Scream ★★½

It's strange for me to admit to having an outside influence have an impact on my appreciation for a particular movie, but I honestly have to say that I think I would have taken to Wes Craven's Scream much more had I not already seen Scary Movie, the spoof comedy that is largely based around the same plot and characters. I still somewhat enjoyed Scream, but after having spent the last decade watching it mercilessly skewered multiple times and knowing practically every scene that happened in it, I'm sure that I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I could have if I had been able to go into it completely blind.

Kevin Williamson's premise, creating a self-aware horror picture where the characters reference classics of the genre and categorize themselves into their own story, is brilliant and I think it is effectively played out in the script but I'm not sure the tone worked for me entirely. Scream walks a balance between camp cheese and legitimate horror and I think it's a little too uneasy on that line, resulting in multiple sequences where I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be laughing or genuinely thrilled and as a result I ended up being neither. Again though, this could have something to do with having seen Scary Movie so many times already and equating a lot of the scenes in this film with the broadly drawn comedy of that parody.

It's rather bizarre that Scary Movie even exists as a spoof of this particular series, seeing as the whole premise of Scream is to present a tongue-in-cheek mocking of horror conventions while also existing firmly within that structure, though I think that last year's Cabin in the Woods played that kind of meta style much more intelligently. I was never bored with Scream, but I was also never fully invested in it and at the end I'm still having a hard time determining just how much I liked it overall. I really wish I could go back in time and see it with no prior knowledge of the events within it, as I think that surely would have made for a more interesting experience.

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