1996 · Miramax/Dimension Films
Scream — Movie Review by Karthik
9 out of 10
Directing Credits
Wes Craven
Writing Credits
Written by Kevin Williamson
Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy, Rose McGowan

The Review

A genuniely chilling stalk and slash scene opens this movie - one night, two students of the Woodsboro High School are brutally murdered, by a killer dressed in a Grim Reaper-like costume.  By morning, police are all over the place, questioning students, trying to find out who the "Ghostface" killer is.  This is all very unsettling déjà vu for Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) because her mother was murdered just a year ago.  Things take a turn for the worse when she realises that this may be the work of a serial killer who is after her and her friends for some reason!  And this killer may also have had something to do with her mother's death.

I can't say more about the story itself, because this is really something you should watch and enjoy yourself.  Once the basic premise is established, writer Kevin Williamson and director Wes Craven have a grand time making us suspect practically every character we see!  Of course, if a character is not a suspect, he/she is a probable victim, and this is what makes the whole movie a very fun mystery.  The list of characters include Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), who is Sidney's boyfriend; Tatum (Rose McGowan), one of Sidney's best friends; Deputy Dwight "Dewey" Riley (David Arquette), Tatum's brother; Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard), a genuine but likeable weirdo; and movie-freak Randy (Jamie Kennedy).  Courteney Cox plays opportunistic reporter Gale Weathers.  The body count rises, plenty of twists and turns ensue...

It's not often you get to see a movie like this.  What sets Scream apart from other movies of it's kind is that it is actually scary and suspenseful, it is well written and well acted, and it is masterfully directed by Wes Craven.  And to top it all off, it is meant to be a sort of "knowing satire" on horror movies and it does that well too, which you can see by the large number of in-jokes and references to other famous horror movies.  I had a great time watching this movie.

The good thing about a movie with lots of twists and surprises is that it makes you want to watch it twice - first time around, you watch the film waiting for the surprises to come, the second time around, you are in on the surprises, so you now can see how the filmmakers played games with your mind, and distracted you the first time!  Of course, Scream is worth watching several more times that that!  Well done on all counts (Marco Beltrami's music is nice too).  Contains some strong violence, though - but then, what would you expect from a movie called Scream?  In fact, that's one of it's plus points, it delivers good clean slasher movie fun!

Other Notes

Like I said, there are lots of movie in-jokes and references in Scream.  One of these, is particularly funny - it appears in the scene where the Principal of the school thinks the killer's in the building.  At one point he glances at the janitor "Fred".  "Fred" is on screen for barely a second, but he's still conspicuous because he is dressed in a striped red sweater, the same type worn by "Fred"dy Krueger in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street series.  And later on I found out that "Fred" was none other than Craven himself!

More Details

Running Time: 111 minutes | Country: US | Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Horror

Ratings Info

I rate all movies or game add-ons on a scale of 1 to 10 points.  1 is the lowest score, 6 is barely above average, 8 is good, and 10 is excellent (this score doesn't indicate something that is perfect in every way — it just means that I enjoyed it a lot).  You'll find that I tend to give ratings of 8 and above often (that's only because I enjoy whatever I'm reviewing!).  Reviews are updated as felt necessary.  Of course, everything said in these reviews is my humble opinion only.
Review Date 30 Nov 02
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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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