Directed by Wes Craven; Written by Kevin Williamson
Scream is a film that drastically changed the horror genre. The film is self aware in a way that allows for a more realistic slasher experience while satirizing cliches from the past. The plot is rather simple: one year following the slaying of her mother, Sidney becomes the seeming obsession of a killer picking off teenagers one by one.
Scream is a difficult film to review. With that being said, any review of this film is likely to get caught up in the historical significance and not provide an accurate account of the film itself (this review included). There are so many things going on in this film that it’s difficult to choose where to begin.
Wes Craven should be commended on a job well done; not only is Scream an effective slasher film, it is able to turn the genre on its head and crack several jokes along the way, often at Craven’s expense. One scene in particular exemplifies this: Sidney and her friend are talking on the porch when the camera zooms to the woods where the villain pops out for a second as he runs between trees. Though this scene is rather odd and provides amusement, it hints at the audience of a bloodbath to come.
This film did so many things well that they often overshadow the flaws, which were rather minor yet affect the film’s tone. These include awkward camera angles and several of the comedic diversions. Though meta-gags have their appeal to fans of the genre, their novelty is diminished somewhat nearing the film’s conclusion.
The acting was well executed. Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy, and Matthew Lillard all deliver great performances.
Scream remains a great film that provides an effective critique of the slasher subgenre and enough action to appease newcomers.