Scream ★★★★

The abundant creativity and playfulness here is so apparent; the movie is a case-study in genre revival. Craven's direction is impressive; he verbalizes tropes, engages in them and subverts them all at once. It's predictability and stock slasher characters are a huge virtue; and that's what is so bizarre about this movie. Craven doesn't commit to any genre or tone; but so many emerge functionally in spite of that. It's like a particularly gory Scooby-Doo episode set in a delightfully photographed 90's American suburbia; so quaint and horrifying all at once, filled with duplicitous characters and slimy relationships. You can watch it with a smile on your face; appreciating it's playfulness within the genre. Or you could watch it through partially-covered eyes, engaging with its horror elements and multiple legitimate scares. It's impressive in that way. You could argue it's refusal to completely commit to either prevents it from becoming a true, top-tier classic; but the experimentation and rejuvenation within a genre that unarguably promotes a sort of formulaic approach is welcome and appreciated.

Jared liked this review