Scream ★★★★★

Every time I watch Scream, it feels like I come away with a different perspective and understanding of what it means to me. This latest viewing, I really appreciated the generational aspect of the story. Wes Craven was in his 50s at the time he directed Scream, and in a way, it feels very much like the work of a person who is reckoning with a new generation of audiences who are used to all the tricks that Craven basically helped create. The younger characters are all pretty jaded, they know all the “rules”, they think they’ve seen it all, and in many ways they have. Just as every generation assumes they know more than the generation before them, the high schoolers in Scream trick themselves into thinking they can succeed where the previous generation failed, that they can survive what their predecessors could not. Since they know all the rules and have seen it all before, they can’t possibly fall into the same traps, but they do. And that’s the point. Violence and trauma are never-ending, shape-shifting, cyclical, and no one is safe. Kids blame their parents for the shit they’ve left them to deal with, and Sidney is grappling with the tragedy her mother Maureen left behind, but as we find out in Scream 3, Maureen was a victim herself, long before her eventual murder, and so we are all doomed to repeat the previous generation’s tragedies.

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