Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blog-o-ween: Scream

Designed and directed by his red right hand.
Scream scares me because I scare easy. Trust me, I am the most susceptible-to-frights audience member you can imagine--just amp up the music and deliver a super-tight over-the-shoulder POV shot, and I'm hiding under a blanket on my couch. So, more seasoned and/or less anxiety-ridden moviegoers might have found the thrills in this film a little mundane. But, I would think most all horror fans would applaud the meta-clever eye that Scream turns on the genre. As Judith Butler would say, it's repetition with a difference. The movie gleefully engages the "rules" that scary movies have taught us--don't drink or do drugs, don't have sex, never say "I'll be right back"--while simultaneously turning them on their head. Heroine Sidney Prescott is the final girl who does lose her virginity and still manages to be both vulnerable and strong while kicking the bad guy's ass. And the opening sequence, which dispatches a blond A-lister with bloody delight, is a smart nod to Psycho and became a trademark of the franchise. I happen to be a fan of Screams both 2 & 3 as well (though I prefer to believe the fourth doesn't exist), but I understand the reservations of those who believe them too precious and self-aware to be successful. The original, however, is a classic in any town.

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