What’s you favourite scary movie? Mine’s Scream. Well at least in terms of slashers. With it being Halloween and all I thought it was apt to bring you a review of the 1996 Wes Craven classic. Whether you are a fan or the horror genre or not I’d be surprised if you hadn’t been exposed to some of the quotes from this movie or a Ghostface imitation! It’s pretty iconic and loads of fun. So sit back, relax and enjoy my review – just make sure you don’t answer the phone!
Drew Barrymore was meant to play the lead role, Sidney Prescott, in this movie however things didn’t quite work out and she wasn’t able to commit to the role. However, it wasn’t all bad news as Barrymore managed to scoop herself a minor role in the opening of the movie. The result was fantastic and thanks to this casting change Scream boasts probably the most memorable opening to a horror film ever. The rest of the cast is impressive too and the intentional collection of well known female actresses including Barrymore, Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell was intended to gain larger female audiences. Alongside them include names such as David Arquette and Henry Winkler amongst a host of younger actors and actresses. The performances are largely very fitting for this film and they portray the array of characters very well. The characters are well written and interesting, the innocent virgin, the mysterious boyfriend, the nerd, the blonde with big boobs. These characters mainly fulfill the stereotypes that Scream sets out to make fun off but it also creates other roles such as the career driven and intrusive news reporter, the naive police deputy and deceased characters whose personalities are hard to pin down. The result was a fantastic ensemble of characters that you actually didn’t want to see get butchered, well some of them.
With cast and characters assembled Scream is all set to unleash its slasher self-awareness on its audiences. Simultaneously creating terror and suspense whilst also mocking the horror classics that have come before it. Fans of the horror genre will enjoy the non-stop references and rules that these older horror films create and its clear that these are so essential for making Scream a success. Slashers boast the kind of horror I like the best, they most definitely create tension, suspense and dread but never the kind to leave you scarred. I’ve no doubt that when I see Ghostface jump up at a window I will jump a mile but it won’t stop me watching because it’s not so terrifying, its the kind of scared that I don’t mind being. The film is full of these moments and of course the now widely unpopular jump scares but I think these are perfect for the slasher genre. If I’m being over critical of the film it’s sharp wit and clever satire does come slightly undone in the finale and if you think too hard about certain aspects you’ll end up scratching your head. However this could just be seen as further satire of the genre. Nonetheless the film is unrelentingly fun throughout which makes up for the minor flaws.
Scream is the ultimate slasher in my eyes and proof as to why the late great Wes Craven truly was the master of horror. Perfect material for a spooky Halloween marathon, Scream has laughs, jumps and screams! With a now iconic villain joining the ranks of Freddy, Jason and Michael, Ghostface is a brillaint creation and never fails to be entertaining. The sequels even have some merit to them as well, usually unheard of for the genre. So if you’re stuck for inspiration this Halloween take a trip to Woodsboro and relive or discover for the first time the bloody brilliance of Scream!
Rating – 9/10