With Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy, Matthew Lillard
Directed by Wes Craven

Reviewed by JB

"In a year or two, your career will be over."     SCREAM is a self-reflexive compendium of every teen slasher movie cliché that works as both a top-notch example of that genre as well as a sharp send up. Smartly written by Kevin Williamson and directed with the usual manic energy by slasher-flick king Wes Craven (NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST).

     SCREAM stars Neve Campbell, then a minor TV star on the low-rated Party of Five. She would ride SCREAM and its sequels to a fairly successful, if short-lived, career in mainstream dramas and comedies.  She makes for a vulnerable yet resourceful slasher flick heroine, one you want to root for, a worthy successor to HALLOWEEN's Jamie Lee Curtis.  Another TV star, Courteney Cox from Friends, is equally excellent as a shallow and ambitious reporter investigating the series of horrible murders surrounding Campbell's character.  The rest of the cast is also well chosen.  There's the underrated David Arquette, amusing as the inevitably inept small town cop with the unfortunate nickname of Dewey, the bouncy Rose McGowan as Dewey's little sister, and the goofy Jamie Kennedy as geeky video store worker who can recite all the unbreakable rules of the slasher genre.  The twist on the slasher flick comes from the fact that the killer, the victims and the audience are well aware of the genre's conventions, which allows the film to freely play with and off of everybody's expectations.

     The slasher flick may be one of the lowest forms of movie entertainment, but SCREAM, along with the original HALLOWEEN (which is seen on TV in the final of SCREAM) stand above the rest by virtue of their being so well executed. Lots of blood, lots of running around and screaming, lots of in-jokes.  Followed by two fun but lesser sequels. ½ - JB

Scary Movies     The Secret Vortex


"What's your favorite scary movie?"
"Oh, come on, you know I don't watch that sh*t."
"Why not?  Too scared?"
"No, no, it's just --- what's the point?  They're all the same.  Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who's always running up the stairs when she should be going out the front door.  It's insulting."