Soumajit Nath’s review published on Letterboxd:
Know about the basic rules to survive in a horror genre movie? If you don't, then hear me out!!
1)you can never have sex
2)you can never drink or do drugs
3)Never (ever, under any circumstances) say “I’ll be right back”...cause then be sure you'll never be right back!
And what else? “Horror movies are always about some big-breasted blond who runs upstairs instead of front door so the slasher can corner her,” says an over-stressed Sidney Prescot (Nave Campbell) with an overbearing prank call (atleast she thinks it is) from someone anonymous! And yes exactly that's the reality of horror films..be provocative atfirst by presenting some eye-treaty blond sexy darling before to lure her into a deadly killing spree with an ear-splitting scream and echoing fear from everywhere around...that gives a perfect kickstart of your slasher movie, if you're planning to make one! And Craven, himself, was such a horror film fanatic cause he follows the rule and precisely knows them by heart that he, this time, put them in different way through for mocking the target genre which he's been working since decades...for example, see the opening of this classic horror slasher made by the master himself!!..you will find an overloaded beauty, a blond Drew Barrymore answering a prank call while making popcorn and guess what?! She's the scapegoat here that's very specifically needed in opening credits of a masterpiece classic like this! But there's been happening some real gruesome stuff at the end of that credit, most innovative part in here and even can be said as better than most of the modern slasher thrillers released in every week!! As we, along with her just-returned-home-from-somewhere-else parents discover all this mess in their house and the tough part was to bear with them as they hearing their loving daughter's moaning, bleeding and breathing her last breathe out over the phone before atlast they find it out, a bloodshoked Casey(Yes her name is Casey, I've not mentioned it because I don't think it's relevant though) hanging from a branch of the tree of their own garden with all guts out of her bloody remains. Yes, that's the bloody opening of SCREAM 1996. But SCREAM isn't just solely abiding the rules in there but also even self cautiously trying to disobey them for it's own profit— for disclosing itself first ever self-conscious slasher horror film that mocked the very genre and presented the rules to successfully survive a horror film keenly enough, as explained by another high school horror fanatic, Randy Meeks - although these were later broken many times throughout till the bloody ending with lots of body counts and a special twist worth waiting for!
A high school girl, a target prey of Mr. Ghostface(a serial killer in attire of typical Halloween costume who haunts the streets and town of Woodsboro) along with the town's officer and a media lady famous enough to get everyone's eyes on her, unites to solve these series of killings and murders that has left a permanent scar in heart of their small town. That's enough, I think, if you need any little gisted up view over the whole thing. And see there, it's a simple story...quite a formulatic one! So, what is the speciality of SCREAM that makes it so well renowned among everyone throughout the world? Yes, who's the killer..that's not the only suspense in here, throughout this whole over 100 minutes runtime as there hasn't been a single thought of skipping anything in the middle came in my mind even though I've watched this original SCREAM from 1996, perhaps a ten times, at before. So what's the speciality? For me, it's a kind of film which doesn't only live upon on killer's motive or silly predictions about who's the killer. But besides all the twists and turns, there's a simple trajectory of a very common story, that satisfies every rules and guidelines of what a horror slasher must need to have...and there it invents a complete new mechanism that helps it to talk about itself very frankly in a mocking manner, what Roger Ebert had long been specified as "self-deconstructing ownself"! Craven's direction is top notch in there, no doubt, and what he offers here, is not only a great horror slasher gore feast but also a self criticism and criticism of other feasible contemporary horror films under the very genre which, I think, hardly anyone would dare to imagine to handle in their own films! Instead of leaving it to the audience to anticipate the horror clichés, the characters themselves talk about them so openly eventhough they'll going to do same silly mistakes later in the meantime when it's come to the question of threats on their own lives. Well, well this is a kind of trick that Craven has been playing all over in everywhere at here..and that creates the shear excitements among the viewers— to observe and pinpoint the humours out of the particular moment served as one of the best scope of constructing excitement!
In case of characters, everyone of them are unique in their own way through. Burroway is definitely the "big-breasted blond" (eventhough I doubt on certain detail) and Campbell is obviously our point of concern, plays the leading lady who'll going to survive as like Laurie did in HALLOWEEN films though "how" is the big question hanging. Whatever, Courtney Cox is definitely that stubborn mystery solver young reporter who goes to any beyond to get her story by any price....Arquette is the deputy(Kinda always reminds me of Ransone's deputy in SINISTER 2012..though definitely 2012's deputy takes the inspiration from here) who is an idiot by appearance but has a lot to do in upcoming films of the franchise so he needs to live. Whereas I always consider Rose McGowan's Tatum as the hottest lady by appearance among the everyone else, and that's again a formula fact as she plays the role of a careless side character friend of our leading lady who sadly need to die to throw our heroine in more certain layers of torment, grief and terror in bones. Although as a matter of fact, Rose's Tatum has also got one very best franchise's killing sequence...that's: death by getting stuck and latter crushed in a garage doggie door.
Whatever, it's my first write up on one of my favourite slasher from the 90's. It's not like that I've never thinking of writing anything about SCREAM but after a frequent visit to this classic masterpiece, whever a thought of writing something about it ever crossed my mind before, I always thought what's the point of writing something so mere that's perhaps thousands of others have allready mentioned in their reviews. So everytime I stopped, but not this time though...as when you watch something first time you either enjoy it or hate, you watch it twice you like it or loathe it. But when you watch something more than over three times and when you love your watching passionately enough, your eyes must go to grab the details and trifling elements which're definitely worth checking for in such films like SCREAM which're outbursted with a tons of pop culture references. In this watch I rediscovered once again my refreshing enjoyment of watching something allready I've watched. Indeed few lines, few dialogues..I've understood in a different way through, humours have been striking me in different ways. Strange that how something would become quite a new thing if you observe it in a different approach, mature observation can change one's taste and perspective even! So, let's cut the crap and end it right here with a special mention of one my favourite killing in SCREAM!!
And it's...yes you guess that right— an ancient tube television where playing 1978's HALLOWEEN in full volume, crushed the head of one of those ghost faces...yes, there were two of them(Not a SPOILER, I think)!!