It’s 2021, so the “slasher, but meta” does not feel nearly as fresh and as clever as I’m sure it might have 25 years ago, before TV Tropes existed and YouTube analysis videos proliferated and every horror movie in history is streaming on demand. In fact, the humor and commentary in Scream ends up feeling just a bit gimmicky rather than subversive, minus a few great moments.
That said, the thriller it’s in support of is quite good, and I can see why this rejuvenated the slasher genre and inspired a wave of copycats.
The opening scene is legitimately one of the most suspenseful and chilling segments of any movie I’ve seen. It hops right in with the opening shot and doesn’t relent for 12 minutes. It was like I was 10 again, watching everything through the slits between my fingers.
Once it gets to the story proper, it’s still quite good, with an abundance of masterful jump scares. Craven’s blocking and shot construction brilliantly set up the maximum impact of each Ghostface reveal.
There’s a bit of a lull in the pace before the one big murder spree, but only a little one, and the last 40 minutes are one gut-wrenching death or surprise Ghostface pop-up after another.
As with most whodunits, the suspense along the way is better than the actual solution ends up being, but the big revelations are still pretty solid.
Overall, Scream a great horror flick that I’m happy to have caught up with.
Very Good (6/8)
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.