Scream

Scream ★★★★★

Teens in Woodsboro start ending up dead by someone dressed in a ghost mask.

So I woke up this morning, got myself a cup of coffee, and settled down in my computer chair to check my Letterboxd stream. As I was scrolling, I saw someone like a half star review of Scream. Huh??? Nooooooo... It can't be! maybe it's a movie called Scream that I'm completely unaware of. It couldn't be the Wes Craven movie! So I clicked on it, and ugh... I was wrong. It was a review of the Craven movie. After wiping off the coffee I spit all over my monitor. I read it. And this is what it said...

"A complete bore from start to finish. Unoriginal and tiresome. This had been done before this film came out, and it had been done a LOT better. The movie was hyped up. Take a look at the old posters from the 90s and you'll see what I mean. Nowhere near the classic it's reputed to be. in fact it's very average."

To say I was shocked would be putting it lightly. I remember when I saw this movie, I remembered being blown away. But it's been awhile since I watched it, so I figured I'd give it a viewing, and also reminisce about what the horror genre looked like before this movie came out.

I think if you did a poll of horror fans, and asked them "Which decade was the greatest as far as Horror movies are concerned?" Odds are, 9 out of 10 of them would say the 80's. The 80's were a special time for horror movies. So many great and classic movies came out during the 80's, that it would be a waste of time to list them all. There were some weeks when there would be multiple horror movies released in theaters. And while people do reminisce about how great the 80's were for horror, it's not 100% true. If you look at the end of the decade.... things looked pretty dismal. If you start looking at the movies released in '88 and '89, things start going downhill fast! Sure, there were a few good ones here and there, but most of them were unnecessary sequels, or just movies that were so dumb they're not even worth mentioning.

Now the early 90's... oof! If you look at a list of horror movies that came out from 1990 to 1995, it's downright depressing! The movies were beyond awful! You were lucky if there were one or two movies worth watching per year. Not only that, but movie studios stopped investing money into these flicks, and it showed. Instead of seeing 3 movies released in the same week, you were lucky if one movie was released theatrically per month, the majority of them were straight to video. I'm sure some people would say "Who cares! Most of the time straight to video movies are infinitely better than studio released movies.". And that is true... today, but it definitely wasn't true back in the eighties and early 90's.

It looked like the horror genre was dying a slow painful death. Sort of like the 1950's when the horror genre was virtually non-existent. The closest you could get to a horror movie in the 50's was a sci-fi movie involving outer space or radiation. Yes there were a few horror movies, but they were few and far between, and usually had to resort to using gimmicks like 3D, electrified seats, etc... But then, in 1960, a little movie called Psycho came out which completely changed the genre as we know it today.

Well, in 1996, the horror genre was suffering a slow and painful death. I was raised watching and loving horror movies, and even I lost interest in the genre. But then a movie called "Scream" came out. And while it doesn't have the cred and rep that Psycho does, I have no problem saying that next to Psycho, it's probably one of the most important movies in the genre EVER. Not just because it was smart, original and fresh movie, but more importantly, it was a huge commercial success! Which made studio execs realize "Hmmmm... This horror movie made almost 200 million dollars. Maybe we should invest money into developing more horror movies".

Yeesh... I didn't write anything about the movie yet, nor am I going to bother. Scream is not only a movie that should be appreciated for being a great movie and for being one of the first movies that had "smart" characters, but it should also be appreciated for it's historical impact on the genre. It also popularized the whole "Meta" subgenre that includes great movies like Cabin in the Woods, Behind the Mask, Shaun of the Dead, etc...

The person who wrote the review I posted above obviously has no understanding of the horror genre. I did comment on their review asking what movie Scream ripped off and why it's so unoriginal, but have yet to get a response. Even if they do respond, whatever they say will just be more uninformed nonsense that won't have a bit of credibility or truth attached to it. I can understand someone not liking the movie for whatever reason (script, actors, characters, etc...), but saying it's unoriginal is just an uninformed lie.

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