the fresh films reviews

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Scream (1996)

Wes Craven




111 minutes

Cary Woods
Cathy Konrad
Kevin Williamson

Cast includes:

Casey Drew Barrymore -
Sidney Neve Campbell
Billy Skeet Ulrich
Gale Weathers Courteney Cox
Tatum Rose McGowan
Dewey David Arquette
Stuart Matthew Lillard
Randy Jamie Kennedy



The ending of Wes Craven's latest discharge, entitled Scream, has got most every hallmark of the worst B-horror movies of the 1970s. But of course, by then he has already accomplished his partly honourable, partly sneaky objective here: to pay tribute to the horror genre, and to make people jump in their seats. He does it by utilizing every genre convention and technique that horror films in general and the slasher movie in particular cultivated/popularized during the 70s. It starts in the film's very first segment, in which Drew Barrymore is killed off brutally and (some would say) beautifully. The stage is set. Craven's real trick here is how he balances so delicately between spoof and homage. For younger or less informed audiences, the distinction may not even be noticeable. And here's the brilliance of this film: For those audiences, the film works aptly and elegantly as the mother of the movies it's capitalizing on. Whereas for anyone who grew up with or are familiar with said movies, Craven sprinkles his film with abundances of clever references and fun innuendos. The killer's favourite film is of course A Nightmare on Elm Street, while a non-connoisseur cites "Wes Carpenter" as the greatest director in the genre. That's one of several nods to John Carpenter, whose horror classic Halloween is repeatedly referenced here. Scream is an audacious movie made by a filmmaker who is willing to risk ridiculing himself for the sake of showing off his brilliance, and that's a form of egotism I can respect and enjoy.

Copyright 14.6.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
(English version: 24.03.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang)