This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
tay🌴’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
"No, please don't kill me, Mr. Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel!"
Although I personally prefer his work on Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream doubles down on Wes Craven being a master of the slasher flick. He just knew how to make them so fun, while still giving the audience a lot of respect.
Usually character drama between kills can be a drag in these movies, but it's actually a massive highlight for me in Scream. This is easily my favorite cast of characters in a slasher film. The characters, while a bit cheesy, just feel so full of life. The whole cast does a great job at making us actually care about them. We only see Casey (Drew Barrymore) for about fifteen minutes, and we're still heartbroken when she's killed because it felt like she was an actual person, even in such a short amount of time. Neve Campbell kills it as Sidney Prescott, easily feeling like a person who could survive this situation and out smart the killer - a perfect final girl.
The comedy in Scream is killer. The script is incredibly tight, the one liners feeling funny and cool constantly. Matthew Lillard and Courtney Cox are big stand outs for their comedic performances. I also find it hilarious how much Ghostface gets his asskicked, beers tossed at his face, all the pratfalls... I've noticed Craven likes to beat up his horror icons quite a bit, and I love it lol.
While Scream is in a lot of ways a satire, when it does tackle the horror and drama, it does it better than most of the genre it's parodying. The iconic opening scene actually terrified me when I first saw it. The entire third act is amazing at building tension, perfrctly paced between chases and kills, it kicks ass and gets your adrenaline going. I could easily see a crowd having a blast in a theater.
I haven't even gotten around to the genius Ghostface reveal. Most people easily suspect Billy or Stu separately, but never think that there are actually two killers. It's a brilliant twist, and makes the movie much more rewatchable, trying to guess who killed who.
This is the movie that saved slashers. As fun as they were, there really needed to be some fresh air brought into the genre. This made the slasher flick something to be excited for again, feeling poor actual events. But in a way this also ruined slashers at the same time, because nothing new was able to top this. I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legends both tried to capture the wit and fun, but could never be as refreshing.
Wes Cravens playful meta horror will forever be a classic, and always a massive comfort film to me. Going to be falling asleep to this in the VCR all month.