Sunday, January 01, 2017

Scream (1996)

 Wes Craven

 Kevin Williamson


Neve Campbell
David Arquette
Courteney Cox
Jamie Kennedy
Skeet Ulrich
Matthew Lillard
Rose McGowan
Drew Barrymore
Liev Schreiber
Kevin Patrick Walls
W. Earl Brown
Henry Winkler
Linda Blair
Roger Jackson


One year after Sidney Prescott's mother is brutally murdered. The small sleepy town of Woodsboro is once again thrown into fear and chaos when two teenagers are killed by a masked killer. Sidney and her group of friends start receiving threatening phone calls from an unknown killer who likes to play a deadly game of cat and mouse, which involves their love and knowledge of horror movies. This group of friends will need to know their horror movie trivia if they want to stay alive.

I remember being around ten years of age when the original Scream was released in Australia. I wouldn't have been allowed to watch the flick as I was too young at that time. It's still the only film from the series that I haven't seen in theatres. I still have vivid memories of the TV Spots being played here on television where Sidney waves down the news van and Ghostface chasing Sidney around the house. At this point, I knew nothing about all the hype or just how popular Scream had become all around the world.

It wasn't until Scream was released on VHS at my local video store that I finally got to see the film. I was eleven at this stage. My dad never really read the back of VHS covers or checked what I would hire as I could spend up to thirty to forty minutes just perusing the shelves. He'd get so annoyed with me that he'd just hire the movie just so he could get out of the video store. When I got home and finally watched Scream. I wasn't even prepared for how much I'd fall in love with the entire series. It became a vital part of my teenage years. It was all-consuming.

So the first time I watched Scream, I had only seen a few horror movies in my life up until that point. They were Jaws, House, and The Gate. It wasn't a genre that I would actively seek out at that time because I was still scarred by the ones that I had seen up to this point. At that time, Scream absolutely terrified me. Scream was genuinely a frightening slasher film to me. It was also the first slasher that I had ever seen. It's probably why I still watch it regularly and can't find many flaws with the overall film. The movie is so ingrained in my psyche.

Roughly nineteen years later and Scream is still one of those standout moments in slasher cinema for me. The movie has gone down in history as a classic moment in horror. Watching it again for the first time in a couple of years and the movie, it still holds up for me. I was and am never once bored when I sit down to watch it, and the overall nostalgia I get from still watching the film is something that I cherish beyond words. The movie really is a seminal piece of horror filmmaking.

Scream has so many memorable moments throughout but the most iconic being the opening sequence. Drew Barrymore an iconic child star and a very well known actress was easily the most recognisable name on the poster at that point. Opening the film with who we believe would be the sole survivor only for Wes Craven to kill her off in one of the most brutal and bloody scenes in the entire series set the bar so high, it's not been reached since.

The movie is far more than just your average slasher. This is a movie that injected the slasher genre with a shot of self-awareness. It managed to revive something that was thought to be dead and buried by this point. The movie had its tongue firmly placed in cheek while still being frightening. It effectively takes the sub-genre that it's apart of and added a subversiveness to all the proceedings. We can thank Kevin Williamson and his smart script for breathing new life into the genre. It felt fresh.

The acting from the cast is fantastic. Scream catapulted Neve Campbell the spotlight. She solidified herself as one of the all-time great scream queens playing Sidney. Both Courteney Cox and David Arquette who round out the main three are also incredible. Creating two characters who will forever be etched into the annals of slasher history. Drew Barrymore opens Scream with one of the most iconic and shocking moments in the series. Instead of taking the lead, she chose to cleverly be killed off in the film's opening scene that saw her slaughtered. A terrifying scene that still holds up.

The supporting cast is also fantastic. Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard deliver two of the most intense and creepy performances in the movie. The final scene where they reveal themselves is incredible. Rose McGowan as the hot best friend is also brilliant. Her death scene is still one of the best scenes in the entire series. Jamie Kennedy is the standout in the film as loveable horror movie geek Randy Meeks. Still, the best performance he's ever delivered.

The only issues that I really have with Scream after all these years are the few little goofs within the film that are clearly noticeable. Throughout the film, we have scenes where the sound design and dialogue are clearly off. It doesn't match up, and it's very distracting. The movie also has a few continuity issues. While these scenes are still an eyesore to this day, it's not enough for me to rate the film any lower than a nine. The movie still deserves the high score.

Lastly, when it came to the bloodshed and gore, I think it's excellent. For a killer(s) that uses the knife for most of the murders, we have a few incredibly gruesome and inventive death scenes. I believe Drew Barrymore's opening is still one of the most brutal scenes in the entire series. Rose McGowan's garage door death while looking a little fake is still such a remarkable moment in the series. The film delivers enough red stuff that it should satisfy most gore-hounds.



- The killer disembowels a jock while tied to a chair.
- Someone is stabbed in the voice box.
- Someone is gutted and hung from a tree.
- The killer smacks someone's head against the floor.
- Someone is repeatedly stabbed in the stomach.
- The killer slashes someone's arm with a knife.
- A woman has her head crushed by a garage roller door.
- Someone is stabbed in the chest.
- A cameraman has his throat slashed.
- Someone is stuck in the shoulder.
- A blood-covered windshield.
- Two guys repeatedly stab each other.
- A TV is dropped on someone's head.
- Someone is stabbed in the shoulder with an umbrella.
- A finger is shoved into a wound.
- Someone is shot in the chest and head.

The original Scream is still the best film in the series. Twenty years on and the movie is still as enjoyable as ever. Scream remains one of the most groundbreaking slashers in horror history. Scream managed to reinvent and breathe new life into a sub-genre that was thought to have been long dead. The film while being gory and suspenseful is also self-aware and intelligent. The movie also delivers healthy doses of horror and comedy with some solid performances. An almost masterpiece.


  1. I remember first hearing about Scream from a friend in primary school, who took a whole week to tell me the plot of it haha. I finally saw it when I was in first grade of High School. It is everything it's hyped up to be.
    The 90s Nightmare on Elm Street if you will, what Wes Craven did with NOES in the 80s, he was able to do again in the 90s with Scream.

    The way Ghostface taunts his victims is pretty genius and unsettling too.

    It was in cinemas for one night last year for Halloween week (with HOYTS only I believe - a double feature of The Craft & Scream) hopefully they'll do it again this year.

    1. Damn I am praying for a double feature of The Craft and Scream again. I'd love to see both on the big screen. Two movies that were a massive part of my pre-teens and teenage years. Fairuza Balk gives me life in The Craft.

    2. The Craft and Scream were both defining 90s films. The complete cast for both films are brilliant. Fingers crossed for this year.