Scream: A Retrospective


28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds

Someone's Taken Their Love Of Scary Movies One Step Too Far!

I had Wes Craven’s Scream at #5 in my Top 50 Horror Films of All-Time thread, with good reason too. It redefined the genre, for good or bad. You can’t fault the film for what followed.

I remember the first time I saw the film. It was on television, I recorded it onto VHS off CityTV after 9:00 PM. After 9 meant it wasn’t edited for TV, maybe edited for time at most, but the blood still shed, the language still flew and I was wide eyed at whatever it is that was unfolding on my television screen. I would have been 9 years old when the film hit theatres and under the age of 14 when it hit television. Definitely after the sequel had hit DVD, I remember that much.

‘The use of caller ID increased more than threefold after the release of this film.’

Partly inspired by the Gainesville Ripper, Kevin Williamson wrote the script because of his passion for the genre, specifically films like John Carpenter’s Halloween, which is referenced throughout the film. Originally titled Scary Movie (which was then used for the parody of this parody) the film was released by Dimension Films and those pesky brothers, aka The Weinstein Brothers, ended up re-titling the film. The film went on to gross over $170 million worldwide.

The film opens with Drew Barrymore, one of the most popular young actors in the 90’s. Is she our heroine? Nope. Williamson and Craven play with our expectations. Much like Hitchcock did with Psycho, here it is used more violently and within the opening sequence. That opening sequence, is not only one of the best openings to a horror film, but in my humble opinion, one of the best openings to a film ever.

Alongside Barrymore was a hot young cast of fresh faces. Neve Campbell, famous for Party of Five at the time, plays Sidney Prescott, the lead. She’s an intelligent woman who baulks at the ides of a big-breasted bimbo running up the stairs, instead of out the front door when a deranged masked killer is chasing her. It’s insulting she proclaims. Of course she does just this when a deranged killer chases HER. This is just one of the many nods to the self-awareness the film has. Not a stranger to the genre, Campbell starred in the witch flick The Craft earlier in her career. Her boyfriend is Billy Loomis (sound familiar horror fans?) played by Skeet Ulrich. He becomes the number one suspect because he has a cell phone. “What are you doing with a cellular telephone, son?” I’m not too sure how well that would play with today’s audience.

We all know that Courtney Cox and David Arquette got together while shooting the film and finally married during the 3rd. Playing, in my opinion, the least likeable characters in the film. It doesn’t help that they had no chemistry, so I found it weird that they married in real life. Matthew Lillard and Jamie Kennedy were Stu and Randy, the ‘comedic relief’ of sorts. Kennedy was a fan favourite as his character was essentially the audience. He was the movie guy who knew all the rules you had to live by in order to survive a horror film:

1. You will not survive if you have sex
2. You will not survive if you drink or do drugs
3. You will not survive if you say "I'll be right back"
4. Everyone is a suspect.

Finally the “sex” symbol Rose McGowan, most remembered for her perky scenes inside the garage. I know that’s what I remembered most about her role in this film as a young man.

The final act in this film runs an astonishing 42 minutes. A well directed set piece taking place all at a party. It’s here where we find out WHO the killer(s) are. I have no problem revealing who they were without spoiler tags, so skip the next paragraph if you haven’t seen the film.

Having the killer be two people I thought was pretty clever. Throwing so much suspicion onto one character to make us believe he was a red herring is pretty neat. On top of that having him ‘die’ right in front of us would certainly seal the “shock” factor in the reveal of Billy being one of the killers, with Stu being his partner. Their reason actually made sense too. Something the next film kind of failed to do. Williamson crafted a well-rounded story here.

The final showdown was supposed to have Dewey die when he was stabbed in the back. For most of the film when he is lying there, he is actually dead. Yet he was apparently a well-liked character that they had him live in the end.

