380 Days of Halloween Movies: Day 3 - Scream (1996)
The first horror movie for a mobile phone to be discovered on a characters person, only to be the prime suspect of the investigation. That's right, Scream has now become such an old horror movie as for this plot thickening twist as a character is caught red handed with a good old cellular phone from the late 90s. Murderer! No one has a mobile phone in 1996
You know, that moment when Dewy picks up the house telephone just moments after Sidney puts down the phone after hearing the masked psychopath, Ghostface, leave a threatening message - and Dewy gets together the mighty courage to say, "hello"- only to find that the phone line has disconnected
In the 90s, slasher horror movies were tiering down, and the Halloween and A Nightmare On Elm Street franchises were slumping, and this certainly showed in the returns on investment for these movies. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers released into North American cinema theatres in 1995 and grossed $15 million. Child’s Play 3 released into worldwide cinema theatres in 1991 and grossed $20 million worldwide. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare released into cinema theatres in 1991 and grossed $34 million worldwide (on an $11 million budget). Although, in 1998, Halloween: H20 released and performed substantially better than its predecessing movie, and earned $55 million on a $17 million budget. I Know What You Did Last Summer hit cinema theatres in 1997, and shocked the box office, as the movie grossed $125 million worldwide, a sum that is rather high for a run-of-the-mill 90s slasher horror movie. But, all of the previous listings come nowhere near close to the top earning slasher horror movie of all time, Scream, a Wes Craven (creator of A Nightmare On Elm Street) horror slasher movie released in 1996. Scream grossed $173 million worldwide at the box office on a $14 million budget.
Scream, released in 1996, was such a hit with teen audiences for the 90s teenage time era because Scream was a slasher horror movie to copy off other horror slasher movies. In Scream, there is a teenage psychopath killer who is picking off teenagers at the local Woodsboro high-school, but the mystery is figuring out who the killer is before the psychopath known as Ghostface finds and kills the leading actors/actresses.
In the end, the killer/s are somewhat unexpected, but like all dumb slasher horror movies the key is to be as obvious as humanly possible. But, when it is obvious and yet the killer is wearing a full outfit that disguises all possible features of a persons body and identity this may not be as easy as first expected. The word got around back in 1996, and teenagers were telling their friends about this cool new horror slasher movie, and everyone jumped to the conclusion that this was just going to be another rewrite for some dumb Jason or Michael Myers movie. Heck no, as Scream is all about the mystery, and the best part about this is that it still keeps audiences playing the dumb guessing game, and before you know it everyone was wrong and yet someone was pressing at the right answer but got outvoted by their supposed best buddies.
Horror slasher movies in the 80s were all about cheap budget production sets with terrible cameramen and make-up that would cover just about nothing. The budgets were so confined some have hasted at the guess that they may have used actually knives for weapons on the set of Halloween in the 80s because buying props for them would be impossible to clone to make them merely look real. That previous line was a lie, but one can wonder about the mysteries of 80s horror slasher movie making in the early 80s out in some distant woods in the middle of Camp Crystal, the local residence area for Jason - the one with the machete as his teen killing weapon of choice.
In the early 90s, horror slasher movies were still treated as though they were half arsed pieces of crap material that no one could possibly find the strength to get up in the morning to direct. And, this reflects in the astonishingly poor returns on investment in the early 90s for horror slasher movies, whilst psychological horror movies like Silence of the Lambs were practically printing money it was that successful. But, thankfully by the late 90s horror slasher movies were getting the golden treatment thanks to the success of certain slasher horror movies in the mid 90s. Scream was one of these lucky horror movies, as everything that they needed to make the production work was all ready to go. The budget was burned on special effects and getting premium audio and visual effects, and the cast that formed was one that to this day stands out as a horror iconic cast, and Scream 3 even played on this fact with comedy. And, most importantly, it was the comedy elements to Scream that made it so enjoyable to rematch, as these were not down to clumsy camera work or poorly elaborated special effects from the 80s slasher movie era, but instead well thought out and useable comedy sketches within a horror movie.
There were also countless one liners to have fun quoting in Scream; from “what’s your favourite movie Sidney”, to “if you hang up on me again, I’ll cut you like a fish, understand”, and everyones favourite one liner, “Ow! You Fudge(n) hit me with the phone, D*/*”. There is nothing more fun on Halloween than to sit down and chill whilst watching the most underrated horror movie of all time, since it was harshly judged by the mass crowds of people for being irony within irony, as these people only enjoyed the sequels because they featured the movie (Stab) within a movie. Then again, these might be the hipsters, in which case they are the few in the crowds and not the mass.
The characters are so well put together that they may have successfully accomplished the psychological creation of the century for slasher horror movies, and this is quite the foot forward from slasher horror franchises like Friday the 13th, Halloween and A Nightmare On Elm Street which are all cast aside for being past their phase in the horror movie industry. People have been moving quickly into the path of much preferring demonic possessive entities in movies to replace that of the old fashioned masked psychopathic killer in the movie. Every attempt to rework slasher horror movies back into the 2010’s have been subtle, and at times quite catastrophic turns of events when these movies in the works see the light of day. They are poorly structured, and copy off a time when horror making was seen as a cult following at best, and now the horror industry is demanding bigger budgets and better special effects these movies have the potential to achieve so much more than ever before. The biggest, and hardest obstacle to overcome is the complacency that horror directors have when approaching the slasher sub genre, since every director that has given it a shot throughout the 2000s and 2010’s has run into too much familiar territory. Scream redefined the slasher horror genre, and at times even defined the funniest horror slasher moments, and this could have never been made possible had they stuck with the same old tired routine stretching out for the most part of the horror slasher movies in the 80s. It barely worked then with what they were doing, so what makes you think it will work now without some readjustments in thinking.
Stab is Scream... Scream is Stab...
Have you watched Scream (1996)?
How would you rate Scream (1996)?
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