Ellie’s review published on Letterboxd:
These reviews are so hard to do!! Like, this is a seminal work, right? This defined an era that we are still reeling from and all I can do is sit here and wonder why they didn't use the Chekhov's gun formerly known as Neve Campbells right hook ever again!! I don't think I've ever actually given a real shit about Chekhov's stinky gun ever so I dunno. Imagine if she punched Ghostface (who gets namedropped exactly once) right in his funny little ghosts face. <---- see what I mean about not knowing what 2 say lmao
Growing up in an immediate Post Scream environment where every store had Ghostface costumes as early as August and every movie FELT like a post-Scream movie regardless of whether or not you had seen Scream, I feel like I've already absorbed the whole thing thru cultural osmosis. Obviously I wasn't allowed to watch it! My parents sucked! They wouldn't let me watch the Muppets cause they weren't godly enough! All I could do was go to the video store and look at Scream posters and Scream DVDs and some! Scream video tapes and wonder just WHAT was goin' on in this dang franchise, right? The only way I could get away with watching horror movies back in 2004 or god-knows-when was when my parents were out (drinking!!! but don't tell anybody ok??) and I had the Chiller channel all to myself. Unfortunately I caught I Know What You Did Last Summer instead so that's my childhood movie that I haven't seen since. Anyway, Scream has always been a big part of my life regardless of whether or not I'd seen it. That was THE franchise! The Halloween/Friday The 13th/Nightmare on Elm Street/Child's Play of my generation!!!!!!!
I've typed up stuff before on the nature of meta narrative in film, as well as how Craven coalesces themes of comedy and horror until they're indecipherably tangled to a point where you don't know which is which. Thee 1990's was where it was at for Wes Craven, tbh. Between this, People Under The Stairs and New Nightmare, he'd essentially mastered the concept that it felt like he was trying to broach with the original Nightmare. The sheer exhilarating terror of Everett McGill in a gimp suit running around hooting and hollering with a shotgun is funny but also fucking terrifying (in my fact based opinion). New Nightmare itself isn't very funny but it's that casually real vibe that a lot of it gives off, slowly mixing in with increasingly uneasy breaches in that reality, until it's all superseded by a new reality (John as Don, Heather as Nancy). With Scream, the meta narrative exists not to bridge between reality and fiction, necessarily. Rather it's to merge humor with horror, as mentioned before (I'm repeating myself, help!!!!!!!). So get this, ok? The introductory sequence with Drew Barrymore is played completely straight, so much so that I literally thought the camera was gonna pan out to reveal that it's a movie on TV and the gang is all together watching it. Scary! Then we get some funny people stuff... then bam! Back n forth, back n forth until the finale is just goofy exciting stuff! This movie actually scared me! And I'm trying to contextualize it so that I'm way smarter than I am and that I did way more than just enjoy an incredibly well made film! Also the meta stuff is neat but it doesn't stand out from other post-Scream meta stuff except for the specific fact that Wes Craven frames it as being fun for the audience, rather than just self masturbatory "I get horror" shit. It literally might just be because he was a great director.
side notes: perfect casting especially for skeet ulrich because i hate him he looks like he is made of grease and not the edible kind that you find in a burger meal. the way ghostface wipes blood off his Ka-bar knife is spoOoOOoky!! I really wish dewey talked like a human :(