This month I decided MWM will be a special edition. I watched Scream franchise. I choose this film series because I never watch the entire series. In the past, I watch Scream 1, 3 and 4 but with a huge time gap between each of them and I didn’t watch Scream 2. Also, I’ll start to watch the TV series Scream available on Netflix.
“Scream” is a 1996 American slasher film directed by Was Craven. It stars famous actors such as Courteney Cox (Friends), Rose McGowan (Charmed), Drew Barrymore, David Arquette and Neve Campbell. The casting marked a change in the genre as it cast already-established and successful actors, who were considered to help the movie to find a wider audience.
“Scream” is a clever combination of black comedy, horror film, and slasher movie. It especially emphasizes the slasher genre by using violence and satirize the clichés of a lot of famous horror movie such as “Halloween”, “Friday the 13th” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.
At the time of its release, the film was considered unique for featuring characters who were aware of real world horror films and openly discussed the clichés that Scream attempted to subvert. It’s pretty Shakespearean it’s a horror movie inside a horror movie just like Hamlet was a “play within the play” in literature it’s called a ” Mise en abyme” literally means “placed into abyss”. It’s very noticeable because Scream is using the same clichés that it attempted to subvert.
The movie is partly based on the real-life case of the Gainesville Ripper.
Funny fact the script was originally titled Scary Movie it was changed to Scream by the Weinstein Brothers just before filming was complete. The title will be given to the famous parodic movie series “Scary Movie” where the first one is largely inspired by Scream and later by other famous trending movies.
The movie takes place in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California and starts with a blond teenage girl, who receives a flirtatious phone call from an unknown person, asking her, “What’s your favorite scary movie?” she will be his first victim. This phone question will be the gimmick of the killer. Then the story focus on a group of high school teenagers friends and in particular on Sidney Prescott who becomes the target of a mysterious killer known as Ghostface.
For me, “Scream” is a cult movie. I was in middle school when it came out and everybody was talking about it! Now 20 years after, even after I had already watched all three of the movies I understand why Scream 1 was a success and received a largely positive critical reception. Despite its old special effects, it’s still entertaining to watch. As said before it’s a clever combination of comedy, horror and teenage movie, it has suspense and horror scenes but you also laugh. Besides this, the reason for this success it’s because the film features a well-known cast and it’s using a lot of Easter eggs that only people who lived in the 90’s can really appreciate such as the scene when Billy enter Casey’s bedroom by the windows, it’s a parody of the TV show “Dawson’s Creek” when Joey entered Dawson’s bedroom by the window. Another Easter egg: when the principle is murdered, the killer knocked on his door a few times and then the principal walks out and says “sons of a bitch…” and the genitor who is cleaning the hallway looks up and says “what?” and he answers “not you Freddy” and the man is wearing a black and green shirt with a hat, the exact same outfit than Freddy Krueger. We can see that people who worked on this movie showed attention to details and gave a sense to all the small objects or things present at the screen everything has a reason to be here. For all these reasons I really enjoyed watching again Scream.
I give it a 07/10
Scream 2 (1998)
“Scream 2” is the second film in the Scream series. It was released in 1997 and like the precedent movie it was directed by Wes Craven. “Scream 2” uses the same magic recipe for the casting, a lot of famous or future famous actors. Are back from the last movie: Neve Campbell playing Sidney, David Arquette for the role of Dewey, Courteney Cox for the journalist Gale Weathers, Jamie Kennedy as Randy Meeks, Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary,
New famous actors coming in the cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Casey, Jada Pinkett Smith (she played in Matrix movies) playing Maureen Evans and Omar Epps (portraying Eric Foreman in House M.D) playing Phil Stevens the black man killed in the first scene.
The plot is taking place two years after the Woodsboro events, Sidney Prescott is now attending Windsor College and a copycat killer slips on the Ghostface costume for the release of the movie “Stab” a fictional movie inspired by the Woodsboro massacre. This new killer, just like his predecessor will kill a lot of people and runs after Sidney.
Funny fact the script was leaked onto the Internet in full, revealing a lot of information such as the answer to the question “Who do it?”. The production had to change some elements of the script in order to maintain the surprise. And, to avoid any new leaks, the script wasn’t given to the actors until the very end. And when given to the actors they just had the script for the scene they will shoot. For example, they had the script for the final scene at the very end of the filming.
