Scream ★★★★

"What's your favorite scary movie?"
Would you believe it if I told you that it took me 23 years of my life before finally seeing Scream? It really is stunning because it checks all my boxes in the sense that it's a late-nineties teen movie with over-the-top cheesy jokes and low-grade raunchy humor and also happens to be a horror whodunit mystery on top of that. Finally I was shown the light.
People seem to be pretty cynical of Scream, but I had a lot of fun with this (I guess you could say I thought it was a scream. I knew that was bad before I even wrote it).
This movie is special because what I see people criticize it for most (being cheesy and/or overly-theatrical) is entirely conscious and intentional. You don't have to deep dive to recognize that the movie is constantly playing with that fourth wall and level of self-awareness as a horror film. The characters in the film critique horror movies and the characters within them for the very things they themselves exhibit as the plot unfolds. It's ridiculous and it's supposed to be that way. The iconic opening sequence, I felt, was also just really well-done. The concept of an unseen threat communicating with you as you actively know they're watching you is something that is still a scary concept and I think that's just the truth. It plays itself wonderfully, and I had a great time watching it. Also it probably goes without saying, but Matthew Lillard is extremely entertaining to watch. Definitely a highlight of the film.
Now the real question: Does one bother watching any of the many following sequels?

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