Scream was released in 1996, making the new 2022 film a celebration of its 26th anniversary. Presumably the plan was to launch Cry 5 in 2021, but the pandemic has likely set things back. It’s okay because the fans are ready and eager to go see it. The last movie was in 2011 so it’s been quite a while.
A great way to get pumped for Cry 5 would be to marathon the previous four titles. They all hold up to varying degrees, but the original might still be king. Scream was unique for its time and remains a shining beacon in the horror and slasher film genres. It’s also a fun mystery. Who is Ghostface?
There will be spoilers in this breakdown for the original trilogy.
The best thing Scream and sequels do better are meta jokes. It’s a slasher series that pokes fun at itself and its genre while taking its stories seriously. It can be a difficult thing to balance, but Scream does it surprisingly well. It feels fresh decades later and that’s because of the rules.
These rules are mainly stated by Randy. Horror fans can easily get behind his warnings because they’re all cliché. Even killers tease some good rules not to break. Don’t have sex, drink or use drugs; those are the three main ones. Then there’s also the idea that anyone can be a suspect, that motives don’t make sense, and that no one should investigate a strange noise.
Scream looks great whether fans watch it on DVD, Blu-ray, or stream it on a subscription service. It was shot well with lots of great and varied locations to make the town of Woodsboro feel real. The effects are also to be praised. These days it is more common to see digital blood in movies or high CG effects. As good as Marvel movies are, their reliance on special effects could hurt them in the long run.
Imagine how timeless a Rocket Raccoon or Groot puppet would be a decade from now compared to their current CG profile. The practicality of cinema allows films like Scream to stand the test of time. The only thing that makes the slasher movie a little less timeless is the lack of internet and cell phones. fashion in Scream can also discourage people.
4 The game
Most actors in Scream still holds. Courtney Cox steals the show as Gale Weathers, and her character works well for a horror movie that’s also a mystery. Detectives and reporters have a lot in common in the media. We just have a giant camera with them at all times.
The only star that’s a little hard to watch is Matthew Lillard as Stu. His character’s goal is to be boring, which he is, but that’s a little too over the top. We almost have the impression that his character is from another era. Lillard is far from a bad actor, but Stu just throws in some scenes with his “whoa dude” persona.
3 Kill them
ScreamKills provide many good payouts. Some scenes are cheesy and don’t make much sense, but they still make for fun and exciting moments. For example, Tatum goes to the garage to get some beer. A Ghostface killer stands in her way but she assumes someone is playing a prank on her.
So, Tatum accepts it and acts like a damsel in distress only to become a real victim moments later. His death in a garage is the most brutal scene in the original Scream. The intro with Casey is also excellent. It sets the mood of what viewers should expect Scream. All good horror movies should do this.
2 The red herrings
The reason why the mystery fits so well in Scream it’s that the story does everything possible to arouse suspicion on everyone. It’s one of Randy’s rules that he makes in the video store with Stu. Anyone can be a killer because motives can be meaningless. Although it’s a horror movie, it’s also a great thriller premise.
It’s just a bit bloodier and sillier than most mysteries tend to be. One of the funniest missteps is Principal Himbry. The way he cuts the air in front of his students with his scissors is magical thanks to the raised sound effects.
1 Configurations for the future
Not all movies are lucky enough to have a sequel. Still, in case there is a sequel, some movies try to set things up for a follow-up. Scream is no exception. Two of the biggest unsolved mysteries are Sidney’s mother and her would-be killer, Cotton. It is shown on TV very briefly. He is played by Liev Schreiber who was not a big name at the time.
He was still well enough known that viewers noticed it was him on the grainy news footage. It was a nice touch that would pay well in sequels. Globally, Scream does a good job with world building. It can be one of the most important things a horror movie can do, and it doesn’t need to be elaborate either. Just literally leave a door open, as in Cry 3, is enough.
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