Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Scream (1996) - Fantastic classic slasher

What was really interesting about this film was that it was very plain and straightforward, but at the same time it was really surprising and kept you guessing for the entire film. It is a fantastic basic slasher consisting of continuous deaths throughout the film, performed by a mysterious ghoul-masked character however there is an element of surprise and curiosity to it. When I watched it, I kept thinking every five minutes "he/she is definitely the killer". From what I've heard, this was the global reaction to this film, until you discover the truth at the end. It receives very good ratings across the web as shown below:
  • IMDB - 7.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - 78%
  • Meta Critic - 65%
For me, this film deserves a rating within the IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes scores, and the Meta Critic score just seems too low for me.
This slasher is directed by the magnificent Wes Craven (well known for his work with A Nightmare On Elm Street, and The Hills Have Eyes), and lasts an estimate of 111 minutes. After an anonymous killer guts two high school lovers, a mysterious rise in fear and rumours rise in a peaceful Californian town. A killer starts killing high school teenagers, with a young teenage girl, an eccentric and dramatic cop, and a selfish and ambitious reporter trying to investigate the murders. A strange number of events starts to happen around Woodsboro, including an accused killer, a suspicious boyfriend, discovered love and attraction, and, of course, the mysterious killer with a ghost face mask. Suspense, cleverness, and gore is what this classic slasher is full of.
Indeed, there is a lot of suspense in this film as each person you may have thought was the killer suddenly becomes either dead or close to death. The suspense in Scream was very clever by Craven as it kept the audience attracted to the film, desiring to know who the real killer is. There is a high level of bloody violence/ gore involved when the killer rips his victims apart and the deaths range from a sneaky stab in the back to the insides being turned inside out. What was interesting about Scream too was that it was very scary too due to the costume design for the killer, and this created a sense of fear in the audience every time we seen the killer sneak up on someone. The use of the 'walkie-talkie' type phone was very effective in order to create a creepy masculine voice to drive each victim with fear and we could sympathise with each victim as Craven successfully allowed us to feel the fear in each person being stalked or watched. Aside these perfect features, the structure of the film was ideal. The film was carried out in a way that kept the audience guessing who the killer was and it was a real surprise in the end when we found out the truth.
There are a small number of weaknesses in this film, one being the plot of the film. Everyone loves a good slasher, however it followed the exact same plot as every other slasher would. Death after death, although the negative impact of this weakness was limited for some as the use of the 'walkie-talkie' phone used to phone each victim was clever. There also seemed to be more focus on the relationship between Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) and the reporter which seemed to distract me a little. In a horror, the audience wants gore, a high fear factor, and plenty of suspense. Scream covered these features at a very high standard, although sometimes I was distracted by the growing relationship of the Deputy and reporter.
Although there are few limitations to this top-notch slasher, the strengths of the film clearly and undoubtedly outweigh the negatives. If you are looking for a proper good slasher full of blood and guts, suspense, and pure fear then this is a film you should definitely watch. Not only that, but it also comes with a fantastic surprise ending that you would never expect!
Overall Rating - 7.7/10

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