That mask…man….that mask. It is so iconic now. It’s funny that they literally went into a shop, bought some cheap mask and now it is sold everywhere. When I was a kid there had to be at least one Ghostface every year. It’s creepy enough to work. The tilt of the head added the lack of empathy that these killers have. Yet the film would not work if they didn’t have a voice on the other end of that phone. That’s where Roger Jackson comes in. how creepy is that voice? It’s so distinct that I can hear him in my head right now just thinking about it. Being a professional voice actor, Jackson knew what notes he had to hit in order achieve his goal of scaring the hell out of everyone. Mission accomplished.

The film is a big success and a sequel is obviously the next move. Now the genre has some life in it and the teen slasher sub genre is reborn. Studios started to pump these things out like there was no tomorrow. Williamson penned I Know What You Did Last Summer, a film that is a guilty pleasure of mine because of my Sarah Michelle Gellar obsession years. Scream 2 comes along, with the cast returning and a COPYCAT in the midsts.

What I remember most about this film, other than it NOT totally sucking, was A: I knew who the killer was and B: It did the single best and single worst thing in the entire series. I’ll start with A…

The problem with the mystery surrounding the killer this time is that there is almost zero time given to the unmasked killer scenes before you know who they truly are. The killer hardly has any scenes and zero scenes where they are being “attacked”, leaving it pretty obvious who the person behind the mask is. The film follows in the footsteps of the original, so there has to be two killers right? I’ll admit, I went 50/50 on this one. Mainly because I completely forgot the other person existed. The revenge storyline made sense, the blame the movies one didn’t so much.

Whereas the second point is concerned, I’m pertaining to the killing of Randy Meeks, in broad daylight no less. Why is this the best and worst scene in the entire series? It took balls to kill him off. He was the fan favourite. He was the one everyone wanted to be safe, the one that everyone would be upset if he died. So of course they kill him off. Shocking. Pure shock when that happened. Anger, resentment, fear all of this and more. Killing him sucked for the viewer, it made us HATE the movie. How could they kill Randy? He was suppose to be the viewer. The one who knew the answers and the ways to survive. The film does go downhill a bit after his exit.

Live Schreiber has a bigger role in this entry. He is Cotton Weary, the man falsely accused of killing Sidney’s mother. It was all a setup from Billy and Stu and this time he wants his 15 minutes of fame. He wants to “clear” his name. He represents the people who’ve gone through traumatic events and want to exploit it for money. We’ve seen these people dozens of times in the news and here he is here. In a film where EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT, Schreiber is given a lot more room to walk the line of innocent and just plain creepy.

My Hollywood crush, Sarah Michelle Gellar has the best chase scene in the film. Much like Barrymore, Gellar was a big teen star from her role of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Her ass kicking abilities can’t be put to use here and she puts up a pretty good fight, but ultimately has to become one of the victims.

Scream 2 opens with a death scene, just like the original. This time it is a bit ridiculous. Two teens are killed at a screening of the film STAB, which is a film based on the events of the first movie. Robert Rodriguez directs the movie within the movie, STAB. Which becomes a bigger part of the series later on. Scream 2 crawls a little bit closer to becoming one of the films that the original film was parodying. Yet we don’t cross that line until the next film.

Scream 3 is an utter mess. I can’t really stand it. It’s not clever, it’s not scary and not funny. With a change in writers, lazy direction and a forced hand at having a trilogy, Scream 3 fails to deliver on any level. Neve Campbell is hardly in the film at all. Dewey and Gail are split, yet again and find a way back to each other…yet again. This time the killer is killing people on a movie set, which I guess is supposed to be meta.

Added to the cast is Scott Foley, Jenny McCarthy, Lance Henriksen, Parker Posey, Emily Mortimer and Patrick Dempsey. None of them add anything exciting to the film, which is sad because it could have been a fun flick.

Am I embarrassed to say that once they revealed the killer, I literally had no idea who this person was? I had to backtrack to see who he was, literally. Then upon a second viewing, I paid attention to who was who and remembered the old saying that if you don’t see the death HAPPEN on screen, chances are they are not dead. Hint hint.
The less I say about the third installment, which was plagued by writing and censorship issues, the better.

