Friday, September 23, 2022

REVIEW: Scream (live action movie)

Scream is a 1996 horror slasher movie. I bought my copy brand new.


Sidney Prescott is well-known in her small town for being the daughter of a woman who was raped and brutally murdered a year prior. It was Sidney's testimony that put Cotton Weary behind bars, but there are some, like reporter Gale Weathers, who argue that Sidney was mistaken. Gale believes that Weary was Sidney's mother's lover but not her murderer.

Now that a new murderer is on the prowl, Sidney can't help but be reminded about the past. A local teen and her boyfriend are both murdered, and the girl's whole school is abuzz with theories about who did it. All anyone knows is that the murderer was dressed in black and wearing a white Scream mask. When Sidney herself gets a call from the murderer, she begins to doubt all her relationships? Could someone she knows actually be the killer?

I last watched this back in college, as part of a dorm "scary movie night" around Halloween. It might have been the first time I watched it, I'm not sure. At any rate, I was wondering how this would hold up, having been made back in 1996. I recalled giggling over the "cellular phones" back in college - to me they looked like walkie talkies, they were so huge. The technology looked even more outdated this time around, and I had to remind myself what phones were and were not capable of doing back then (smartphones would have solved so many of the movie's victim's problems). Also, there were a bunch of pop culture references that I mostly understood but that I'm guessing would go over modern teens' heads. That said, I thought this still held up pretty well.

I remembered the initial "shocker," Drew Barrymore's death only a few minutes into the movie, although I had forgotten the bit with her boyfriend and how gory it was. For some reason, I recalled her death happening a bit faster than it did. I also remembered part of the ending - I suspect the reason why the full thing didn't stick with me was because there was barely anything that qualified as a motive.

Still, overall it was a fun rewatch. The whole "horror movie rules" aspect is still widely known and accepted enough to work as part of the movie's framework. I had forgotten how many really recognizable actors were in this (Neve Campbell, Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, David Arquette, Courtney Cox). I'd also forgotten how awkward Dewey was, and his weird little romance with Gale.

Although it touched on the horror movie rule that "sex equals impending death," and I wasn't wild about the way several of the characters talked about Jamie Lee Curtis, I at least appreciated that it wasn't overly gross in the way Sidney's scene with her boyfriend was filmed. Although I do think Sidney should have dumped her boyfriend early on for being all "look, I've tried to be understanding because of your mother's death, but are we ever going to have sex?" It was gross as heck that she eventually agreed with that viewpoint and tried to be less "selfish." 

I had forgotten just how stupid things got at the end, during the reveal. Who tells the potential victims they're about to die and then stabs themselves before taking care of the murder? Sheesh.

I don't think I've ever watched any of the other movies in this franchise, but I hope to do so in the near future. I managed to get myself a cheap copy of the fourth one and am debating whether to skip straight to that or wait until I've watched the second and third.


Audio commentary, a production featurette, behind the scenes, and a Q&A with the cast and crew. I think I watched the behind the scenes and production featurette and that's it. Those were pretty good, though. A significant amount of time was spent on Drew Barrymore's appearance at the beginning of the movie.

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