by John Valeri – Webmaster of Scream Franchise Examiner
SCREAM was the first scary movie that I can remember watching–at least by choice. I had asked for it for Christmas, and popped it into the VCR on a New Year’s Eve when my brother was sleeping over at a friend’s house and my mom was already in bed for the night. Big mistake. As I watched Drew Barrymore’s character being terrorized by a maniacal villain wearing a ghost mask, I was immobilized by fear. I sat in the dark wishing that I had had the foresight to leave a light on.
Though the scares were intense, I soon found myself completely immersed in the mystery. As a fan of whodunits, I appreciated that SCREAM had an intricately developed plot–one that was not simply devised as the means to capture gratuitous violence on celluloid, which often seems to be the case with the genre. Rather, the off-screen murder of Maureen Prescott and the ramifications of Cotton Weary’s possible innocence led me to both suspect and fear for these complex characters, who were left behind to rectify the past.
After the final credits rolled, I found myself mulling over the surprising finale in admiration–even as I turned on each light that I encountered during what seemed like an incredibly long walk to the bedroom. (Which, in actuality, was just down the hall. But a lot can happen in a dark and lonely place…) SCREAM was the first movie to render me speechless–and I loved it! It’s a feeling that I’ve tried to recapture in my subsequent love affair with the genre, but the thrill is (mostly) gone…