Scream ★★★½

With a killer opening and a killer ending, Wes Craven's Scream is both a great reinvention and critique of the horror genre with a hilarious but careful examination of the dumb clichés, tropes, and exaggerations in slasher films. While the middle segments lacked the power to sustain the energy of the iconic opening sequence—which is probably one of the strongest openings I have seen in a film—the third act's wacky twists and batshit crazy bloodshed brought back the intensity and concluded the film in a very smart and entertaining way. The strong and colorful characters are played with wit by a dedicated acting ensemble. The score is supposed to be brash and overblown yet it manages to amplify both the humor and the terror effectively.

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