US (dir. Wes Craven)
Cast: Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, Frances Lee McCain, Jamie Kennedy, Joseph Whipp, Liev Schreiber, Matthew Lillard, Neve Campbell, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, W Earl Brown, David Arquette, Henry Winkler
Synopsis: One year after the death of Sidney Prescott’s mother, two students turn up gutted. When a serial killer appears, Sidney begins to suspect whether her mother’s death and the two new deaths are related. No one is safe, as the killer begins to pick everyone off one by one. Everyone’s a suspect in this case.
Review: Why is “Scream” the perfect movie? Because it is written so damn well. Whenever I think about perfect screenplays, “Scream” always comes to mind. Besides a well written script, “Scream” sports a well-rounded, generally likeable cast (with the addition of hotties Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard and Jamie Kennedy), excellent music choices, great direction, and of course, enough geeky movie references and tongue-in-cheek humor to make the nerdiest of horror movie afficanados appeased. “Scream” is most definitely THE must-see ’90s horror movie, and it is directed by one of the best names in horror, Wes Craven.
One of the great things about “Scream” is that it managed to spawn a franchiseable killer (Ghostface) as well as set-up a trilogy (which never ended up satisfying me in the end, but hey, at least they tried). It also, as mentioned before, had a fantastic story. It’s the kind of story that works so perfectly, it keeps you guessing right to the end, it has a twist, and it’s by no mean far-fetched or unrealistic. It’s a slasher movie with some brains. No twitty, big-titted blondes running around and getting iced, no abundance of sex, zero stupidity. The characters are all self-aware, they reference other horror movies and often speak about life as if it were just one big movie. This notion isn’t something new to Wes Craven movies, he often throws in stories where there is a blur between movies and real-life, between dreams and reality. It’s an interesting concept that he plays around with in many of his movies and it makes you more empathetic with the characters in them.
The stand-out actors in this movie happen to be the three hotties, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy, and Skeet Ulrich. Lillard plays the jock-ish, obnoxious male role, and while isn’t a terribly important character, he ends up proving his significance (and his deeply contorted mind) in the end. Ulrich plays the ultimate, dreamy boyfriend. He is reminiscent of an early Johnny Depp, and he even re-inacts the whole climbing in through the girlfriend’s window thing that Johnny made famous in “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. On his looks alone, it’s a no brainer as to why Craven had Ulrich play Billy boyfriend (Ulrich is a dead ringer for a young Johnny Depp), but Ulrich is just as dangerously hot on the inside as he is on the outside. He plays his role with a creepy, twisted vigour. He delivers every line perfectly and he is such a memorable good guy turned bad guy. It almost makes you sad that his career wasn’t as successful as it could have been. As for Kennedy, who could have played the nerdy, horror movie geek, Randy any better. Randy was my ultimate horror movie boy crush. His knowledge of horror movies not only surpassed my own (at the time I first watched the movie in the 1990s). He was as cute as he was nerdy, and I liked how honest he was about his crush on the final girl, Sydney.
If you haven’t seen this movie, stop reading this, find a copy, and watch it. If you have a fondness for horror movies, enjoy a good slasher mixed with some tongue-in-cheek humour and obscure references to other movies, ou will love this.
Special Features Review (September 2011): COMING SOON!!!