"Scream" Film Review

Scream (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

"Scream" Film Review

Rating: 5/5

By: Nathaniel Simpson

    In 1996, Wes Craven rejuvenated the slasher genre with his groundbreaking film, "Scream". Set in a world where the slasher films run rampant and dominate the teen society, this film follows a group of young adults trying to escape a horror fanatic slasher known as "Ghostface". 

    Our characters aren't unique to the slasher genre, yet they are more lovable compared to the teenagers in other horror films. From Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), who is a badass with past trauma to lovable Dewey (David Arquette), who is a deputy down at the police station and the brother to Sidney's friend Tatum (Rose McGowan). 

    This film is unique compared to most of the other slashers as it provides character to the killer. He stalks his prey before striking them by calling them on the phone, and either attempts to scare his victim or to quiz them on classic horror movies. Also, unlike most horror films, we are guessing at who this killer is. We never find out the identity of the villain until the end of the movie, unlike knowing who Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees is. 

    The twists and turns are actually quite surprising, and leaves the viewer guessing from beginning to end on who the real identity of our villain is. Once the viewer thinks they guessed the killer, there is a huge twist and they are second guessing everything they thought before about our characters. 

    Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes in the slasher genre is the first scene of this film, where Drew Barrymore's character Casey Becker is being hunted by Ghostface. We watch for almost fifteen minutes as this psychopath stalks her while on the phone. He ends up killing both her and her boyfriend Steve (Kevin Patrick Walls) in one of the best scenes in any slasher film. It is well shot, with great direction from Craven and acting from Barrymore. The cinematography makes it feel very suffocating and no matter how gruesome the scene is, the viewer can't divert their eyes from the screen. 

    One thing I personally love about this film is how self-aware it is. The characters joke and make side comments toward the horror movie genre as a whole. They don't take the killer seriously as they all have seen one too many horror movies, but most of them end up dead by the time the movie is over. This movie is unique as it is not really scary, but you can't say it's satirical as well. It finds a perfect balance of both, which makes this movie one of the best slashers ever made.