I first saw Scream in a theatre in Honolulu. My free evenings often Thai Soup for dinner and several movies in a row. We’d go drink coffees in between at the Bad Ass Coffee stand nearby. The reviews for Scream were good, lauding the concept as being very original. I thought, perhaps, this was one scary movie I could get through, so long as it wasn’t too gory.
The whole film has this nihilistic, savage animal feel to it (indeed, some of the soundtrack sounds like wild animals). There’s the prominent 90s penchant of presenting teenagers (with the exception of Sydney, the ‘final girl’) as vapid, self-centered people. They all seem constructed from corporate pop-culture leitmotifs, quite distant from the nuanced reality of teenage life. It’s a great story. But I wonder if they present the characters this way so that you can picture any of them being the killer? Perhaps it’s so you won’t mind too much when they get kacked? Either way, it’s a very harsh and surreal. I guess if the ‘kids’ acted like those on Stranger Things, the ‘disposable’ nature of the characters wouldn’t work. Would that make the whole slasher genre obsolete?
I am NOT a fan of horror movies. I like scary movies, especially monster movies. And I love watching YouTube videos where they pick horror movies apart looking for deeper social and psychological meaning. But gore, I cannot stand, and I don’t really get why anyone would be a fan of gory horror movies.
It was rough to watch that first horrible scene where Drew Barrymore is slowly terrified into a frenzy by the Killer. While Drew is on the phone, the killer guts her boyfriend on the patio. He shows up and ultimately slaughters Drew as she flees the house. I wasn’t sure if I’d make with through the whole film, my heart was beating so fast and so hard. But that scene turned out to be the worst. And the movie’s frequent, self-reverential jokes made it more scary than gory, and ultimately bearable. I’ve seen the movie and its sequels many times since. And watched tons of behind-the-scenes videos about the movie’s creation and structure. This is what got me interested in re-doing the trailer to Scream.