Scream ★★★★

The pull quote on the cover says, "Clever, Hip, And Sexy!" And it's definitely Clever enough. (But who am I to say what's Hip or Sexy?) At the very least, it brags about the greatness of horror aficionados, who may historically be one of the truest subgroups of cinephiles. They don't just love their movies, they know them through and through: the codes, the clichés, the tropes, the rhythms, and all quite consciously. And my impression of horror fans is that they don't need big budgets and convincing effects to appreciate a great film—or even a great story. To some extent, the quality of a horror film lies in the quantity of blood it sheds and how faithfully it abides by its conventions. Scream purports to subvert one or two of those conventions, but knowingly, as tribute. I'm no horror guy, but I can (and did) applaud the way the killer's robed body is both impervious to injury and also downright clumsy in every single scene. Or the never-ending citations and trivia from horror classics. Or mentions of "Wes Carpenter" and hyper self-reflexivity of life-is-a-movie-so-let's-watch-ourselves-live-it. It's oddly fitting that the original title of this was "Scary Movie," a title eventually used for what (I'm guessing) was a far inferior attempt to poke fun at a respectable genre.

Oh and PS: Cinephilia is closely linked with sociopathy, which is fun.

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