Jacob’s review published on Letterboxd:
Octoberthon: 31 Days of Horror (Day 9)
By some miracle if you haven’t seen this yet I’d like to acknowledge you before jumping into spoilers because the reasons why I adore this film cannot be expressed without spoilers. With that said, I won’t stay long since there should be no reason to stop reading and just see the most popular and successful horror film of all-time. There’s not much that hasn’t already been said on a technical level. It’s expertly directed by one of the most respected horror film directors of all-time (in his prime). It’s written by a writer who completely understands the genre. It’s performed by a standout cast who turned their roles into beloved, iconic fictional characters (especially you, Randy). It’s wonderfully composed by the highly underrated Marco Beltrami, who’s name I’ll be mentioning throughout this franchise. It’s legendary ten minute prologue that literally changed the game for the horror genre. Each and every technical component is here to make it a classic. It’s simply a love letter to horror fanatics across the globe and if you call yourself a horror fan then this is one you must watch. Now on with the spoilers.
As soon as the title card appeared on screen after seeing Drew Barrymore hanging and gutted from a tree, I knew then this was going to be a game changer in the slasher genre. To kill off basically your “it” girl in the first 10 mins is such a bold move in the writing and directing department. Wes and Kevin Williamson came in guns blazing (or should I say knife happy) with the way it sets up its characters, each distinctive in their own way BUT cleverly giving them a representation of every horror cliche character (with a twist) and the cast absolutely owns it.
Stu for an example represents the stoner, carefree, idiot who in my opinion is least expected to be the killer since he literally acts with no brains but Williamson’s genius script throws the viewer a huge curveball with him being one of the killers. I find Lillard’s comedic, whacky, over-the-top performance as Stu just as terrifying as he is amusing. HOT TAKE but I believe he was snubbed an Oscar nom for how hard he made me laugh while also being disturbingly demented but that’s just me (watch the last 20 mins and tell me I’m wrong). Another example is Randy played by the underrated Jamie Kennedy who also brings the laughs and wits. Randy is written as “the virgin” (which foreshadows his survival) or the nerd who falls for the lead girl and usually dies for it or in some cases is more than likely the killer out of spite or jealousy but here he’s the good guy and the smart one who is more than likely the only one who can survive this murder party (until Scream 2 shocked the world). I could go on and on about how each character fits the horror film stereotype but with Kevin’s script you don’t know when that character will “flip the script” and surprise you (which it does), well not for Rose McGowan’s character Tatum who is the “big breasted girl who can’t act, always trying to fit through a garage cat flap door when she should be running out the front door, it’s insulting”...(Williamson and Craven are simply geniuses)
60’s babies had Norman Bates, 70’s babies has Michael Myers, 80’s babies has Freddy Krueger, and us 90’s babies has Ghostface who is just as iconic as the ones I just mentioned, so I’m super excited to review these films again! These are the kind of horror films that I grew up with and always gets me in the mood for Halloween.
MAJOR BONUS POINTS for the song “First Cool Hive” by Moby is playing at the closing end before the ending credits and right after all the blood was shedded, which gave it a more bittersweet ending. Whoever decided to place that song at the end definitely has great taste in music.