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Scream (1996)

Written by Kevin Williamson Directed by Wes Craven

  I’ve found that this series has either been a hit or miss for people, though the same could be argued for most series within the horror genre. I’ll let you know off the bat that I did love the franchise and have a great appreciation for it, for many reasons. So because of that fact and that I’d say it would be more rare to find someone who hasn’t viewed the movies before that I’m going to do all four at once. Though different; so Warning! and Spoiler! that if you have not seen this movies that these next 4 reviews may make no sense because I’ll be doing them in somewhat commentary form. Adding in solely my two cents as well as some trivia of what I do know of which hopefully you can enjoy; “It’s a scream baby!” ~Stu

 Film start; (one of my favorite opening scenes EVER). That’s right hang up the phone. Great voice for Ghostface which belonged to Roger Jackson. *To add to the fear factor, Roger didn’t meet Drew or Neve during filming so as to keep the suspense.*  If you don’t want to talk to someone do just that. She gave in, totally knew she was gonna bite it. “Why do you wanna know my name?” “Because I wanna know who I’m looking at” When it cuts back to the popcorn I always think of Scary Movie now. Which for those who don’t know was what the film was originally called, the studio came up with Scream thinking it sounded better. I wonder if that happened if the parody would have been called Scream. She should have called the cops after the first time of telling him something. But watch, I would be doing the exact same thing if stuck in that predicament (probably not though). What kind of game?? The kind where you die either way, idiot! First question was simply. Second one, a trick. *Williamson said that it was a question he stumped everyone at a bar with, since so typically thought of Jason for the entire series.* The third question was just creepy, “What door am I at?” Of which you would think she’d say the back door due to the recent “events” having occurred. She makes her way out back where she, iuno could be calling the police or something crazy like that. You can see Drew’s tattoo beneath her belly as she runs. I would say at least she got to pull off the mask off to know who it was but either way, didn’t help the situation. She must have had it bad for that phone, refusing to let go and all. Then BAM! they gut her. Of which the MPAA naturally had a fit over; throughout the entire movie actually. Wes stated having to go back and forth constantly because there was so much they wanted to take out that they felt was important to the script.

  Cue Neve (Cindy) and Skeet (Billy). Now he’s here, and now he’s gone! “The underwear rule” reminds me of Robin Hood: Men in tights. The next day at school; great score (music). Watch for cameo of Linda Blair. Intro Rose (Tatum) and Couteney (Gale). I loved the dialogue between all the young actors. Williamson writes so well for his audience. Enter the Fonz (Henry) and David (Dewey), a little later with Jamie (Randy) and Matthew (Stu) at the fountain. Not suspicious at all with Stu knowing how to gut someone and then the immediate look of concern that Billy’s passes to him. “She’s getting mad, better liver alone, get it? LIVER!” Notice Cindy checks the mailbox because of what Randy had said about the spleen thing. Why would you turn on the TV, what else are they gonna talk about on the news? I could never be alone in a house that big because of all the scary movies I’ve watched. That was a sexy voice…and why wouldn’t she hang up immediately after hearing that? It’s like they want to die. Comes out the closet to run from Mr. Ghostface killa upstairs, guess that makes her the stupid bimbo now right?

  The scream from Dewey was improvised by David. Finally Tatum arrives, which hey if she hadn’t been late, may have of had the whole thing not happen. Suspect perhaps? I never got that into Friends though; I much preferred Courteney in these films; especially the first two. The relationship between Dewey and sister was also pretty great, “A janitor’s your superior.”; “I’ll send you a copy, BAM, Sid–Superbitch!” What a difference with seeing Tatum at her house, her room being maybe a bit too childish. I can see the hippy thing with her but the pajamas and the bunny were overload. Though I keep forgetting their supposed to be 16 when none of them look anywhere near that age. Dewey waits until after the phone call’s over to leave his room. Suspicious much? We catch a glimpse of Liev on the telly. At school we see Linda Blair finally upfront. We also hear a bit about Cindy’s past concerning her mother. That always looks like it hurt (when Stu gets the lollipop to the head). Winkler’s such a beast when he runs the scissors down the guys shirt saying “Fairness would be to rip your insides out.”