Then we hit the final installment, Scre4m. A film I liked a lot. This time around Sidney has written a book about how she overcame her horrible past and returns to Woodsboro, ten years after her last attack. Gale and Dewey are married, she's trying to write fiction and he's now the Sheriff. Death arrives the same time Sidney does, people start dying and bodies start piling up. Now Sidney has to look after her cousin Jill, as well as her friends or they will end up as Ghostface’s new victims.

 I must say that Scre4m did surprise me, I liked it more than I thought I would. In fact, I think it's probably the best since the original. The film feels like the first two, mashed into one. There are sequences that imitate the original; it has that nostalgic feel to it. The film managed to bridge the decades together rather well. It certainly does feel like those 90’s slasher films, but amped up for this generation. There is a gag at the beginning that pokes fun at the SAW films, I had a chuckle at that.
The character this time around seemed to have actually changed. No longer are they stuck in this rut of a circle. Sidney has become a stronger woman, Dewey is more confident as the Sheriff and Gale,well…she is still a cold hearted bitch. These three core characters are the franchise, no doubt about that. Scre4m manages to UP the gore factor believe it or not. It really had to in my mind, if it wanted to compete with the other films that are out there. Audience members are even more desensitized to violence now then they were back then.

The Scream films always did mystery well enough. WHO is the killer is a huge aspect to the plot. Scre4m does a decent job of keeping you guessing. It hits all the same notes the previous film did, without feeling stale. I believe the fans of the original films will agree with me on thinking this is one of the better entries.

The Scream franchise is an interesting one. It helped a genre that was almost dead. When The Matrix came out, how many films tried to copy that formula. Pulp Fiction is another great example of a great film that had dozens of poor imitators after it. The first Scream film is the original recipe. You can thank it for countless upon countless other titles that are crap, but Scream still, to this day, manages to be an entertaining thrill ride. It might be dated in terms of technology, but what it has to say about society and pop culture is still relevant in my eyes. I’d put Scream up there as Wes Craven’s BEST film…ever.

"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

I'll agree with what you've said on Scream but can't recommend any of the vapid sequels. Craven and Williamson scored with the original, but of course, they and the studio had to cash in a few more times. Scream 2 is more in line with the Scream clones and the third film is utter trash wrapped in pig vomit.

The newest entry was a step in the right direction, but not enough for me to warrant a positive review.

I love the original Scream, I have seen it a few times now and the originality, shocks, humour etc. all holds up for me. The first scene in itself I see as a kind a 'mini masterpiece'. I enjoyed the second one a lot too, although I have probably seen that least of the four. I don't agree with the total hatred of the third, it's weird, and feels different, but I still thought it was okay, maybe if I watched it again I would begin to notice everyone's complaints. The fourth, again I thought was okay, I didn't get the total love for it, and was a little unsure on the end, but there are definitely thinks it gets right and I'm not really was what else I was expecting from it.

Okay, I love this series and since you made a thread, I'll speak some words about it. I've already said some things during NUMEROUS Scream movie commentaries with Honeykid and Swan and others -- I think I've done a Scream 2 commentary three times, once by myself, once with Miss Vicky and once with Honeykid and Swan. Scream 3 I did twice. Although, come to think of it, I've never done a single commentary for Scream 1. I did one commentary for Scream 4, which was Honeykid's first viewing of the thing -- he guessed the killer right.

SPOILERS from here on out, since Suspect revealed spoilers without spoiler tags (but he still warned everyone.) Don't tell JRS, although this isn't the new Star Wars movie, anyway.

Okay, so --

SCREAM (1996)

Although I love this movie -- I think it's great -- I remember when I first saw it in April or May of 1997 (I didn't catch it during its initial run, but they brought it back in the spring because it made so much money in the winter) -- I though it was the greatest thing ever, better than A Nightmare on Elm Street.....


