Scream ★★★★½

Watched the "giallo cut," a fan-edit that attempts to reimagine Scream as a giallo from the '70s and '80s rather than a slasher very much from the '90s. Its greatest virtue is in largely replacing the Marco Beltrami score with (mostly) Goblin music. Beltrami's score for this movie is, if not my least favorite horror sound track ever, at the very least my least favorite soundtrack from a horror movie I otherwise really like. I despise his soundtrack. Goblin, however, writes music that is good. It's a no-brainer. Even when the Goblin tunes don't quite fit the mood of the scene, they fit a lot better than the original score which is just shrieks and glissandi without melody. God I hate that score.

The other edits range from splicing in some psychosexual flashbacks which make no sense and only make it even more giallo-y, adding some nude shots (of other actors, of course, with faces obscured) where the original staunchly avoids it, and cutting mostly minor moments—with the exception of all references to the slasher "rules." It makes sense, though the giallo has a similar distrust in female sexuality that the slasher does (an even greater distrust than the slasher, I'd say), it doesn't make sense for it to have the same "you have to be a virgin" rule. It was just sad because I love all that "rules" nonsense. All in all, it's a fun cut. If you can get it, I'd recommend giving it a watch, I was really entertained.

Scream itself I just really love. I loved loved loved this movie until about 7 or so years ago, when I all of a sudden kind of soured on it. Not ultra-soured, just started to get bored with it. Very happily, though, over the past five or so years I have slowly started rehabilitating Scream in my mind and I'm back to full-bore loving it. (I think the impetus was likely Wes Craven's death. I already loved Craven and his work but his death caused me to reevaluate it and realize that I love it even more than I had previously realized, there's a good chance he's my favorite horror filmmaker now and I don't think he was top three even five years ago.) I've stopped being annoyed with the movie references because, well, I talk like that a lot. It's hyper-stylized but it still feels real to me. Maybe only after seeing how much of my coronavirus response has been rooted in these same kinds of references, making jokes about zombie movies or rewatching The Crazies and stuff, that in many ways the horror genre is how I understand and work through the horrors of the world and that I experience, the meta stuff in this movie feels to me less and less satirical. Which maybe reflects poorly on me! But moving on...the only teen movie reference that really takes me aback still is Tatum making the "What movie is this from, I Spit On Your Garage?" joke. Tatum is deeply not the movie buff of the group, the only real movie she's talked about up until then is All The Right Moves and only really at the hopeful prospect of seeing Tom Cruise's penis. Maybe I Spit On Your Grave has a greater cultural spread than I've previously realized, but I don't think a high schooler like Tatum would spin out that reference, even one who happens to be friends with Randy. A minor point and not even really a criticism, since I don't really care, but since everyone mentions being annoyed at the movie stuff but this is the only one that truly rings false I thought I had to mention it.

And when this thing gets moving it moves. I love the whole chase sequence, I can't think of many in the slasher genre that are more ambitious. It covers multiple characters and unlike, say, Friday the 13th 2, a great chase, that sees Ginny running from one location to the next, this one has Sidney circling back to old locations as she's alternately cornered, eventually driving everyone back into the house. Love it, just pure momentum the moment the final chase starts and into the credits.

Oh and I have to mention it. I started watching this because I just got the giallo cut, not because of the Scream 5 news that Neve Campbell might be joining it. I suspect I'm in the minority here but, as I've said before, I don't really want to see another Scream movie. I love all 4 (yes, I love 3) and have no doubt a 5th could be good in the right hands, but...Wes Craven directed all 4, and his fingerprints and style and worldview are all over them. What other horror franchise of an equivalent cultural status can you say that for? I really love Scream being Wes's, and Neve's and Courtney's and...I guess David's and Kevin's if you're feeling generous. I was okay with the MTV series, and even enjoyed some of it, because it was so disconnected, and so a Scream remake wouldn't bother me as much, I don't think, but I really kind of like having this series of four movies bound so heavily by the repeating cast and crew. I dunno, it's likely I'm just being some nostalgic old bastard who's unreasonably sad about a director's death from nearly five years ago, and I'm powerless about it, and I'll see any new installment either way, but I dunno. It feels special to me that this series, more so than The Hills Have Eyes or Elm Street even, belongs to Wes, and I'm not so sure I want it to be given up.

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