In 1996 a movie was released that changed the face of teen horror movies for that generation. A movie that was so outside of the box it caused Mother’s outrage and teens to fake IDs all over the world.
I saw Scream for the first time at a friend’s house. The smell of oven pizza and popcorn still strong in the air we sat in the dark with a rental video of the movie and her new widescreen tv. I was 16, she was 17 (wait that’s a different movie…) the movie was an 18. I felt like I was breaking the rules. Until then I had only watched Hammer horrors and John Carpenter movies, and I knew this movie was going to change things for me. The fact that it was the first blockbuster teen-aimed movie to actually show a knife being put into another person was bold. What was also bold was that the movie’s biggest star at the time, Drew Barrymore, was killed off in the first 10 minutes. The original movie posters had her most prominent and in the centre of everyone else – but she was no more than a bit part.
Somehow Wes Craven made such an atmosphere and original movie, whilst playing on all the clichés that horror movies had created over the years. One big movie satire that in turn made the best kind of movie. With a nice twist at the end.
The movie’s real star was Neve Campbell, who until then was most known for her role in the full-of-angst Party Of Five. In this film she played the chaste virgin who’s Mum was murdered a year before. She plays the victim very well. Though half way through the movie she loses her virginity and therefore forgoes the protection of her virginity and all bets are off as to whether she’ll live or die (By the way, does it bother anyone else when someone sleeps in another woman’s bed and then uses the other woman’s hair brush?) The movie was also Matthew Lillard’s big break and later he starred in similar movies like Dead Man’s Curve (1998). It was the film set where Courtney Cox and David Arquette met, and it was the movie that I screamed NO! at the TV when Fonzie was killed 😦
Scream definitely paved the way for a new generation of teen based horror movies. Obviously Scream 2 and 3 but also films like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend. You just have to look at their copycat movie posters to know that. Scream 2 was just as good if not better than the first. It managed to keep that same atmosphere that the first created, but build on the first movie and not just recreate it. It progressed the story. I saw this movie for the first time at another friend’s sleep over. I was so knackered though that I fell asleep quite near the start and woke up at some point to find a scary face at the window on the tv screen. Not the kind of movie that will give you pleasant dreams. I have, of course, seen it many times since without falling asleep!
The start of Scream 2 was just as groundbreaking for me as the first. It had attitude and a twist – but it also gave me an insight into how movies are watched in America. I’d never seen anything but a cinema screen full of people sat quietly and not interfering with the other patrons. But in Scream 2 everyone’s dressed up, shouting at the screen and really getting involved. Unheard of here. One thing I’ve always wondered though. In the first movie Drew Barrymore’s character Casey dies as does her killer, so how does the writer of Stab get her death scenes so darn accurate in his movie? I mean, there was no living witness to the events…..
Anyway, this is all leading up to Scream 4 which is due out next month, and stars Campbell, Cox and Arquette as well as some newbies who are way too young to have seen the first movie when it came out (MAN I feel old…) Now I’m going to give it a chance, and I must say I’m pretty excited. But I’m hoping it’s not another Halloween H20 situation which looks good on paper, but just plays to the current generation’s movie style. I know they’re going to play on the snuff movie idea and there’ll probably be a few iPhones popping up just to prove how much time has moved on since the first film, but I hope it sticks to its guns and shows us something groundbreaking again.
I hope it creates that creepy angsty atmosphere that the first two did. And it’s gotta have Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand in there somewhere just for continuity. I just hope that it stays true to the previous 2 (maybe 3 if that one’s worth mentioning) and I hope it evokes memories of oven pizzas and microwave popcorn. Let’s see….. Oh and the killer’s likely to be the guy with the creepy eyes….. I’m just sayin’