Because frankly, I'm not so crazy about that opening scene anymore. I'm just not. I don't care that it's Drew Barrymore. Frankly, I don't think it's so shocking that Drew Barrymore wasn't actually the star and that she got killed off. I mean, everybody should have realized she was just a victim because she's blonde. Meanwhile, Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell are not blonde. Of course they're going to survive. Also, what the hell is this big star power that Drew Barrymore supposedly had then? Sure, she was in E.T. but she was also in several drug rehab centers. If some big ass movie came out right now and Lindsay Lohan was in it, nobody would be thinking Lindsay Lohan was the star. They'd know she was just a cheap throwaway cameo. So I consider the opening scene to Scream very OVERRATED. I mean, it is great... and very good in a theater... but it does sicken me how that's the most talked about thing when it comes to Scream.

Now, in response to Suspect's comments about Courteney Cox and David Arquette having no chemistry and that it's weird that they got married......

Frankly, I just don't feel that. I wasn't surprised that they got married for real. Maybe you have different expectations of what "chemistry" is, but, I thought in a weird way, their relationship was fiery. I think something about the combative nature between Gale and Dewey probably helped things between them in real life, between Courteney and David. I was (and still am) very attracted to David Arquette (cue Honeykid and maybe others vomiting) and ... let's say I can just understand this whole relationship. I *get* it. I really like the Gale Weathers character. I can see myself in Gale in a way. I can understand how this all worked out. And obviously, other people did too, because if they didn't, I think Dewey would have been a goner by now. He'd have died in Scream 1, probably.

I can also understand why Courteney and David got divorced, too. Their relationship may not have been perfect, but I can totally understand why it happened in the first place. Now, I'm not gonna go into all the fine details why -- because maybe I don't even know them all myself -- but I KNOW. I just know. This is how it is when you have ESP and such -- you just KNOW.

Anyway, I can't think of much to say about Scream 1. But I have a lot (I think) I can say about Scream 2, because it's my always been my favorite.

SCREAM 2 (1997)

Such a great movie. I can't fully comprehend why I like this movie so much and why it works on me so much more than the first Scream. To me, this is the showpiece of the series, the high point, and it's very sad that everything else after this never got close to the same level. Not even Scream 4 is close, as far as I'm concerned.

I prefer the opening scene in Scream 2 over the opening scene of Scream. It was wonderful to experience in a movie theater, and I did -- three times.

The anticipation for Scream 2 was very exciting. An early draft of the script leaked on the internet months before it was released and I managed to get my hands on it. I did not care that it would spoil things for me -- I had to know what happened. At first, I only received the first half of the script. It ended right after Randy had been murdered in the van and Gale and Dewey discovered his dead body. I was blown away. Then, an online friend managed to get a copy of the full script and he sent it to me -- I scrolled all the way down to the end of the script to see which characters were still around -- DEREK and HALLIE. In this script, which you can still find on the internet, Sidney's boyfriend, Derek, and her African American roommate, Hallie, were killers, but in the actual movie, they're victims. The script changed during production, turning them from killers to victims. But one killer remained -- a third killer, Mrs. Loomis, the mother of the killer, Billy Loomis, from the first movie. This script was much darker than what was actually made -- there was even a surprise fourth killer, Cotton Weary, who in the final film, is completely innocent and survives.

In the movie that was filmed and released, there were only two killers -- Mrs. Loomis and Mickey, who was a friend of the main protagonist, Sidney Prescott. I was disappointed by this change -- and still am in a way -- as Derek and Hallie had some great lines as killers and the whole thing seemed better played. It was twisted fun in the early draft screenplay, with practically everyone dying. The film they made, though, has a happier ending... but only kind of. In a way, it's almost nastier, as Derek and Hallie are now victims and all of Sidney's friends, including her boyfriend, are dead by the end of the movie, leaving her alone. At least when they were killers and they got killed, big deal -- they deserved it. But now, they're innocent -- and dead.

