Sunday, December 18, 2005

[DVD] Scream (1996)

It actually took me 9 years to finally watch this slasher flick classic, and I'm now kicking my rear that I should've watched it when it premiered in local theatres back then. Credited as sparking off a slew of copycat slasher films in the late 90s, and reintroducing Wes Craven to a whole new generation, Scream will remain an important milestone for the horror-slasher genre.

Starring a relatively young and unknown (then) cast, Drew Barrymore opens in what is probably the most recognizable start to a horror movie, with her demise after being caught in a cat-and-mouse telephone call with the primary killer in the movie, a psychopath who dons the Halloween "Scream" costume.

That famous opening aside, Neve Campbell plays the main lead Sydney, a student who's now the new target of the killer. Given her complicated background of having her mom killed about a year ago, she is spooked by the fact that she could have sentenced the wrong killer to prison, and the real one is still out there, stalking her.

As with slasher movies, her group of friends become suspects and cannon fodder for the killer. What works is that although the cast is huge, and almost everyone is a suspect! The film doesn't let off throwing at you the red herrings, making you wonder what could be, and if it is.

Looking at the film, the killer is not the invulnerable being that always gets his prey. Here, he does get hit and attacked, which adds a totally new, believable dimension towards the instinct for survival. Also, there are tons of movie references which will keep every movie buff totally happy and jumping with glee at identifying them. I'd like the part where one of the characters laid down the 3 rules of horror films: Never have sex because only virgins survive, never smoke or drink, and never say "I'll be back", because you won't. Sort of summarizes every horror movie out there, doesn't it?

And the ending totally rocks. The script is intelligent (for a horror-slasher movie), and will catch you off guard, if you haven't been reading anything to spoil the movie, after 9 long years.

Sadly, this Code 3 DVD contains no extras besides the norm of scene selection and subtitles. Pity.

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