Rule Number one: you can never have sex. Sex equals death, okay? Number two: you can never drink or do drugs. the sin factor! It’s a sin. It’s an extension of number one. And number three: never, ever, ever under any circumstances say, “I’ll be right back.” Because you won’t be back.
The last of the three homage films. This movie has all the (few) good qualities of your every day slasher, and mercilessly ridicules the flaws.
There are all the self deprecating little insults. There is nothing more hilarious than the scene where Jamie Kennedy is screaming at the movie he is watching to turn around when he himself has a murderer right behind him.
The movie makes it clear that slasher films have always been trite morality plays without falling prey to the same rules (the four survivors are our heroes, but they’re far from saints…well maybe Dewey). That the behavior of most people in slasher films in beyond stupid, “What’s the point? They’re all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can’t act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It’s insulting.”… of course running out the door doesn’t seem to work too well in Scream, but you get the point. And instead of being the terrible cardboard cutouts of most slasher film characters, there was actually some depth and characterization, not volumes mind you, but some (which mysteriously disappeared in all the sequels…although for a lot of these actors this was the acting highlight of their careers, sad).
The other advantage to this movie is that it didn’t go overboard. Yes there was a lot of blood. But where other slasher films try to gross you out with the amount of gore, this one used it only to heighten the tension.
Clearly we see the fear of death throughout this movie, motivating pretty much all of our characters. But it’s nice to see that it is not so traumatizing that it incapacitates them. Most of the victims do put up a valiant fight and of course our hero gets the great one liner “Not in my movie” at the very end. Certainly not giving into the fear of death.
The problem is, of course, that while this film was witty and somewhat original in it’s willingness to critique its own genre so brutally, the sequels were all disappointments. Each one worse than the last. But that doesn’t change the fact that the first one still remains an entertaining Halloween view.