The powerhouse of Scream 2, though, is the main killer, Mrs. Loomis. Played by Laurie Metcalf, then well known as Aunt Jackie on the hit TV show, Roseanne, Mrs. Loomis is the mother of the main killer of Scream 1, whose motive against Sidney Prescott for why he's trying to kill her is because her mother (killed by Billy Loomis a year prior) slept with his dad, and caused his family to fall apart. His mother, Mrs. Loomis, just up and abandoned him, leaving town to God knows where, to get away from her troubles. This sparked Billy Loomis to kill Sidney's mother, and a year later, try to kill her.

Mrs. Loomis is, in my opinion, the most twisted of all the Scream killers. She is an adult. She was a parent. She is not a troubled teenager or young adult. She is fully mature... and very insane. She goes to Sidney's college, where the film takes place, and pretends to be a local news reporter. She constantly bugs Gale Weathers, who could recognize her since she's seen pictures of her before -- alas, Mrs. Loomis has had a makeover and a big weight loss. She's confident that she won't be recognized. She is the madman who enjoys putting himself (or herself) into the crime scene, brazenly showing off and risking notice. I remember being very shocked by Mrs. Loomis being the killer when I read the script, though in the actual movie, it might be more obvious.

Her motive was revenge against the death of her son, Billy, whom Sidney defeated in the first film. It all takes on a sort of Godfather/Italian mafia kind of theme -- family vengeance. Probably due to her being a woman, maybe the film wasn't taken as seriously. Had she been MR. Loomis, more people might have thought Scream 2 was far better than the first.

I also believe -- though this opinion is most likely not going to be shared by a majority of people -- that Scream and Scream 2 reflects some deep personal issues that their screenwriter, Kevin Williamson, has as a homosexual. I can't exactly explain this, but I feel that there's... like, Freudian aspects to it that I really like. There's been speculation that the two killers of Scream 1, Billy and Stu, are secret homosexuals. I don't know and I'm not convinced, but it's an interesting thought. But what really gets me is the weird relationship Billy has with his mom... how his motive was because Sidney's mother caused all this trouble that it made his mother abandon him. It's like... he's a big boy now. Why does he need momma that bad? And then in Scream 2, Mrs. Loomis is killing because he's been taken away from her. The films have severe mommy/son issues -- and it continues in Scream 3, as I'll mention. These kinds of things are not unique in horror -- Psycho did it. So did Friday the 13th. In fact, Mrs. Loomis is basically a '90s version of Mrs. Voorhees. But it intrigues me that Kevin Williamson, an openly gay man, picked these issues to write about, since there's an old theory that mothers make their sons gay. And that they have strong attachment issues to their mothers and all that. And Billy and Stu are thought to be a gay couple. All of that fascinates me.

Also, I feel that Mrs. Loomis' murder partner, Mickey, is a Billy Loomis substitute. He's a young guy -- he'd probably be around Billy's age -- he kinda looks like him. And what does Mrs. Loomis do? Mickey thinks she's working with him, but she turns around and deceives him and tries to kill him. She is repeating a pattern here -- abandoning Mickey, just like how she abandoned Billy. He is her surrogate son, so I can accept the change to Mickey as the killer because of that.

All of these things are some reasons why I really love Scream 2. It's not just a slapped together, thoughtless sequel in my eyes.

SCREAM 3 (2000)

I'm going to be very quick about Scream 3 and Scream 4 because they are the weakest. I prefer Scream 3 over Scream 4. I think Scream 4 has better ideas and a better story - thanks to Kevin Williamson writing early drafts of the script -- but Scream 3, despite how flawed it is, feels better executed, better filmed, and ultimately, a lot more fascinating.

The opening scene with Cotton Weary sucks, though it's a little refreshing to see an opening scene with a familiar character. The movie was not written by Kevin Williamson, which is its biggest fatal flaw. He envisioned a movie that was totally unlike what was made.

