Scream (1996)

(On TV, October 1999) Not quite the ultimate horror-movie post-modern deconstruction I had been led to believe, but it works relatively well as a psycho movie, and does contain a few precious lines (“It’s the millennium; motives are irrelevant.”) Unfortunately, writer Williamson falls in love with his own wit (which isn’t all that witty) and the film does have a few looong stretches and unexplainable events. (Witness the amazingly contrived reaction of the students upon learning what happened to the principal) As demonstrated in his latter The Faculty, Williamson doesn’t allow audiences to play fair, mostly because otherwise his tricks are too transparent: in the case of Scream, the fair part of the whodunit is too easy to guess, so he throws some kind of where-did-that-come-from twist. Neve Campbell contributes significantly to the film’s babe factor. Worth seeing—if only for the copycat impact it had on the subgenre.

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