[Movie Review] Scream

ScreamStarring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Drew Barrymore
Director: Wes Craven
Genre: Horror
Cert: 18
Released: 1996

Wes Craven is a man who doesn’t like to give up. We all remember the brilliant “Nightmare on Elm Street” from 1984…sadly we all too remember the six sequels. When the sixth film came out, we thought that he had decided to call it a day; it was entitled “Freddys Dead: The Final Nightmare”. However, dollar signs flashed again as he cooked up a new angle for a seventh movie entitled “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”. The premise for ‘Nightmare 7’ was a movie inside a movie as such. And he uses a similar idea for his current video hit, “Scream”.

The film opens with the brutal murder of Casey (Barrymore) which sends shockwaves through her town. For Sidney (Campbell), all the attention from the media and police brings back painful memories of the murder of her mother almost a year earlier. But their is a madman on the loose as Sidney and her college mates are about to discover. The house party of the year is on and everyone is there. Everyone…

What “Scream” does (and does well) is create a tense and thrilling scenario while at the same time parodying the horror genre that preceeded it. It does this through the histerical, obsessed ramblings of Sidney’s college friends, Stuart and Randy (Matthew Lillard and Jamie Kennedy), who use the dramatic fear grabbing the town to illustrate what would happen next if it was a movie. They tell everyone that they can’t have sex, that they can’t say “I’ll be right back (‘cos you won’t be back)”. Their revelations are met with laughter but the viewer now becomes intrigued to see what happens next.

Craven proves his credentials too – with a cast of relative unknowns (with the obvious exception of Courtney Cox and Drew Barrymore), he uses all his skill and knowledge to create a classic horror movie. The camera angles and timing are spot on and the storyline manages to make everyone a suspect. This can sometimes become corny (a James Belushi movie from about 4 years ago, “Traces of Red”, is testament to that) but his genius pulls it off to near perfection.

With “Scream 2” already a number one box office smash in America and “Scream 3” in pre-production, this series may go the same way as the Nightmares, so grab this opportunity while you can and take in “Scream”.

Also watch for unbilled appearances from Linda Blair (“The Exorcist”) and Henry Winkler (The Fonz from “Happy Days”).


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