Practically all of the new characters suck, but I love Parker Posey's character. It's a shame she wasn't a second killer or something -- it would have given the whole movie more of a reason to exist since to me she's basically the best new thing. Yes, she's irritating, but I think the movie would have been total garbage without her. She practically IS the movie and her death scene was the most upsetting in the film.

The whole execution of the killer is beyond lame. The way they fake his death like Billy Loomis and all that. The revelation that he's Sidney Prescott's half brother... a great idea, but in a stupid storyline. The director of Stab 3 just happens to be the killer and Sidney's half-brother? Ridiculous. A half brother who isn't a movie director... that I could understand. I actually thought a brother/sister storyline was gonna be what happens in Scream 3 before it came out. I figured -- Maureen Prescott slept around. Might she have a secret kid? Could that kid grow up and be the killer? It's a little far fetched, but it's Scream. And I was expecting a big twist at the end of 3.

I had high expectations and wanted big drama for Scream 3. I didn't get exactly what I wanted -- it wasn't scary like Scream 2, or as dark, but I did like the brother/sister thing. I thought it was just like the original Star Wars trilogy -- in the second movie, there was a big twist involving a parent. In the third movie, there was the revelation that Luke and Leia are siblings.

And then because I knew Kevin Williamson wrote a treatment that was very different from what actually was filmed, I wanted for YEARS to know what happened in that treatment, and only recently have we learned some things about it. And while I think Kevin Williamson would have written a much better movie... I have learned to be fine with Scream 3. As stupid as it is, I kind of dig it. But it is a big drop from the first two.

And -- the mommy/son issues continue here, as well, since the killer, Roman Bridger -- his whole motive is his real mother abandoned him, didn't want anything to do with him, etc. etc. The whole first Scream trilogy deals with mommy/son issues.

SCREAM 4 (2011)

And Scream 4 has no mommy/son issues at all, as far as I've noticed. But it's a brand new chapter. I think there were probably gonna be father/daughter issues, though, in this new trilogy. The killer, Jill, kills her mother. She doesn't have a dad around. Early draft scripts featured Sidney staying with her father in Woodsboro -- the father wasn't included in the actual movie. I heard a rumor, though I have no idea if it's legit, that Jill's father would be the killer in Scream 5. It would not surprise me.

There was a different cinematographer, or something like that, for this movie, than there was for Scream 1, 2 & 3, which all had the same cinematographer. I can feel it. The pacing and everything of this movie is different. Faster. More manic. I don't like it.

It's a better story and I do love Jill as the killer. Though I do find it hard to believe that she and Rory Culkin were killers. But I wasn't really WOW'ed by this movie. I think waiting 11 years for this movie was maybe a mistake. The movie is basically a substitute Scream 3 -- if you didn't like that movie, you can pretend it didn't happen and pretend this is the real Scream 3. But, I think I would rather believe the real Scream 3 happened. This movie could have been set much sooner after Scream 3. Something went to Hell during production of this movie -- the writer of Scream 3 took over script writing duties, though it's more of a Kevin Williamson movie than Scream 3 was. I feel the new material shows and ultimately destroys it. At least Scream 3 was more Ehren Kruger's own thing. Scream 4 is a Kevin Williamson story with Ehren Kruger poured over it. That's even worse. Kevin Williamson even kind of distanced himself from this movie. I think Kevin Williamson is a great writer when it comes to Scream. If this was more his own thing, I'm sure it would have been fantastic. As it is, though, I'm very disappointed. The worst aspect is, I feel, the obviousness of Jill being the killer. I suspected it would be her before the movie came out, but wasn't convinced. But when you really observe her in the movie, she is just too obvious. Had they actually filmed scenes where Jill looks more innocent, this could have been a spectacular movie. She should have played the victim even more. She seems too much like a nasty person and it gives her away.
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I kept rolling my eyes at the fact that the killer had everyones voice on that damn thing. Is that even possible? Does the technology exist to capture someone's voice and talk with that voice so perfectly? Who knows.

