Robert Berlin’s review published on Letterboxd:
Spooky Scary Horrorthons - Film #23
Wes Craven's playful satire on the slasher genre manages to be a rather competent slasher film at times while also poking fun at the genre and all the endless clichés that comes with it. Seeing as this film came out at a time when the horror genre was considered to be a worn out and tired art form it is not hard to see why Scream became such a smash hit.
Pretty much everything in this film is a horror cliché in one way or the other, everything from the sleepy little town serving as the main setting to the naive and fragile virgin acting as the main protagonist and final survivor. The film is very much aware of the clichés it is built upon and even the characters knows what is going on as the typical slasher story progresses.
The opening scene involving a creepy game of film trivia (and a brutal smashing of the Elm Street sequels) and the intense climax with a surprisingly tolerable twist in it are probably the only moments where it feels like I'm watching a pure horror film. The other parts felt more like a comedy rather than a horror film (still there was one part in the middle that made me fear public bathrooms when I saw it at a young age). At this second viewing I noticed that the middle of the film is actually pretty goofy in tone, there is not much stuff that is actually horrifying so as a horror film Scream falls a bit short. The self awareness that is going on throughout the film is absolutely brilliant all the way through though and if you view Scream as a parody rather than a horror film it is nothing short of brilliant.
Perhaps not as much of a perfect blend of comedy and horror as I remembered, Scream is still an enjoyable film for a horror buff such as myself. Seriously, Wes Craven's goofy cameo is all the reason you need to watch this film!