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Movie Review: Scream (1996)

I was prepared to hate Scream. Sure, it was a hugely popular and critically-acclaimed movie when it came out — but it also combines two genres that I hate (horror and “teen” comedy). So, I went into Scream with low expectations but I figured I should watch it since just about everybody else on the […]

Scream

I was prepared to hate Scream. Sure, it was a hugely popular and critically-acclaimed movie when it came out — but it also combines two genres that I hate (horror and “teen” comedy). So, I went into Scream with low expectations but I figured I should watch it since just about everybody else on the planet has seen it already.

One reason I typically don’t like horror films is because many I’ve seen seem shallow. Many either don’t have a good storyline, rely on excessive gore to scare the audience, or are just really cheesy and unrealistic. Scream is the opposite of all three. The storyline gets you interested within the first five minutes and keeps you hooked all the way until the very end (and by the way, this movie has an awesome ending). There is some gore, but if you’ve seen just about any horror film before the gore will seem pretty tame. And as far as horror movies go, this does seem fairly realistic. And this is a scary movie; there are quite a few spots that are really tense (often helped by the music).

The humor in Scream was another pleasant surprise. The main characters are high-schoolers, so I was expecting the “humor” to be raunchy; I’m not a fan of this type of humor because it usually just seems lazy (I’m looking at you, Superbad). There is a little bit of this, but for the most part the humor comes from the combination of irony (in one scene, Neve Campbell is talking about something you should never do in a horror movie…and in the very next scene, that’s exactly what she’s doing) and David Arquette’s chraracter being a wimp.

Even though I’ve done nothing but praise the film so far, Scream does have a few problems. One such problem is all the self-referencing it does. Throughout the movie, characters will say something like “This is like something you’d see in a horror movie!”…it’s kinda funny at first, but it seems like a character says something like that every five minutes. By the end of the movie, this gets annoying.

A slightly larger problem lies with the characters. There are three likable characters in the whole film — played by Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Henry Winkler. Everybody else is really annoying or just boring to watch. Luckily, either Campbell or Arquette are on screen for most of the film so this isn’t as big of a problem as it could have been.

This isn’t the best film you will ever see, but Scream is a fun movie to just put on and enjoy for a couple hours without needing to think too much. Everybody should see this no matter what your favorite film genre is.

Score = 9.0/10

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