Film: Scream

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Film:

Scream

Director: Wes Craven
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: Walt Disney Video

With the smash hit Scream, novice screenwriter Kevin Williamson and veteran horror director Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) revived the moldering corpse of the teen horror picture, both creatively and commercially, by playfully acknowledging the exhausted clichés and then turning them inside out. Scream is a postmodern slasher movie, a horror film that cleverly deconstructs horror films, then reassembles the dead tissue, and (like Frankenstein’s monster) creates new life. When a serial killer starts hacking up their fellow teens, the…

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Amazon.com

With the smash hit Scream, novice screenwriter Kevin Williamson and veteran horror director Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) revived the moldering corpse of the teen horror picture, both creatively and commercially, by playfully acknowledging the exhausted clichés and then turning them inside out. Scream is a postmodern slasher movie, a horror film that cleverly deconstructs horror films, then reassembles the dead tissue, and (like Frankenstein’s monster) creates new life. When a serial killer starts hacking up their fellow teens, the media-savvy youngsters of Scream realize that the smartest way of sticking around for the sequel is to avoid the terminal behaviors that inevitably doom supporting players in the movies. They’ve seen all the movies, and the rules of the genre are like second nature to them. One of the scariest/funniest setups features a kid watching John Carpenter’s seminal Halloween on video. As Jamie Lee Curtis is shadowed by Michael Meyers and the kid on the couch yells at her to turn around, Craven reverses his camera and we see that the kid should be taking his own advice. The fresh-faced young cast (including Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette) is fun to watch, and their tart dialogue is sprinkled with enough archly self-conscious pop-culture references to make Quentin Tarantino blush. The digital video disc includes an audio commentary by director Craven. —Jim Emerson

Related Works

Film:Scream 2

Scream 2

Wes Craven

Fully aware of its status as the sequel to the surprise hit thriller of 1996, this lively follow-up trades freshness for familiarity, playing on our affection for returning characters while obeying—and then subverting—the “rules” of sequels. Once again, movie references are cleverly employed to draw us into the story, which takes place two years after the events of Scream, at a small Ohio college, where the Scream survivors reunite when another series of mysterious killings begins. Capitalizing on the guesswork involving a host of potential…

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