Saturday, October 31, 2009
A Movie A Day: Scream is a ...well uh a scream
Wes Craven 1996's horror film Scream is a wonderful homage to all the slasher flicks before it. Written by Kevin Williamson of Dawson's Creek fame with an ironic twist and respect for older horror films, most notably Halloween, Psycho, and Friday the 13th. Set in a small sleepy town in California, Scream begins with a hell of a 10 minute opening sequence which has a young girl home alone (wonderfully played by Drew Barrymore) who is being harassed by a twisted phone caller. Things get really scary when said caller shows up at her house. From that beginning, Scream continues with a steady pace of thrills and scares and humor. Our heroine of the film is Sidney (a fresh faced Neve Campbell) who is dealing with the 1 year anniversary of her mom's murder. She manages to survive a first encounter with the killer, who manages to hack up everyone else in sight. What makes Scream works for me is the self aware attitude most of the characters have especially Sidney and one her friends, video geek Randy (played with relish by Jamie Kennedy). There is plenty of gore and blood to be found in this film but it is balanced with well timed humor and much respect for previous horror movies. The supporting cast is top notch especially Courtney Cox (playing news reporter Gail Weathers) She looks fantastic and her character will no way remind you of Monica from Friends. Gail is a different kind of animal. Her future husband David Arquette is inept deputy Dewey, and Arquette nails his performance perfectly. Rose McGowan is a hoot as Sidney's hot-to-trot friend Tatum. Henry Winkler is actually pretty good as the principal. Skeet Ulrich is kinda creepy as Sidney's boyfriend. But it's Neve Campbell who rocks the most as Sidney. She goes from bereaving daughter to stand up woman who holds her own against the killer. Scream was a surprise smash when it hit theaters in December 1996. I remembering the audience being totally jacked up for it too. A worthy sequel followed one year later that was nearly as good as this one. Less said about the third chapter the better, even though it did have its moments. But Scream is a perfect way to wind down the Halloween season. If you have never seen it I suggest checking out the whole trilogy just to be complete.
Phone Voice: Do you like scary movies?
Sidney Prescott: What's the point they're all the same, some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door, it's insulting.