Scream ★★★½

The meta dialogue and genre acknowledgments still feel incredibly clunky rather than clever, and the mystery is practically Scooby Doo adjacent, but I did enjoy Scream more than before. The breezy pacing and character chemistry make this such a fun hang-out film. But all of that - the self-awareness, the comedy, the mystery - almost distracts from the fact that Scream is just one hell of an exactingly-constructed slasher. What really stood out this time was how, aside from some traditional kills, Wes Craven treated his slasher attacks as scrappy scrambling action set-pieces. The second half of Scream unfolds as an intricate Rube Goldberg machine of stalk-&-chase thrills.

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