Scream ★★★★

Yes this is the first time I’ve ever seen Scream and yes I know that’s absolutely insane, but, alas, here we are. I can’t imagine the breath of fresh air this must’ve been on release, its twisted charm and parodic nature paying honorary tribute to an entire era of cult-horror. With a delightful pool of cinematic reference, this chilly, small-town tale begs the question much more than your average slasher; what’s your favourite scary movie? For me, it slips in and out of The Exorcist, The ShiningThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Rosemary’s Baby, so of course Wes Craven’s tendency to go full-throttle on the garishly heightened characters naturally tests my underlying desire for realism. I’d take this over A Nightmare on Elm Street purely for what it manages to do with a form which was so hopelessly tired by this point, but it’ll never meet the traumatising heights of Friedkin or Hooper. There’s almost more comedy in this than there is horror, with an opening ten minutes that pops like hot popcorn on a sizzling stove, but a teetering closing scene which only just takes it out of the realm of near-perfection, stamping down its mark as an essential October viewing all the same.

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