Patrick Bowes’s review published on Letterboxd:
I remember watching this film for the first time when I was in the 6th grade. At the time, I was so shaken and scared by what I was watching, and yet I feel like Scream was the perfect gateway into discovering more films in the horror genre.
The opening scene is so damn good and I do not think I will be able to ever get it out of my mind.
Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson craft a scene that feels like it could easily happen to anyone. Even yourself. The scene grips you and introduces you to the terror and meta references that will coat the film to follow.
Drew Barrymore’s performance in the opening scene is so raw and memorable. Each time the phone rings and she let out a scream of terror, the audience feels a gut punch. I’ve always found it ironic that Barrymore is the face of the Blu-ray boxset and not Neve Campbell; but her performance is so iconic it only feels right. Roger Jackson’s bone-chilling and creepy voice performance plays off perfectly with Barrymore’s.
Barrymore isn’t even the standout of the film. Campbell’s character, Sidney is one of the best horror film protagonists in history. Unlike many characters in the genre, Sidney is a fleshed out, likeable, three-dimensional character that the audience feels a genuine want to root for.
The rest of the cast, especially Courteney Cox and David Arquette, are phenomenal. Both in terms of the performances of the actors and the character writing.
While many make fun of “Ghostface” for being a clumsy character and consistently falling over during attack sequences, I personally feel that Craven’s intention in making the killer clumsy was to humanize the figure. Unlike his horror film counterparts like “Jason Voorhees” or “Michael Myers”, “Ghostface” does not feel like a superpowered individual. By doing this, you feel that his victims have a true chance to defeat or escape from the killer, which adds tension that other slasher films are not able to easily achieve.
Every few years I find myself coming back to revisit Scream and each time it feels like I’m watching it again for the first time. It’s a masterpiece of the horror genre and a must-watch for anyone who dare call themselves a horror fan.
RIP Wes Craven. Thank your creativity and love for filmmaking.