Taking My Love Of Horror Films One Step Too Far

         Compared to today’s line of teen-thriller movies, Scream certainly seems as though it is nothing new. That does not change the fact that, for better or worse, it is responsible for those very movies. Scream turned the horror community on its ear when it was released, as it was a very clever satire, with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek. Scream was also responsible for a sort of revitalizing of the horror genre, and the “slasher” sub-genre due to its popularity and critical acclaim.

         The self-referential 1996 film, directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, takes all of the simple horror plots and twists them around, such as the “final girl” rule. This is a slasher rule that states that, if you have sex, you die, and the girl who survives is most likely a virgin. It also names several other rules of the sub-genre, and references to more influential films like Sean S. Cunningham’s 1980 Friday the 13th, John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween, or Tobe Hooper’s 1974 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. While it is satire, and does take a sort of comical look at those who came before it, Scream also features itself a clever whodunit, and it is own share of thrills thanks to the smartly written script.

         The plot concerns the small town of Woodsboro, in which teens are killed off one by one, and all the teens scramble to figure out who is doing it before they are the next victims. The mystery uses several red herrings in order to confuse the viewer that when the revelation finally happens, it is guaranteed to be a shock to the audience.

         The film was very well received both critically and financially, with 103 million dollars in box office sales to its credit. The movie also produced two, less successful sequels, and a multitude of copycats.

         With its witty dialogue, clever mystery and self-referential story, Scream may be lost in the shuffle of today’s teen horror craze; but that does not make it any less of an influential movie to the horror genre.

Joseph Stone

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