Scream ★★★★

Still so much fun. I’ll admit, the meta-horror, slasher-parody elements have lost their edge a little in the intervening years, not least because they’ve been so recycled to death by the countless copycats that have surfaced in the film’s wake, but it’s hard not to smile whenever a character calls out an obvious trope, like running up the stairs instead of going out the front door, only to then do precisely that and get themselves in a bind. Much of the cliché heralding is quite blatant—there isn’t an awful lot for the audience to work out on their own—but the film gets away with it precisely because it plays up to its own smug, self-knowing attitude.

It also helps that the narrative is framed around the actions of a bunch of dumb and irritating high-school kids, who true to their genre, point out what they shouldn't do in order to survive, and then do it anyway. Sidney falls into as many traps as anyone else here, but she’s just a great, no-nonsense horror protagonist. Easily one of the best final girls the slasher genre has ever produced.

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