Scream (1996) Movie Review
Written by: JM
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Producers: Cathy Konrad, Cary Woods
Date Released: December 20, 1996
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
David Arquette as Dewey Riley
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis
Matthew Lillard as Stu Macher
Jamie Kennedy as Randy Meeks
Rose McGowan as Tatum Riley
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Sidney Prescott’s mom was the victim of a horrible murder a year ago which is a case that the Woodsboro media has been endlessly obsessing over. However, things start getting worse for Sid when she and her schoolmates start receiving strange phone calls from a horror movie savvy man before attempting to murder them. This killer wears a black robe and a white mask that imitates the famous Scream painting. Now, Sydney and her friends must find the killer’s identity before he finishes all of them one-by-one.
The gore effects used in the film show the perfect amount of restraint. They are brutal but never excessive. There is a copious amount of stage blood spilled throughout the picture but the viewer is not subjected to anything too graphic. The body count is perfect. Unlike a lot of slasher films, Scream leaves more than just a survivor girl standing.
The Grave Review
Scream revitalizes the ‘90s horror film. It is arguably the best horror picture of the decade in which it was released. Wes Craven has made noteworthy contributions to the horror genre that span the course of four decades and Scream is one of his biggest accomplishments. He revitalized the slasher film genre when it was at its lowest point. Horror fans have Craven to thank for breathing new life into the genre when it was near dead.
Scream (1996) wouldn’t be what it is without a well-done script. The screenplay is responsible for creating a cast of extremely likable characters that the audience instantly becomes invested in. The script also offers ample twists and turns with a whodunit or mystery-like story line. Scream is one of the first horror films to adopt this effective approach to storytelling. The film takes a closer look at horror cinema. It pokes fun at the clichés the genre is known for while simultaneously playing into almost every single one of them.
Wes Craven’s Scream boasts an amazing cast of talented young performers that deliver inspired performances under Craven’s keen direction. Casting Drew Barrymore in a small role not only proved that anything could happen in this unpredictable slasher, it also helped to revitalize Barrymore’s career. Neve Campbell is brilliantly cast in the lead role and serves as somewhat of a Laurie Strode for the next generation of horror fans. The supporting roles are also expertly assigned. Jamie Kennedy is terrific as Randy, the horror film obsessed video store clerk. And Rose McGowan is outstanding as Sydney’s sarcastic best friend.
Scream (1996) is also interesting in that it predicts what would be an incoming generation so obsessed with media violence to the point that we’ve blurred the line between real violence and entertainment. It’s very evident not only in the manner in which it is executed but also in the Gale Riley character, whose obsession with murder details pushes her to cross lines people don’t normally cross.
Overall, the film is actually memorable with well-developed characters, it’s nice to see some of them still standing at the end of the film. It’s a film that goes beyond mere entertainment and dives deep into analysis of public psyche, all the while not losing the fun that comes with watching horror films.
Because of the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Scream (1996) three graves out of five graves.
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