Scream ★★★★

I was pretty sure that I hadn't seen Scream all the way through in one sitting. I vividly remembered the iconic cold open with Drew Barrymore, but anything else felt like piecemeal memories of random scenes, trailer footage, and Scary Movie jokes. What was really throwing me was that I had no recollection of the ending. So I got all the way to the ending and yeah, I'd never seen it! Can you believe that I didn't know how Scream ended? Like it's one thing not to have seen it, but another thing entirely for such a pop culture juggernaut to have remained unspoiled for twenty-five years. It feels weird to say that I've only just now seen Scream.

It holds up. Wes Craven and the cast really conjure something special. More than most movies, Scream gets to have its cake and eat it too. It's stacked with fourth wall breaks and self-deprecation, but still has the legs to be fully compelling and tense for the entire runtime. That's a magic trick if I've ever seen one. And Neve Campbell is likable as hell. Tough without being made into a tomboy, strong but still emotional. She's the kind of lead you can root for.

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