Saturday, 21 April 2012

Scream (1996)

Picked up the original trilogy of this series today for £11, probably on sale after failing to sell for halloween. So yeah, I'm a little late to the party on this one.

I remember a few months ago asking a mate if Scream was the parody slasher flick and he just looked at me dumbfounded and told me that no, that was Scary Movie. I knew I was right; it's probably the best parody I've seen, of anything really. It's really well crafted in that the film is so self aware and yet manages to be a legitimate horror film in itself. The constant references to horror cliches, "the rules" and lines that are just a pause and a wink short of breaking the fourth wall create a hilarious atmosphere, where you stop trying to predict when a jump scare will come because you know the film-makers have already pre-empted you and subverted it. The scene with the movie clerk character shouting at a horror film where the killer is behind a girl, while the killer is behind him, and he's being shouted at by people watching him on a camera is ridiculously contrived, but somehow still stays tense because it's not clear if the killer is actually after him or not. The voice of the killer on the phone secures the same sort of tension too, it oozes that sense of a smoothtalker who is perpetually just seconds away from turning into a psychopath. From the first time Kacee answers the phone you know sh*t's going down straight away.

It's strange that the film still feels quite fresh 15 years on, especially considering the effect it had on horror films that followed. I would've thought it would feel like just another horror flick like all the others from the past decade and a half. The final act, where the killings are all explained still holds as original though, I honestly didn't see the twist coming at all, especially the involvement of a second killer in the form of Stu.

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