Time for a Halloween “Scream”

Time for a Halloween Scream

“Scream” is a horror movie that came out in 1996. It was directed by Wes Craven who’s most known for directing “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. Scream stars: Neve Campbell as Sydney Prescott, David Arquette as Dwight “Dewy ” Riley, Courtney Cox as Gale Weathers, Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis, and Matthew Lilard as Stu Macher. “Scream” is a who-done-it slasher movie full of red herrings and meta commentary on the horror genre as a whole.

Scream begins with Casey Becker making popcorn and getting ready to watch a horror movie when she gets a phone call from an unknown number. After a little bit of harmless flirting over the phone the voice on the other side of the phone begins to threaten Casey, forcing her to play a game of horror movie trivia to save her and her boyfriend’s lives. Casey gets the question wrong and her boyfriend dies, and the killer goes after her.

The mystery killer gets the upper hand on Casey, killing her in a brutal display hanging her in a tree with her insides on the outside. Drew Barrymore’s face was all over the marketing for this movie, making it seem like Casey Becker was being set up to be the final girl of “Scream”. The death of Drew Barrymore’s character shocked audiences everywhere. When Casey’s parents find her body Casey’s father tells her mother to drive down the streets and call the Mackenzies which echoes Laurie Strode’s line from Halloween when she tells Lindsey Wallace and Tommy Doel to run down the street to the Mackenzies. This line is one of the many references to John Carpenter’s “Halloween.”

The next day after Casey’s murder the main cast of teenagers discuss Cassey Beckers murder effectively making three people look guilty. Billy Loomis, who gets his name from Dr. Loomis in John Carpenter’s Halloween, is incredibly nonchalant. Stew Macher and Randy Meeks are making jokes effectively setting up the two boys as possibilities to be the ghostface killer.
When Sidney gets home from school she’s home alone and she gets attacked by ghostface who is stopped by Billy. While comforting Sidney Billy drops his cell phone which is suspicious because it’s the 90’s. The cell phone is effective in adding to the mystery of the ghostface killer. The next day there is a party that sets up the last act of the film. All of the cast is gathered and people start dropping like flies.

The identity of ghostface is well hidden under bad jokes and weird comments effectively creating a true who-done it. With the meta jokes about the “rules to survive a horror movie” and compelling characters who are smart and not just walking body bags, “Scream” is a perfect introduction to the horror genre and I highly recommend watching it this Halloween season.

Scream is streaming on Paramount Plus, The Roku Channel, SHOWTIME, Showtime Anytime, Prime Video, Vudu, Redbox., ROW8 or Apple TV on your Roku device.