I was sunk deep into my sofa the other night when I came across a prime time screening of Scream. “Jackpot”, I thought to myself. The only logical step was to take this opportunity to revisit Scream A) because we’re in the weeks coming up to Halloween but mostly because B) it is hilarious and amazing.
The film opens with a young Drew Barrymore playing Casey Becker– a high school student with all the stereotypical characteristics of a female victim; she's attractive, she's home alone in a house with lots of windows, and (most importantly), she's flirtatious. Casey receives the phone call the entire franchise is based on, and the conversation climaxes when she watches her boyfriend being murdered on her balcony–you know how these things work. Casey is then–and naturally because she's flirtatious and therefore must be punished–stabbed to death and strung up on a tree. It’s a bummer start.
Neve Campbell plays Sidney Prescott, a student attending the same high school as (the now deceased and strewn across multiple places) Becker and her boyfriend. Sidney is struggling to deal with the impending anniversary of her mother’s brutal murder (seriously, don’t move to this town, it’s ridiculous). Soon she too receives The Call, alone in her house that has a lot of windows. The iconic masked killer, who we will call Ghost Face, suddenly leaps out of one of Sidney’s cupboards and tries seriously hard to get down to business with the stabbing.
One of the most hilarious attributes of this film is Ghost Face's vulnerability. This is not a killer impervious to pain. He gets doors slammed in his face, kicked a bunch, and has some stumbles that are hilarious because you’re essentially watching a grown man trip over the black dress he is wearing. Sidney is rescued from this knife chase by her boyfriend suspiciously quickly (he looks like a young Johnny Depp and drawls like a serial killer, it’s really quite attractive). Sidney subsequently runs to the house of her best friend (Rose McGowan) for protection, and her brother (David Arquette), which is a great thing because David Arquette was a babe way back when.
The apex of the film is a high school party at which Ghost Face decides to appear, even though he is, like, totally not invited. He proceeds to kill literally everybody. The first one to go is obviously Sidney’s slutty best friend because sexually active girls are always the first to go (never bang anyone if you’re a woman in a horror movie–I don’t understand why people haven’t learned this yet). The general inability of these high schoolers to stumble upon the dead bodies and realise something is wrong is highly frustrating. Although the let’s-break-the-third-wall dialogue about the ridiculousness of horror movies pretty awesome. Nice one, writers.
On the off-chance that you're inclined to revisit this film in the near future, I won’t spoil the ending for you. Although I will say that if you’re in the mood for some light-hearted trash about a serial killer that doesn’t phase you in the least when you have to go to bed, this is definitely worth your time.
…Okay, it's the boyfriend and his friend working together. It's ridiculous. Also Sidney obviously doesn’t die because: movie franchise.
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