Top Horror Films – #16 – Scream

1996; directed by Wes Craven; written by Kevin Williamson

Allen: The slasher film that redefined the slasher film. Scream broke new ground for horror movies by parodying the kind of films that preceded it. Wes Craven put himself back on the map by creating yet another franchise in his now legendary film career. The movie opened up the horror genre to a strong resurgence in the late ’90s, giving birth to countless other films like it (or just straight up rip-offs, to put it bluntly). With the next Scream sequel set for 2011, it looks like this is a series that is set to make a strong return.

Ed: Despite all of the acclaim that Wes Craven has gotten over the years, I would contend that the opening 10 minutes of this movie (the Drew Barrymore scene) is his best work. The entire Scream series is fun, and this movie in particular does a great job of giving us characters we care about before they are chopped up. David Arquette as Dewie is a standout as the sweet, lovable dork of a cop. This movie lovingly pokes fun at the conventions of the modern horror movie while still being able to show how a scary slasher movie should be done. I always felt the entire Scary Movie series was unnecessary since this movie already has its tongue placed firmly in cheek (essentially Scary Movie is a parody of a parody which makes no sense). However, the beginning with the babysitter is great in how it ramps up the stakes with a malevolent game of phone trivia and a deadly version of the “he’s calling from inside the house” story. Chilling.

John: My favorite Wes Craven movie. The characters and mystery are all developed very well. The biggest downside were all the lame “self-aware slashers” it spawned. The sequels brought diminishing returns, but never became terrible.

Team Rankings:
Mike – #9
John – #9
Ed – #12
Brandi – #23
Allen – #27
Spencer – #28


Brandi is one of those people who worries about kids these days not appreciating black and white films. She also admires great moments of subtlety, since she has no idea how to be subtle herself.

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