Horror Movie: Scream (R; 1996; 111 min.)

How can a horror movie go wrong when Wes Craven is directing it? I love this movie not only for its good scares, but also for its fun and funny horror movie self-references, its knowledge that it is a standard horror movie with all the tricks and subplots that implies. Plus, it has some major star power with Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell…the list goes on!

Neve is Sidney, a high school girl whose mother was brutally murdered the previous year. In fact, almost EXACTLY one year ago…the anniversary is only a day or two away! Well, of course her father goes away on a business trip, leaving her alone at this crucial time, and her boyfriend starts pressuring her once again for sex. Nice people, huh? Meanwhile, two classmates are murdered (Drew Barrymore is excellent in this role as the typical blonde being tormented and chased while she’s all alone, and I was sad she doesn’t make it past the first 10 minutes of the movie), and the kids’ school goes on full alert.

Enter the ultimate high school principal: THE FONZ! He tries to keep the teens safe, while a local news anchorwoman, Gale Weathers (ha! ha!), tries to get the scoop. Poor Sidney encounters “Father Death,” the costumed/masked killer around every corner, but manages to escape time and again. Finally, due to the killings, school is cancelled. So – of course! – the kids throw a party and watch the ultimate horror movie, Halloween, while drinking and making out. As the death toll rises one by one, Sidney must fight for her life, especially when she discovers who is behind all the killings, and why!

  • Top Scare: Early “Father Death” chase scenes
  • Heartbeats: 3 out of 5
  • Gore Factor: 4 1/4 out of 5
  • Suspense Factor: 4 out of 5
  • Recommended for: 17 and up for language, gory deaths, scare factor, and sexual situations

Next up: The Shining

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