Tye_Gill’s review published on Letterboxd:
I may have known a few prime spoilers going in, but Scream cleverly breaks down the conventions of the horror genre and toys with them in a fun, refreshing, and incredibly enjoyable manner.
Its script from Kevin Williamson is very much my favourite aspect of the film. Between its clever uses of horror clichés, memorable and funny dialogue, plus providing some of the most fleshed-out characters I’ve seen in a slasher. I feel that I have no right to say such a thing, considering how few slashers I’ve actually seen. Regardless, I feel that the characters here are strongly developed. A lot of them have great depth, from their pasts, to their struggles and ambitions. Even if these don’t apply to everyone in the main (and somewhat side) cast, they are great characters in a terrific narrative. That opening is already iconic enough, to the point where someone like myself already knows about it fairly well. But seeing it unfold as a cold-open of sorts was fantastic! Not only from the smart script, as well as Wes Craven’s solid directing, but also from the performances. And those aspects and their strong nature extend to the entire film.
The cast in this film take an already stellar script and elevate it to even greater heights. A lot of them make their respective characters their own, and are acted wonderfully well. Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lilard, and even Courtney Cox, whose character in particular I would hate in probably any other film, all do great in their roles. It’s also shot well. Camera movements are smooth, while there are some nice visuals at times, whether outdoors or indoors. The production design, specifically on the few large houses that are shown in the film, look great. Marco Beltrami’s original score, alongside the selection of pre-existing tracks, are used effectively and fit nicely with the feature. There are also points during it that I felt the tension a fair amount. Craven’s direction does wonders to these moments. Also, in a weird way, already knowing what was to come around its conclusion, I even found myself guessing who was behind it all. It does a good job laying out the possibilities for this aspect.
Having watched it proper for the first time, I now truly understand the immense impact that Scream had on the horror genre when it released; something which I’ve heard plenty about for such a long time. It’s a smart, greatly-made film that stands out immensely for its approach to the genre, along with its superb execution.