Scream 1996

This film exemplifies every single thing that is wrong with the horror genre, from the fresh teen cast to the bright cinematography to the clumsy, harmless killer to the fast-cut editing to the banal directing to the complete and utter lack of style or atmosphere to the forgettable action movie score to the references to other horror movies without having anything memorable in and of itself to the ridiculous amount of forced comedy to the unbelievable sequences to the characters that we have zero reason to care for...and to top it all off, it spawned countless imitators that are even worse!

This is the opposite of horror. This is anti-horror. That means 'not horror at all'. Then what the hell is it? It *tries* to be horror, but everything mentioned above prevents it from going in that direction. It tries to be funny, but never commits to the comedy, so we're left with a bunch of scenes that don't know whether to be funny or scary, and end up being neither.

It starts off with a complete rip-off of the opening of When A Stranger Calls, which is *actually* frightening. In this movie, it comes off as a parody. Perhaps that was the point of the movie all along, but that fails to explain the scenes in the movie that are taken seriously. What is going on here? What kind of movie do you want to be?

The characters are all boring, lifeless, generic, dull, stupid, lame, flat, one-dimensional nobodies, so good fucking luck asking me to care about any one of them. I wanted to see Rose McGowan live for two obvious reasons, but apart from that...*fart noise*

And what was up with that killer? The mask was decidedly pretty awesome, but that's where it ends. I understand that the inept writer and overrated director wanted to turn the horror trope of the invincible killer on its head, but they want waaaaaaaay too far. This guy falls over at the drop of a hat! It was like watching a quadriplegic ice-skating for the first time. Tone it down, folks. Less is more.

And why in the blue hell was he running around the grocery store in full costume in broad daylight?

If you search youtube for "anticlimactic", you'll find a video of the killer's big reveal at the end of this movie. How is it supposed to come as a shock or have any impact whatsoever if no motive was previously set-up, apart from some pasted-in soap opera nonsense that feels made-up on the spot? That's just lazy writing that doesn't feel organic to the story in any way at all.

People like to call this movie "influential", but nobody can name one positive thing it has done for cinema. It gave us shit like Valentine. Gee, thanks. It reminded us of how great old horror movies are. Guess what? I already know how great those movies are! I don't need someone to remind me about them! I already get it, jack! That makes you obsolete!

One star for Rose McGowan. The rest of this movie can shampoo my crotch.

4 Comments

  • As much as I love A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven is a god-awful director.

  • He's certainly not above average, but I thought he did a good job with Red Eye.

  • ok question. You talked in your review how scream can't seem to decide between being a straight forward Horror movie or being a parody. What you have to remmber is horror, especially the slasher genre was in the crapper at that point. it was getting tiring to see the same old thing in ever horror movie when most of the fans new the "rules" of horror. What they did was to create a movie where the characters relized their in a horror movie situation. The bit at the beggining is meant to be the first of many omages not rip off. And plus that wasn't even the first slasher film where the killer calls the victim before attacking. Black Christmas in 74 did it before When a stranger calls. The horror and comedy thing you meantioned, I would say look at something like Gremlins, there's things that are comedic about it and things that could be considered horror. It's the middle ground between something like Halloween which is a straight foward horror film meant to scare and and the horror comedy like Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Scream was also an attempt to make a slasher film that could happen in the real world. Again most of the ones that where coming out in the last 10-15 years before that had supernatural killers that haunted teens in their nightmares or zombie mentally challenged killers in the woods. Even Halloween which is mostly believable has a supernatural aspect to it. Scream is basically a horror movie about "what would happen if a fan of the horror genre also happend to be insane and recreated the movies to the best of their ability in real life" So when Ghostface falls over and stuff it's because in real life it kinda hard to run around in a crazy costume like that espeically with a mask on cause it's hard to see.

  • I'm not going to look at Gremlins, or Black Christmas, or Halloween, or Killer Klowns, or any other film if I want to judge the merits of Scream in and of themselves. And I did just that. And I found that the film does not work. It tries to work, like those that you mentioned, but it doesn't. It's not funny and it's not frightening. It's nothing. It's just self-aware crap that desperately wants you to think it's being smart.

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