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Where in the Horror are they Now? Kevin Williamson!

04.25.2017by: JimmyO

scream drew barrymore kevin williamson wes craven horror slasher scream 2 scream 3 scream 4

KEVIN WILLIAMSON

THEN: If you’ve been reading this column, you may be painfully aware of my love for slasher flicks. Nothing pleases me more when a modern filmmaker pays a little homage to the glory of the late Seventies and early Eighties. Sure sometimes it comes across as lazy and uninspired, but when it works… Glorious. One of the most successful examples is certainly the SCREAM franchise. While the last two didn’t impress as much, each sequel offered a few great moments. However, the first two perfectly borrowed from the early genre flicks, including the obvious HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH mentions, but even a smaller film like HE KNOWS YOU’RE ALONE was given a little love. SCREAM was so big, it ultimately inspired a television series, and now everybody knows who “Ghostface” is.

Wes Craven did wonders with the SCREAM franchise. It was wild, wicked and very clever, and visually a thrill to witness. However, we wouldn’t still be talking about SCREAM had it not been for Kevin Williamson. So today, we look back at the impressive career of this talented dude. And since it was horror that gave our man his big break, let’s start with SCREAM. In 1996, the world expected to see Drew Barrymore headline a huge genre flick. What we actually got was even better. This sly feature reveled in references and perfected the ironic horror flick. The dialogue is sharp and funny, and when it needs to be, holy hell does this one get intense. This was far from just another generic slasher movie, and both critics and audiences agreed.

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After a huge success with the original SCREAM. Another script from Kevin had the big screen treatment, and frankly I loved it. Sure, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (1997) had its detractors. After all, you make the slasher flick to end all slasher flicks by breaking down the cliches and stereotypes, only to make a basic slasher movie?? Well, for me it worked. This cool little movie was sort of the very definition of a CW fright flick around the time that was becoming a thing - lots of hot, young and pretty people in genre specific entertainment. However, that wasn’t a bad thing. I still remember the night I caught this movie, and how much I wanted to see a certain talent survive. At least they gave her a fantastic chase sequence, and it was kind of fun to see Sarah Michelle Gellar out of Buffy mode.

When you have two successful horror flicks in a row, you’ll probably be asked to do more. So there was not a single surprise when Kevin and Wes returned for SCREAM 2. And frankly, there are days when I think I enjoy this sequel better than the first. That car wreck scene is absolutely horrific and brilliant. Unfortunately, the writer did not fully return for SCREAM 3 - this one was penned by Ehren Kruger. That said, Mr. Williamson had a cool idea to take on another form of genre with the underrated gem THE FACULTY in 1998. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the writer made great use of this INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS/THE THING type story. With sparkling performances and a fun finale, it was clear that Williamson knew his stuff when it came to giving the audience a scare and a laugh.

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After his impressive introduction to the world of spooks, Williamson also directed TEACHING MRS. TINGLE from his own script. It didn’t work. That said, this only brought him closer to something he has become quite successful at… creating television shows. There was the short-lived Wasteland in 1999, as well as Glory Days in 2002. And then there's Dawson’s Creek. This popular series lasted from 1998 - 2003 and let’s face it, everybody loved Dawson! But you know what they didn’t love? That would be the unexceptional CURSED in 2005. While it had the winning combination of Craven and Williamson, it was fueled by problems and setbacks. Ultimately the film suffered and so did the audience. However, Kevin wasn’t even close to finished.

Not everybody loved SCREAM 4. For me, it had just enough to bring back a little nostalgia for the original, but that finale was a bit disappointing for this fan. With that said, it wasn’t a bad way to end the big screen iteration of the franchise. And a nice way to remember the legendary Craven. Of course, that wasn’t the end of SCREAM for Kevin, he is credited on Scream: The TV Series (though he didn't actually write any of it). Add to that, he is the creator of the television series’ Stalker (2014 - 15), The Following (2013 - 2015) and a little something called The Vampire Diaries (2009 - 17).  The man apparently loves to keep himself busy.

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NOW: What is Kevin Williamson up to today? Well if you are looking for a bit of time travel goodness, you can catch the ABC series Time After Time, which Williamson developed. The new show stars Freddie Stroma, Josh Bowman and one of my favorite people, the lovely Genesis Rodgriguez. And when it comes to returning to major motion pictures, he is working on a remake of the Curtis Hansen thriller THE BEDROOM WINDOW - the 1987 version starred Steve Guttenberg, Elizabeth McGovern and Isabelle Huppert. Also listed on his IMDb page is a thriller in development called SHADOWS, as well as an untitled comedy pilot and untitled thriller. Either way the man is pretty freaking busy.

I’ll always appreciate Kevin Williamson for being partially responsible for bringing slasher flicks back. Clearly he has more stories to tell than just ones about a knife-wielding maniac, but I’ll always love and respect his contribution to the world of genre. Hell, he even had a bit of say as the co-executive producer on the under appreciate HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER - I seem to remember rumors that he was involved with the script more than he was given credit for. If you’d like to see what this fine gent is up to, you can follow him on Twitter here. I’d personally like to thank the guy for helping make horror so damn cool, and I'll always remember what you did last summer... and the summer before that and so on and so on! Thank for the scares Mr. Williamson.

Extra Tidbit: [Voice of Ghostface] Do you like scary movies? Which is your favorite Kevin Williamson flick?
Source: AITH

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