Thursday, September 3, 2009

#60 - Scream

Scream (1996)
Moderately Trashy

Directed by: Wes Craven. Written by: Kevin Williamson.

Plot: Post-slasher movie about a girl (Neve Campbell) who is stalked by a slasher who quizzes his victims on slasher movie knowledge. She must discover the identity of the slasher before she and all of her friends are slashed to death.

Review: This is the movie which should have killed slasher films. Actually, Nightmare on Elm Street should have killed slasher films (sparing us all of the crap made in the late eighties. I don't really like slasher movies all that much, truth be told), New Nightmare should have killed it again, and this movie should have put a final bullet in the head just to make sure it was dead.

It goes about pointing out (albeit lovingly) how stupid, unoriginal and dead the slasher film is (and the fact that they spoofed it in Scary Movie just goes to show that movie was totally redundant and kind of missed the point).

Unfortunately, this did not kill slasher movies, just opened up the genre which I like to call post-slasher (or metaslashers if you want to get fancy, which I really don't) and inspired dozens of obnoxious imitators. Thanks a lot.

However, the movie is still fun to watch and very clever (almost too clever for its own good), just as long as you are well acquainted with the slasher sub-genre (which, God have mercy, I am). It uses all of the clich├ęs, and answers the question all of us have asked while watching Friday the Thirteenth part 27 or whatever: “haven’t they fucking seen Halloween?” The answer is, finally, yes.

That’s sort of the gimmick of the movie but it makes for an extremely entertaining flick, practically designed to make people like me feel smug. We sit around and laugh and say, “Haha, at last, losers like us have been acknowledged”. I guess. Or maybe that’s just me. But whatever.

The movie tends to be a little bit obnoxious at times, but makes up for it on many levels including script that doesn’t suck, actors who don’t suck and a budget which doesn’t suck which is way more than the average slasher movie has on hand. It’s also the movie that made me like Wes Craven (Note: Last House on the Left is the movie that made me not like Wes Craven).

And it’s got Liev Schreiber in it so that automatically makes it at least 25% better. I love that man. His voice alone is amazing. The fact that he is not in every movie brings my heart immense sorrow.

Favourite Part: The movie buff (Jamie Kennedy), who lists the rules for surviving a teen slasher flick, as well as adding lots of other useful insights and annoying the hell out of everybody. He is totally my kind of guy.

Other versions: None (but, you know, once they finish remaking everything from the eighties…).

Sequels: Scream 2 and 3, though clever in their own rights, were still sort of inferior and tarnished this movie’s memory. They did, however, point out how much sequels usually suck so its not all bad…

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