Scream ★★★★

The opening sequence to this movie would make an absolute 10/10 perfect short film if it were detached and presented as-is. It's a true masterwork of setting, tension, wit, humor, performance, and of course genuine chills. There are few single scenes in all of horror that so effectively balance every quadrant of top shelf entertainment, with quotable dialogue, indelible imagery, a beguiling mystery, and a perfect coup de grace to finish it off in style. It's really got everything, and it sets up this meta cruise missile to blast away the existing horror paradigm at the time of its release, influencing a whole generation of slashers and upending what it means to be self aware cinema. The movie that follows can't quite sustain that level of flawless execution but it gets so close - and now that I've watched so very many examples of its genre including the rest of the Scream series (reviews incoming!) I feel confident saying I was really underrating this nineties classic. Scream absolutely deserves its legendary reputation and I hope that fourteen year olds (the age I turned in 1996) are still discovering its razor sharp charms today.

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