Scream ★★★

Tried to remember how much I was into this one as a little gen x punk, but couldn't recall. I think roughly the same as now. That's it's a pretty fun crowd pleaser, but I'm not blown away or anything. People loved (and still love) this thing. Seemed so drenched in pop culture appeal that I think I always considered it sort of a light breezy slice of cake, instead of a meaty main course. Maybe like Friends, where if it was on, sure I'll watch it with you and say it's funny, but I'm not as all about it as so many folks were?

It's a fun ride though, right? I wish it was a little scarier. Even that great intro isn't that scary. The phone voice is so heavy on vocal performance. Like the turning on of the patio lights should be big beats of terror, but they don't really hit like that. Drew's great though. Then every ghostface appearance or call doesn't really hit you with fear really. It's lighter stuff I guess.

Probably heavier on the whodunnit and comedic tones than the slasher element. Doesn't necessarily play by the rules either. Full costumed ghostface appears at the grocery store and in the school girls bathroom n shit? C'mon now. The final reveal is pretty good though and you get some of the best little bits after that. The mutual stabbings and the "I think I'm dying" parts. "My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me." Good stuff, but yeah, you had to be pretty into Matthew Lillard's schtick to really be into this movie too, I guess. The "I'll be right back!" line probably most represents this movie. Meh, whatever. Dude has already come a long way from Sk8 TV on Nickelodeon at this point.

Neve Campbell was always good at these teen-y everyman characters back in the day, but even she's not pulling off clunkers like "Would you settle for a PG-13 relationship?" I still think all the Courtney Cox & David Arquette stuff is pretty weak tea. Skeet and Lillard are a pretty good pairing that holds up pretty well. Heartless desensitized little shits. Jamie Kennedy leaves a big dopey mark on these flicks. Rose McGowan is fine I guess. She looks great, which is a big component for a flick like this. W. Earl Brown is always a welcome sight. I remember thinking Henry Winkler didn't fit at all and he was still not great this time either.

For better or worse, this thing left a giant imprint on the horror genre when movie studios wouldn't even touch 'em anymore. It's setting the template for like the next decade pretty much, which is a death knell for straight-ahead slasher flicks and I always kinda lamented that. So no extra bonus points for historical significance for that. And even factoring in all the knocks, it's a pretty solid entertaining flick with a love of movies and horror history in its DNA. S'good.

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