Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
The 90s slasher flick that defined a generation.
"What's your favorite scary movie?"
Since I was never exposed to the great slasher franchises of the 80s as a kid, Scream was my introduction. Which is funny to think about now, since Director Wes Craven crafted it to include so many self-aware tropes that poke fun at the genre. But I had no clue about all of that at the time, and I just enjoyed watching each entry of the popular franchise. Fun Fact: the last two Halloweens I went out trick-or-treating, I dressed up in the iconic Mr. Ghost Face costume.
(Quick Hits) ... Spoilers:
- The opening premise works great with how the killer repeatedly calls the targeted victim on the phone and plays mind games with them, before suddenly raising the tension when the killer becomes more threatening
- Why does Drew Barrymore's character keep answering the phone? The end of the opening sequence is the most twisted part of the movie, with how her parents hearing her bleeding out on the phone, and then finding her all cut up and hung from a tree
- Henry Winkler has an interesting role as the very intense principal. And there are several great additions to the cast like Courteney Cox, Rose McGowan, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, and Matthew Lillard
- I liked Neve Campbell back when I first saw this, but in retrospect her character Sidney is pretty bland
- I am not really one to want to try and figure out who the killer is ahead of time. But in hindsight, they really shove them in your face for the whole movie
- I always remembered liking Jamie Kennedy's character, with him explaining the rules of surviving a horror movie. But now I see that he mostly comes off as this big spaz
- I think the story could have been much more effective if it would have shown flashbacks or something of Sidney's mom. But instead, we are just told she was murdered a year ago, which makes that part of the plot feel disconnected
- That would suck to hear someone talking such major trash about you in the bathroom
- The Mr. Ghost face killer showing up randomly in public areas does work to increase the scare count, but it does not really make much sense for him to be so out in the open
- For me, I always considered Rose McGowan's character to be the hot one. So the scene where she gets cornered in the garage is another one of the best moments, with her getting caught and killed in the garage doggie door
- I think all the Mr. Ghost face attack scenes are a lot of fun and intense, but wow does it get to be funny with how often he gets hit or runs into things in the process
- I don't miss those bulky tube televisions one bit, and unfortunately my wife still has one in our room that works
- I guess I was probably surprised that there were two killers the first time I saw this. But the motive being that her mom caused one of the killer's parents to split up, seems a bit tacked on. Plus the Dad disappearing but also being a prime suspect is a bit contrived
- I thought there was more about Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary in this one, but I guess that is mostly in part two
- And per the trope of many movies, the bad guys spend way to much time talking at the end, to give someone the chance to show up and take them out
So by no means is Scream a great horror movie. But it is made up of so many memorable elements, that found their way into popular culture which make it so special. Plus it is still a fun scary watch.
Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... Cheers!