Scream ★★★½

“Scream” (1996), is a chilling, daring, and widely stratified telling that attempts to completely deconstruct the conventions of horror down to its hilariously formidable science of tropes, cliches, and traditional plot elements that stand the test of time in most pieces of horror cinema from the last 50 years, and through such a vast array of meta commentaries and deliberate devices to drive a classic slasher narrative, this film delivers in one of the most gratifying and layered fashions while not feeling abundantly littered to the brim with flaws given its purpose and ambitions towards breaking down traditional conformities, and at the core of this visceral story is a fantastically engaging screenplay from Kevin Williamson that translates to the screen through Wes Craven’s truly wondrous direction as characters exhibit their purposefully ordinary and one-noted archetypes and characteristics amid a consistently flowing pacing and sense of storytelling that always leaves pulpy violence or humor to digest on even if nothing we experience necessarily comes off as supremely challenging or profound, plus this film showcases entertainingly memorable performances across the board as every performer embraces their character’s expected actions with humorously familiar mannerisms and expressions, especially with the likes of Jamie Kennedy and Matthew Lillard who present themselves as the finest examples of unforgettable slasher horror paragons, and furthermore, this film utilizes technical facets of recognized horror filmmaking to its advantage with unsettling dutch angles and sound design that feels incredibly akin to what would be heard in commonplace stories of bloodshed, however, for all of its deliberate deconstructions of the slasher subgenre, this film does still present some anecdotes and conscious choices that bring the overall quality of the film down, such as awfully unfitting music that almost severely muddles the mood and atmosphere that the film tries to establish, and the biggest problem this film possesses is its terribly handled structure of practicality eluding to timing and implementation of certain scenarios that breaks the grounded nature of the story, but even then, this film firmly stands its ground for being one of the most classic and compelling slashers of its time as it revels in its keen sense of self awareness and fascinating comedic horror, and though this story eventually leads to a slew of deficiently lesser sequels, the original catalyst will be an everlasting statement on the meaning of horror classics and the slasher subgenre.

7 out of 10

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