Like the first film, “Scream 2” is directed by Wes Craven and he used the same ingredients to make a good slasher movie. Casting famous actors, using violence and elements of comedy and “whodunit” mystery and also satirizing the cliché of the horror movie and especially horror movie sequels. He also uses the ” Mise en abyme” and it starts at the very beginning of the film when A movie “Stab” is played at the local theater. Personally, I found this sequel less interesting that the original movie. It’s not a bad one but in the middle of the movie, I look at the timeline twice to know how minutes left before the end. And in the last third of the movie, the action becomes more interesting and the suspense is back. For sure it’s not as original as the first movie but it’s worth watching it especially if you plan to watch the whole film series.
I give it a 06/10
Scream 3 (2000)
Scream 3 released in 2000 is the third movie of the Scream franchise. It’s still directed by Wes Craven. The film stars the usual Scream actors: Neve Campbell as Sidney, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers, David Arquette as Dewey and Liev Schreiber who is playing Cotton Weary. Interesting facts about the casting, Jenny McCarthy who’s playing Sarah Darling will play in 2003 the character of Katie Embry in “Scary Movie 3” and Patrick Dempsey who is playing Dr. Shepherd in “Grey’s Anatomy” is playing Det. Mark Kincaid in Scream 3.
Scream 3 received a mixed review and it wasn’t as successful as both its preceding films. Some critics said, “Scream 3” became precisely what Scream originally spoofed. Maybe it’s due to the fact the movie is using more comedic elements and less violence and horror in response to the public wanting less violence in media following the Columbine High School massacre on April 20th, 1999.
The story is taking place three years after Scream 2 and follows the main character Sidney Prescott who tries to live a normal life and tries to forget the Woodsboro events. But sadly a new Ghostface will appear and will begin to kill the cast of the film within a film “Stab 3”. But one of the actresses of Stab 3 is killed on the stage and Det. Mark Kincaid decides to call the survivors of the Woodsboro massacre, Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers and Sydney. And as you can guess Ghostface will try to kill Sidney, but who Ghostface could be this time?
Let’s be clear if you didn’t like “Scream 2” you won’t like “Scream 3”. Because the story and the way it was filmed are almost the same. “Scream 3” is mocking the trilogy genre it’s brilliant satire on the trilogy genre. And I think it was the best way to end the story of “Scream”. Unlike a lot of movie sagas, Scream 3 didn’t fall into the trap of let’s shoot another episode in order to make money and create a cheesy movie with a lot of blood and people will come to watch it just because it’s written Scream on the poster -I’m referring to SAW franchise. With Scream 3 we can say everything is rounded off and things didn’t go too far. The plot makes sense, you can’t guess what will happen and the suspense of the scenes keep the audience engaged and with all those murders in this huge manor you have the feeling to play the board game “Cluedo” aka “Clue” in the UK where step by step you are finding out who is the killer.
But since 2011 “Scream 3” is no more the final act, Dimension Films decided to revive the Scream franchise and they created Scream4.
I give it a 07/10
Scream 4 (2011)
Scream 4 is a 2011 American slasher film and the fourth installment and the final chapter of the Scream franchise -for now. Still directed by Wes Craven and it is his final film before his death in 2015 from a brain cancer at the age of 76 in Los Angeles. As in the three previous opuses, we have the same cast with David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox with some new actors.
After ten years, Sidney Prescott is now the author of a self-help book and returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. As soon as she arrives, a new Ghostface killer appears and once again begins killing students from Woodsboro High. Those events happen on the fifteenth anniversary of the original Woodsboro murders and for this anniversary Ghostface is more violent than ever before.
Scream 4 is a good way to introduce the Scream saga to new generations who don’t know it. This comedy-horror movie is way better than the third film and it is refreshing as the original. With this film, Craven managed to make Scream popular again. I think this movie was released to refresh the series and prepare the audience for the upcoming Scream TV series -available on Netflix.
I hope this MWM made you want to watch the Scream series on Netflix. I don’t know if the TV series is as good as the movie but I really hope so.
I give it a 07/10