10 March 1998
Scream: Not Your Typical Horror Movie
Dracula. Frankenstein. Godzilla. These monsters no longer strike fear into the hearts of viewers as they once did. Formerly the villains of the classic "monster movie," these relics, who now represent all that is archaic in horror film history, move aside to make room for the newcomers. The monster movie of the past makes way for the thriller or slasher movie of the present, while the monster villain gives its role to the deranged psycho/serial killer. The Friday the 13th series, the Nightmare on Elm Street series, and more recently Copycat and Seven, have become the new classics in the genre of the horror film. With films like The People Under the Stairs, Nightmare on Elm Street, and New Nightmare, Wes Craven has proven himself to be a master of the creation of modern horror films.
With his recent masterpiece Scream, Craven shows his audience that he is not restricted by the typical conventions of the horror film. In most of these films, the background is set up before the killer does any actual slashing. However in Scream, Drew Barrymore's character is tormented by the killer from the film's very beginning and both she and her boyfriend are dead less than ten minutes after the opening credits. Craven manages to make Scream a film of less"fluff" and more substance than most thrillers. Recurring themes in the film, such as the lack of teens' seriousness, the callous nature of today's younger generation, the crossover and confusion between reality and movies, and the negative representation of television media not only add to the film's entertainment value, but also often portray a fairly accurate picture of twentieth century America.
Despite all the film's blood and gore, Craven creates a comedic tone so successfully that at times the audience wonders whether Scream might be a comedy after all. Even though the safety of their small town has been... [continues]
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