directed by Wes Craven
Scream is both a deconstruction of the horror genre and a successful entrant into the genre. While the horror elements and gore of the film holds up well overtime, Scream’s tone is very much a product of the 1990’s. The teenagers in the film are sarcastic and snarky to a fault. It goes out of its way to reference as many other horror films as possible while breaking down the elements of horror films to give us “the rules of the horror film”. We learned from Scream to never have sex, never drink or do drugs, and never say, “Be right back”! Scream goes out of its way to set up these rules and then break them.
More then anything, the film is a slasher film, so it focuses on and replicates that genre more then any other. Sydney Prescott and her friends try to survive as a masked killer slices his way through Woodsborough. It is also a successful “who-dunnit”. I challenge anyone to say they figured out who the killer was the first time they saw it. Scream was followed by three sequels of varying quality much like many of the slasher films they reference throughout the film. Like many of my generation, it was not only a great horror movie it was also an important step in our horror film education.