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Scream (1996)
 
   
 Directed by: Wes Craven
 Starring: Neve Campbell/Sydney
Courteney Cox/Gale
Skeet Ulrich/Billy
Matthew Lillard/Stu
 
RATING

PLOT-CRUNCH:


Someone has seen way too many horror flicks and is going on a killing spree (no, it's not me). The joys of being a teen are cut short… slash slash slash!

  

THE LOWDOWN:


It was bound to happen and now here it is. A film written by a horror fan (Kevin Williamson) deconstructing the many rules/habits of the genre. Horror pop culture fans will love this puppy. Will you pick up the many nods to Halloween, Nightmare On Elm Street or Psycho? I did and won't ruin them for you here, spot them yourself.

What makes this film even extra special is that it accomplishes more than simply referencing the genre, it also manages to be a scary, engrossing whodunit. The many stalk sequences will grab you by the balls and your head will hurt from trying to figure out who the culprit is.

The characters are also a big PLUS. They're all well developed and more importantly well played. The chemistry is on and they make the film an even more enjoyable viewing.

A complaint: That scene where the killer is seen in the grocery store spying on the girls in full costume. Why would the killer follow them in full costume (in the daytime)? Why is he spying on them? Why doesn't the scene lead anywhere? The killer's presence is unnecessary and pointless.

Another one: The killer is a tad clumsy (he's no Michael Myers) and gets his ass kicked way too easily…but that's just me being picky.

Scream is an all around good time with great dialogue and an ending that stabs hard. Everybody is a suspect here and that gives way to a steady flow of tension. In the 80s, Nightmare On Elm Street gave the genre a new lease on life. In the 90s, it's Scream. POUCCA!!!
 
    

ACTING:


Neve Campbell (Sydney) is perfect as the virginal teen. All is expressed through her big brown eyes. Courteney Cox (Gale) is very effective as the determined reporter. Skeet Ulrich (Billy) looks exactly like Johnny Depp and Craven uses that to reference his own Nightmare On Elm Street. Ulrich has more sex appeal than all the girls in the film put together…and I'm straight!!!! Matthew Lillard (Stu) is all over the place as the kooky dude. He's hilarious! Jamie Kennedy (Randy) works as the film nut who knows everything about the genre but nothing about getting laid. Rose McGowan (Tatum) lets her breasts do the acting…great acting! David Arquette (Dewey) is adorable as the well meaning dim wit. Drew Barrymore (Casey) dies very well. Henry Winkler (Principal Henry) shows up for an amusing extended cameo.
 

GORE:


This movie bleeds and doesn't shy away from the red stuff. It's actually very brutal at times. Ever wanted to see Drew Barrymore get it? Here's your chance.
   

T & A:


Someone forgot to tell Craven that the slasher movies this one references showed tits. Where are they at? The sexiness of the film is strictly over the clothes stuff. They don't break the underwear rule.
   

DIRECTING:


Craven knows. His years of experience in the genre are put to great use here. He gets great performances out of his cast, delivers on the tension front and even manages to slip in a few groovy shots. Grade A.
   

SOUNDTRACK:


The score is bleak, powerful and fits the many moods of the film. I loved it! The soundtrack has enough gnarly pop/rock tunes to get your feet tapping.
   

BOTTOM LINE:


Scream is the real thing. It's smart, witty, suspenseful, well written and well acted. I'm sure it sent a bunch of new fans to the video store to check out all of the old classics. It's also the genre staple for the 90s. Forget the countless imitators and see this one again…trust me…It's a screamer!!
 

BULL'S EYE:


I'll give up one reference and that's it: The number 10 jersey that Rose McGowan wears is very similar to the jersey Johnny Depp wore in Nightmare On Elm Street. Craven, you dirty dog…

The scene with the killer in the supermarket was actually longer in an early version of the film. It had the killer following the girls outside, listening in on Sydney and Tatum's conversation (Tatum disses Stu's sexual talents). It actually gives motive for the killer dispatching Tatum later on in the film. The scene was cut short to keep with the clocking time (should've cut the whole scene all together). Thanks to Karen from the UK for the heads up on this tidbit of info!

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The Way The Arrow Points...

   
 I’d BUTCHER my family to see this again
 HANG me but I dug it a lot
 An ok way to KILL two hours
 Just sling an ARROW in my head and let me die in peace

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