Scream ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I love Scream. I think this movie is an excellent display of tone balancing, something I don't seem to care about as much as others, but look to this for a shining example. Funny, suspenseful, eerie. Great fun characters, filmmaking is perfect, the writing is 90s-modern and clever but not overly annoyingly so (the film didn't feel as dated as one might assume, though it being an absolutely iconic 90s film is important and not something to be swept under the rug anyway.)

And at the core of the Scream franchise is...these are a bunch of fun, well constructed whodunnits, with red herrings, obvious false suspects (the first time I watched, I was positive it was Dewey, which I think is the idea), not so obvious maybe false suspects lurking in every frame. And the rewatches are especially rewarding (the video store scene is a totally different scene the second time you see it.)

My favorite thing in this, besides uh, Rose McGowan, who I was obsessed with in 1996, is Matthew Lillard's character and performance. Because these horror movie archetypes: the confident sexy girl and her annoying douchey boyfriend is a slasher movie staple (not to mention the innocent girl next door protagonist and her sexy/horny boyfriend), but Lillard does something very unique, which is...his antics turn out to be signs that he's...fucking totally insane. And the more you watch the little extra OOMPH he gives to it, the more clear that becomes. Is he a fun jokester in your group of friends? No, he's nuts.

The film is meta, self-aware, but also feels more like the real world than a typical horror movie, but also has this dreamy quality where the characters kind of know they're in a movie and you start to question reality. It's hard to explain. But what I mean is the meta stuff doesn't just feel cutesy or clever to me, but profound.

The movie makes me feel weird, but in a great way. I think it's actually underrated.

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