Jill being the killer crossed my mind early on, but I disregarded it. When she turned out to be the killer, I was neither surprised nor shocked. I will say that her reasoning behind it is sick and twisted enough for me to like it. Seeing her run into the mirror on the wall was funny, in a sick and disturbing way.

I kept rolling my eyes at the fact that the killer had everyones voice on that damn thing. Is that even possible? Does the technology exist to capture someone's voice and talk with that voice so perfectly? Who knows.
Not released to the public, at least. I do really hate that voice changer, too. It's awful.

But... to me, 3 is awful, yet, I liked it. There's something about the way it was awful, yet felt good, that makes it better than 4 to me. Cause 4 has a better story and everything, but it just doesn't feel that good to me. Maybe I'd feel differently if there was no 3, and 4 was 3.

Jill being the killer crossed my mind early on, but I disregarded it. When she turned out to be the killer, I was neither surprised nor shocked. I will say that her reasoning behind it is sick and twisted enough for me to like it. Seeing her run into the mirror on the wall was funny, in a sick and disturbing way.
Before the movie came out, I threw out some theories on who the killer might be, since I knew who the characters were, and I said -- it could be the cousin. She was being sold as the new Sidney, but it's SCREAM -- there's gotta be a twist ending somehow. She could be it.

I wasn't convinced, but I did think of it. Did not know what the motive would be.

I found out before I saw the movie that it was indeed Jill. I love that whole twist, but I don't think they pulled it off well. They were filming the murders. They should have shown more of Jill actually running from the killer -- by herself -- and made it look more like the first SCREAM. Cause in SCREAM 1, you know Sidney is definitely not the killer.

They should have shown Jill play the victim that much and then BAM -- she's the killer. And all that stuff that we saw, where it looked like she was on the run and in danger -- it was all for the cameras. She was being filmed to look more like the victim (and to fool us).

It would have been a more phenomenal ending if there had been more focus on Jill. Instead, there's too much focus on Sidney again. Sidney makes Jill hide under a bed, then Sid goes off running and helping Kirby, and we don't see Jill until she's revealed. That was, I feel, the wrong way to do it. It should have been Jill doing those scenes, not Sidney. Even if it meant changing stuff around, like the whole scene with Charlie at the end.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The lack of Jill being chased by the killer is exactly what made me think Mickey was the killer in Scream 2. These writers need to pull the carpet out from under us and have those scenes in these damn movies!!!

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
I really can't stand the fourth Scream. Emma Roberts drives me up the wall in that one.

Great write-ups, from both SC & TUS.
"George, this is a little too much for me. Escaped convicts, fugitive sex... I've got a cockfight to focus on."

Great write up! Really well written mate, good job.

Indeed it has been way too long since I've seen these movies, so I think it's time for a solid refresher!
"It's too bad she won't live...But then again, who does?" - Gaff

The lack of Jill being chased by the killer is exactly what made me think Mickey was the killer in Scream 2. These writers need to pull the carpet out from under us and have those scenes in these damn movies!!!
Plus, if there had been more scenes with Jill acting like a victim, and less scenes with Sidney, they could have played with the idea that maybe Sidney was actually the killer this time... to fool us. If Sidney's not around, people could think it's because Sidney's killing them. Of course she wasn't, but it would be a trick. People were probably betting on a shocking ending like that -- where one of the original characters had snapped.

wanabe movie critique
Nice reviews. Makes me want to watch them all over again.....

Argh! Just wrote out a long post with a few points and it's all gone. I don't even know what happened?

In short, thank you to TUS and SC for your well written and thoughtful posts here. I agree with SC that Drew wasn't this big 90's actress and, while she might've been the biggest name when it was made (arguable) Friends was just starting to become the phenomena it is in 1997 so, worldwide, Cox was possibly the most recognisable of the cast. If any were. I spent most of the 90's trying to find anything Drew and most people didn't even know who I was talking about.

