Joshua Dudley – 14th Anniversary Special

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by Joshua Dudley – Director and Writer of the fan movies Stab

Scream is a legacy. It’s not just a film franchise with a semi-cult following or another “important addition” to any horror buff’s film collection. It is THE definitive horror film. Scream’s ability to analyze itself as its story progressed is truly what sets it apart from all other horror films. In fact, I believe the very fundamentals of Scream influenced the entire film-making world, turned it over and said “look what we can do.” To this date, I don’t think any film, horror or not, has even remotely touched about the sheer brilliance of the script by Kevin Williamson. Others have tried, but they have all failed.

I can remember the first time I saw Scream when I was about fourteen. My twin sister came home from a sleep over, raving about a terrifying horror movie her and her girlfriends had watched the night before. She told me all about the ghost-faced mask, the cool knife and the crazy storyline. At the time, I wasn’t much of a horror fanatic. I was a big fan of the classic black and white monster and vampire films, but I had never really crossed into horror.  That was about to change.

The next day, after much begging and pleading, I convinced my mother to rent  Scream from a local video store for me. I waited for the entire house to empty out and finally popped the VHS into my VCR. Then it started. Right away, I wasn’t expecting it to be so scary off the bat. I remember the voice, the look on Drew Barrymore’s face, then her boyfriend, then AHHHH!  THEY KILLED DREW BARRYMORE! I was in shock. I had to pause the movie and take a breath. That was intense… but I loved it. After a few more minutes of silent reflection, I started to watch the rest of the movie and instantly became hooked.

I went as Ghost Face for Halloween that year, and then the year after, and the year after. Finally, Scream 2 hit theaters and my dad took me to see it on opening day. Unfortunately for me, I had to pee right during the opening scene, but if you are a Scream fan or have seen Scream 2 you can probably figure out why I never made it to the bathroom. I was still in shock, still impressed, still surprised and they killed another one of my favorite actresses, Sarah Michelle Gellar. Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson have always been able to keep me on my toes.

For the next few years, after the release of Scream 3 and to this day, I watch all three of the Scream movies at least four times a year. After several years of waiting, I gave up on any hope that there would ever be a Scream 4, so I started writing my own Scream-styled scripts. Then, FINALLY, Scream 4 was announced and my brain instantly went back to my scripts. Wes Craven hinted that in Scream 4, there would now be seven Stab films. I knew what I had to do and was born.

The legacy of Scream has never left me and I’m sure, no matter who you ask,  if they’ve seen Scream, they will tell you it’s one of the best,  funniest, scariest horror movies ever made, if not the best. A movie with such power can surely only mean one thing…. There will be more screaming for years to come, and I’ll be there…. Every time.

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