It is beginning to look a lot like Halloween here on the Randomness! Let us continue with another franchise that I love to pop in when the weather starts to change, and we think about what goes bump in the night.
He sees you when you are sleeping. He stabs when you are awake…Scream if you can!
What can I tell you? I am a bit of a Wes Craven fangirl. Scream is a series that became popular when I just in the fourth grade but rose to prominence when hit the slumber party circuit. I remember being scared (I scare easily people) but I was still drawn to the series. Much like my other favorite series by Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street), there is more to the characters and story than their stereotypes.
Let me slow down. Let me talk about the series as a whole. Scream was written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The first film premiered in December 1996 and was a huge hit. Why wouldn’t it be? The guy from Dawson’s Creek, Freddy’s creator and the Weinstein’s were a part of the project. From there were three more films released and a television series for MTV following new characters. According to one article, the series became notable because of its use of recognizable actors. That was unheard of and has become a big part of Screams success.
The series follows Sidney Prescott and her friends in Woodsboro as a mysterious “Ghost Face” stalks and kills each one of them off. In the mix are Gale Weathers (new reporter) and Dewey Riley (deputy sheriff). It is a bit traditional slasher mixed in with some comedy.
That is why I think I truly enjoy the series. I liked that the characters were relatable. They knew pop culture and knew the horror genre. By the time, these movies were made the whole horror genre was oversaturated with the same type of movie. Of course, these characters would be highly aware of that horror genre and the formulaic way movies would run. It is almost a commentary on how much the slasher/horror genre has permeated society as a whole. Teenagers are not so stupid anymore. They aren’t running into woods just because they can. They aren’t falling so easily. They are highly aware of the horrors life can bring. I also found myself rooting for them to live and not die. I hate to admit it but after the eight Jason movies, I have watched in my life, I was rooting for characters to die. With this movie, I cared which is rare for horror films.
What I liked was how Scream tried to make fun of the formula of horror films. By this time, there was a formula being used by all studios, and oddly enough it worked. However, by the 90s it was getting old. I think Scream was so interesting because they recognized that there was a formula (through the character Randy). The characters don’t give it much credence because horror movies don’t happen in real life…right? I liked Williamson and Craven both knew and treated the audience like they weren’t stupid. One thing that bothers me about some horror genre films is how the audience is treated like they are stupid. By this point, audiences were in the know, and this film series treated them well.
This series tried to change the way people look at horror films. I do not know if everyone was enamored with the series, but I knew I was. I was interested in how Sydney was going to get out of each dangerous situation and who was going to make it next.
Stick around because tomorrow I talk about my favorite in the series, the first Scream and why it deserves a look every October.