Lastly, I think the decision to have Drew as Casey was hers. I think they'd offered her the role of Sidney, but she wanted to play Casey. Whether that was because she thought it'd have more impact (which I've heard) or she didn't want to be tied into a franchise (which given what she was doing at the time makes sense) I don't know.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

I like the attention brought to Mrs Loomis...

One thing though... Metcalf as Loomis is definitely the best turn of acting throughout the whole series.

I'm familiar with her in a few roles, mainly comedy. And she plays that type in the first half of the film and then shocks at the end with a complete turn around in character performance. Metcalf rocks that role.
I doubt any other actress could have made it so memorable.

Love the write ups though guys.
I actually sat and watched all four in a row yesterday
Love these films. I'm hoping for a fifth...
Originally Posted by doubledenim
Garbage bag people fighting hippy love babies.

Bots gotta be bottin'

Debbie Salt/Mrs. Loomis is quite obvious as the killer in the movie, but only if you're open to the idea of a female killer (she was the first one in the series) and you realize... why else is that woman even appearing in the film? What other big reason could they possibly have to keep showing that random obnoxious woman bugging Gale? Sure, maybe she'll turn up at the end and save the day, or maybe she's just gonna be another victim -- but she's not important in what's supposed to be a smart movie. And, if you notice, she's actually passive aggressive during those early scenes -- you think Gale just might be acting bitchy towards her, but Gale is actually being, in a way, threatened by her. Mrs. Loomis is taunting her ("It must be scary knowing someone is waiting and watching and enjoying all this... how does that make you feel, Gale?")

Plus, as a lot of people have noted, when Randy gets killed, it's Gale's cell phone that rang. She gave her phone to Randy. Mrs. Loomis, who reveals that she was the one who killed Randy, intended to reach Gale and probably wanted to kill her instead.

Despite the apparent weakness of Mrs. Loomis being an obvious killer, I think it's all a lot of fun AND I believe it plays into the theme of the movie -- which is that they're a horror movie sequel and they're SUPPOSED to be weaker. They're supposed to be not as good and diluted from the original.

Mrs. Loomis and Mickey are a second rate Billy and Stu. They're copycats -- like sequels are to their original films.

The killers tend to represent the theme of the movie. In SCREAM 4, which deals with remakes and reboots, Jill is a remake/reboot of Sidney, and since she's a reboot, she's BAD. She's the crappy Sidney, thus she's the killer because she's bad. SCREAM 4 thinks remakes are bad. That's why all the new characters die and all the old characters survive -- except the female cop, but she happens to be from the original people's generation. She went to school with Sidney -- she was there, in a sense, in SCREAM 1 herself. The originals lived because the originals are better and more important than remakes.

I'm not sure what to say about SCREAM 3, though. I haven't really figured out if it's all that deep, at all.

Randy's video message in Scream 3 was that "we're dealing with a trilogy, which means forget all the rules of the other two and we're dealing with something from the past come back to haunt you".
Which is exactly what Scream 3 delivers. Sydney's family history comes back for vengeance.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Randy's video message in Scream 3 was that "we're dealing with a trilogy, which means forget all the rules of the other two and we're dealing with something from the past come back to haunt you".
Which is exactly what Scream 3 delivers. Sydney's family history comes back for vengeance.
I like that in theory, but don't buy or like the execution of it. It says more about the state of Hollywood than anything to do with family. I hate how later films retcon everything. The Saw films are guilty of this and Scream 3 is almost as bad. This guy is responsible for EVERYTHING and we hardly know him, hardly see him, hardly give a hoot about him.

As for Barrymore; she wasn't a huge star, but she was the movie star out of the cast. The other two leading ladies were on TV. It was Barrymore's idea to be Casey, she thought it would be shocking.

It worked though. She's still a talking point when it comes to the movie.

Kinda became a cult thing: "Barrymore died at the beginning and still got her picture on the poster"