Scream ★★★★★

Horroctober 2021

There was a time between 1997 and 1999 that if you had asked me what the best film ever made was, I’d have told you Scream. It’s influence on my discovery of movies, and horror specifically, was monumental. Scream was the catalyst to so many films; Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and so many more. I’ve seen it innumerable times, yet somehow when I watch Scream I still notice new things. Last year when I watched it, I noticed Linda Blair as an overzealous reporter for the first time, this time around I noticed The Town That Dreaded Sundown reference.

When I watch Scream it’s a combination of the nostalgia of reliving a formative movie that came out just at the right time for me. It reminds me of the excitement of discovering all of those films I mentioned earlier for the first time, and the sheer exhilaration of Scream itself. What’s funny is I can put myself in a particular place watching Scream, multiple times. Whether that’s the first time I saw it, at a friends party. Or another time, I specifically remember being sat in my parents living room watching it on video during the scene where Sidney is escaping Ghostface through the back of the news van, I was absolutely enraptured and thinking just how great this movie is. And I still enjoy it enormously.

Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson reinvigorated not just the slasher movie, but horror as well. I wrote a few days ago how Candyman gets a rough deal within the context of 90s horror, however it just didn’t capture the zeitgeist in the way Scream did in spite of being an excellent film (same goes for Craven’s New Nightmare by the way). Like Halloween before it, Scream sparked its own generation of sequels and imitators that had their charm but none of them could quite live up to Craven’s last truly great film and unless you count It Follows, the last great slasher movie.

What else to say? Scream makes me happy.

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