  “Where do you get this crap?” “Ricky lake,” that whisper of Sidney’s name was too eerie. I wouldn’t have checked or asked if someone was there though, I’m too much of a chicken. “You don’t look a day over 12,” was that really supposed to be a compliment? Back at the principal’s office: cameo by Wes Craven as Janitor Freddy followed by a great small suspense scene. So that must have been Billy right? I always try to decide which killer is where throughout a horror I’ve seen entirely too many times. I liked the line talking about sounding like some “Wes Carpenter flick” or something. Cue the video store as is yet another one of my favorite scenes in the film. When Stu laughs in his face and then Randy’s reply of “If they’d watch Prom Night they’d save time. There’s a formula to it, a very simple formula, everybody’s a suspect!”/ Ahha; because they did cast Tori Spelling to play her. The father couldn’t be the killer. I know the point is to implicate everyone but yea, wouldn’t be good story-wise. Alas, we arrive at the party; being a 45 minute shot that took quite some time to film so the crew made t-shirts saying they “survived” that particular scene. What are you doing there Dewey? How about protecting your sister and her best friend, geez. They spend their time to praise over unexpected guest Gale Weathers as Tatum soon will be no more. Door closing by itself? Yup, it’s over. Where does he always hide I wonder slightly to myself. Or maybe he has an invisible cloak and that’s really his secret. Wes had said that when they made that door for the garage, everyone was trying to see who could fit through it. In case they were ever in the situation I suppose. 

  Sidney makes her way upstairs with Billy so you know what that means, “Someone’s getting hooked up!” (wrong movie, my bad) “It’s all a movie, you can’t pick your genre.” I know they’re all into movies and have you but why didn’t it ever occur to her that anytime she mentioned a real life situation that he always related it back to a different horror movie. “You don’t know the rules??” Good thing they’re drunk, all this obvious-ness is overwhelming. Stu didn’t too worried about Tatum when she disappeared, “She probably got pissed and bailed.” The Halloween theme music worked well in their scenes in the living room. I always thought those kids were sick for wanting to see their principal hanging but maybe I just never had a principal I didn’t like. As they drive down and Dewey shouts,  “freeze” was his own improv. They find the father’s car; and the deed is done as far as making Sidney one of the heathens. Really, now is the time that you question Billy? I loved the swiping of the blood after each kill too. Obviously, he knows the house…because it’s his silly. And the greatness that is Randy speaking to the TV with the killer approaching behind him as he’s shouting the very things he should be listening to.

  Poor Randy, getting hit in the face like that. Apparently a lot of people gave them crap for when Gale puts the brakes on the van and the body goes forward saying that wouldn’t really happen. As well when the van hits the tree, it was supposed to flip over but refused to do so and they decided it was a better shot anyway. Ok, fuck that (when the killer shows he has the keys) and there goes the trunk opening. How would Randy know Billy had died? He was glued to that television, she should have let Randy in. “We all go a little mad sometimes,” that line and that stare: awesome sauce. The ending scenes in the kitchen, again, fantastic. I quote almost every line when I watch this regardless but definitely some favorite scenes in these last ones coming up. “Let’s face it baby, these days you gotta have a sequel!” Lillard improvised a couple of the lines we hear from here out. “Houston, we have a problem here.” The head cracking of Billy was Skeet’s own doing. As well when Sidney calls and the phone drops on Stu, all was improvised. The phone slipped because of the blood and Matthew just said the line and it stuck. Then getting in that one good final scare before closing the film. They also had Dewey role out in the gurney to see how fans felt about his character and whether to bring him back in the sequel.

  So, yea. That felt a bit weird, did it feel weird for you too? I’ve already seen the scream movies twice each (commentary) so if I ever, don’t put enough of what’s going on, it’s because I’ll probably be a bit screamed out after this whole thing. First two installments are by far my favorite so there isn’t much if anything that I’d say negatively about them. The series seemed as a pairing of two great minds that knew how to combine terror with an undertone of comedy that doesn’t affect with the horror aspect (because it wasn’t categorized as such). A great watch at any rate, capable of bringing a fear to you and making you think something is going to happen and then switch it around completely. They’ve been able to create this, infectious world that pries on other’s fear while taking stabs at their own genre and making their films fun to watch. A great first cast all around, each did the characters great justice and assisted in starting out with seamless first installment. On to the next I suppose…