This weekend, after an 11 year hiatus Wes Craven’s horror franchise Scream will return to the big screen. Scream 4 features the original helmer, the original cast, and a group of newbies primed and ready to be killed. The last installment of the franchise (Scream 3) opened in 2000, and was widely deemed as the worst in the trilogy. It was nowhere near as great as the first one, but we took it for what it was.
Scream 4′s tagline is “new decade, new rules” and it pretty much incorporates everything that’s changed in culture over the past 10 years. Social media has become a huge part of communication, cell phones are used for more than just talking, and cameras are on every major street corner in every major city. With so many changes, we’d like to concentrate on the originator and what it was that made us fall in love with the series in the first place.
Scream debuted Christmas 1996 and it grossed over $100 million against its $14 million budget. That was quite a profit for the studio! When Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson came up with the concept for Scream, it was meant to satirize the horror films of the seventies and eighties. The formula was pretty basic. The cast consisted of a group of young up and comers including Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, David Arquette, Matthew Lillard, and Rose McGowan, paired with veterans like Courtney Cox and Drew Barrymore.
Scream took the dynamic of the typical teen horror flick by exposing the conventions to the audience. One of the film’s most known quotes is, “What’s your favorite scary movie?” The killer quizzed his victims about horror movies before striking them dead. On paper it may sound ridiculous but on screen it was terrifying.
The reason Scream resonated with audiences is because it poked fun at its own genre, while playing into the same stereotypes. Craven somehow balanced the humor with horror, making it a terrifying experience. The light moments were constantly undercut with scenes of suspense and death, which included the infamous phone ring, and Ghostface yielding his knife.
It’s been 15 years since Scream debuted in theaters and judging from the fans who’ve been anxiously awaiting Scream 4′s release, it still has a hold on people. Will you be seeing Scream 4 this weekend?