liked the whole cast for this film and whereas normally, someone would really bug me, no one did.
Sidney is played by Neve Campbell. Thankfully, she isn't the gorgeous blonde with big boobs. It was nice to see someone slightly more normal looking play the lead role but then again, according to rules of horror films, maybe this is why she doesn't die. Finally we get a lead character who actually has some brains and wits about her (most of the time anyway) and it made a real change from horror films in the past.
My favourite character was Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy. Randy got some witty one-liners and actually knew a lot about horror films, putting him as a suspect because of this. I thought it was fabulous the way he told everyone else about the rules even though they didn't really follow them. One of his funniest scenes was when he is screaming at the TV (watching a horror film) while the killer is right behind him.
Courtney Cox is fantastic as Gale Weathers and comes across as a real bitch. She isn't just a bitch to Sydney but to everyone else too. Why have only one bag guy when you can have a killer and a bitch getting in the way at the same time? After seeing her in Friends, it was really nice to see her play a different role and I thought she did a great job of it.
One thing I love about this film is even though Randy tells everyone the rules of horror films, people still die. This is the first horror movie to make fun of other horror films and mentions them throughout.
The rules stated in Scream were:
- You can never have sex
- You can never drink or do drugs
- Never, ever, EVER, under any circumstances say 'I'll be right back', because you won't be back
- Everyone is a suspect
If you are a big movie buff like me, especially for horrors, you will notice little things throughout the film if you look really carefully. Many references are made to Wes Craven's 'Nightmare on Elm Street' series and the characters from the films. I don't want to give too much away about these things but here are just a couple for you:
- Near the end of the film, A nightmare on Elm Street 3 is playing on a TV
- The janitor of the school is called Fred and can be seen wearing a stripy red and green jumper, just like Freddie Kruger
- Tatum wears a jersey with the number 10 on it, just as Johnny Depp did in A nightmare on Elm Street.
See if you can notice the references to some other well known horror films. I had a look on IMDB for a lot of them and I love re watching the film to see if I can pick them out.
Wes Craven is a horror film genius and I loved how different this was to his A nightmare on elm street series. The nightmare series was more focused on the horror than the thrills and I loved how he, with Kevin Williamson, made this into a comedy at times as well. Needless to say, I own the nightmare series on box set too.
As I said before, this is one of my favourite slasher films and I would recommend it to anyone (over 18 of course :P). I bought each film separately but they can be bought in a box set now for about £10 in most places, maybe even cheaper and it will be well worth the money. You're just strange if you haven't seen this one yet.
I can't believe this film is already over 12 years old! I thought I'd review this as despite it's criticism and mocking by other films (ie. Scary Movie), it was a classic of its time.
Scream was released on DVD in 1997 and is rated certificate 18 due to violence, gore and language. It was directed by the famous Wes Craven, and has become one of his signature movies.
Being a big fan of horror/thriller films, I was glad when this came out. I remember at the time that there weren't many to rival this slasher film because of the way it appealed to its audience. With a unique icon to represent the film by way of the scream mask, a young & trendy cast and scenes to make you squirm & shout "he's behind you", Scream has undoubtedly become a classic.
Neve Campbell tends to lead the way as Sydney Prescot, a college girl living in Woodsboro whose mother was murdered. A year after her mother's death and students begin to turn up dead; most memorable is probably the girl played by Drew Barrymore.
Throughout the 106 minutes we are taken on a cat & mouse, hide-and-seek style chase. Without giving too much away, the film unfolds as we see more people, teens & adults, being killed and suspicions are cast as to who is responsible. Perhaps it's Sydney's father who killed his wife? Then went a little crazy and came back for more? Perhaps it's Billy Loomis (played by Skeet Ulrich), Sydney's boyfriend? Both are suspects, and Billy seems to be a good possibility. As I've said, I don't want to give it away but there are nice twists in Scream, along with its sequels (Scream 2 & 3).
We see the usual teenage antics which appeal to the younger side of the audience, with the cast of Sydney's friends including Rose McGowan as Tatum, Matthew Lillard as Stuart and Jamie Kennedy as Randy.
It bugs me slightly when American film in particular seem to employ a cast of 25-30 year olds to play teenage students. None the less, they are relatively believable in their roles, and Randy is a character in particular you can take quite well to. He dissects the recent murders, being the horror fanatic he is, to suggest how the killer thinks & who he is, claiming the workings of a serial killer are just like in the movies. It's a nice angle; reflecting a film within a film (which is a big feature of a later film in the Scream series).
Whilst all of this is going on, news reporter Gale Weathers (played by Courtney Cox-Arquette) tries to get the latest scoops on what's going on. She's relatively realistic as a hard-nosed journalist, and we see a more humane side of her when she's facing the murderer. We also see a little spark between her and Deputy 'Dewey' (played by David Arquette).
Some areas of this film lack realism, in that you find yourself saying 'that wouldn't happen'. But, if you can let this go, it's an entertaining film.
The storyline isn't the best, but it's not the worst; there's just about enough there to give the film some backbone without you needing to think too much whilst watching it.
The general feel to the film, even this many years later, is still of good quality in my opinion. It's well directed, the music and scenery fits well, and it has a well-rounded feel to it.
There's enough gore for the horror fans, plus enough suspense and mystery for the thriller lovers. It's a film that had enough atmosphere to keep me gripped, and may even have enough of a chill-factor to scare some people.
It does give you the sense that you don't want to be alone in the dark when you watch this film, so if you're easily scared my horror films then you'll probably find yourself turning on all the lights and checking out your wardrobe before you go to bed.
It's a shame because I consider this to be an early 90's classic, though it's now somewhat overshadowed by more recent movies and so it gets undervalued. Overall I would definitely recommend this film a must-see in the horror/thriller genre.
The box set of the Scream trilogy can be bought on Amazon for under £10, and the individual Scream DVD can be bought for a couple of pounds from most DVD sites. It's also aired on TV several times already, and no doubt it will be shown again in the near future (keep a look out at Halloween).
With the smash hit Scream, novice screenwriter Kevin Williamson and veteran horror director Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) revived the mouldering corpse of the teen horror picture, both creatively and commercially, by playfully acknowledging the exhausted clichés and then turning them inside out. Scream is a postmodern slasher movie, a horror film that cleverly deconstructs horror films, then reassembles the dead tissue, and (like Frankenstein's monster) creates new life. When a serial killer starts hacking up their fellow teens, the media-savvy youngsters of Scream realise that the smartest way of sticking around for the sequel is to avoid the terminal behaviours that inevitably doom supporting players in the movies. They've seen all the movies, and the rules of the genre are like second nature to them. One of the scariest and funniest setups features a kid watching John Carpenter's seminal Halloween on video. As Jamie Lee Curtis is shadowed by Michael Meyers and the kid on the couch yells at her to turn around, Craven reverses his camera and we see that the kid should be taking his own advice. The fresh-faced young cast (including Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette) is fun to watch, and their tart dialogue is sprinkled with enough archly self-conscious pop-culture references to make Quentin Tarantino blush. --Jim Emerson