by Lito Velasco – Associate Producer and Music Supervisor of Scream: The Inside Story
As a lifelong horror fan, few films have had as profound an effect on me as Wes Craven’s landmark, genre-bender, “Scream”.
I remember the first time I saw the film: because I was (and still am) a long-time fan of Mr. Craven and his work- especially his masterpiece, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” -it was with great excitement that I drove with my two cousins to the theater on Saturday, December the 21st, 1996 to see the film.
Even at that young age, the three of us considered ourselves to be avid horror connoisseurs who barely flinched at even the scariest films. Because of this and our great admiration and respect for Craven, even though we knew next to nothing about the film, we were giddy at the prospect of being led through another tale of terror by “The Master”.
Fast-forward half an hour to the shot of Casey Becker swaying on a noose hanging from the tree in front of her home. As the screen smash-cut to black, if you were standing at the front of the theater, you might’ve been able to barely make out three young horror afficionados sitting in the fifth row. Their jaws would’ve been hanging open… eyes wide in both shock and terror. We couldn’t believe what we had just witnessed. The horror we’d just taken in rocked us to our cores… and caused the three of us to slowly, nearly in unison, turn our heads slowly towards the back of the theater.
We were checking to make sure we were still the only three in attendance… that no one had snuck in during the opening shocker…waiting behind us, ready to strike…to subject us to a horrible death like the one Casey Becker had endured.
That’s when I knew I was watching a truly great film. Wes Craven had once again lured me in, stripped me of my security, and left me feeling completely vulnerable and terrified.
I quietly wished that the rest of the film would live up to this amazing prologue. It did…and surpassed those expectations.
Fourteen years later, the film remains one of my favorite horror films of all-time and I am honored to be working on what I consider to be the definitive retrospective on this portrait of terror.
“Scream” further cemented my certainty that I had to spend my life making these kinds of films…or die trying. But it didn’t just change my life… it changed the genre: the way horror films were written, cast, marketed, and made. It was unique, with a tone and voice unlikely anything ever seen before in the genre. Sure, we’d seen similar scenarios, but not with the same “spin” or involving characters this smart, savvy, and quirky. It was hilarious and horrific. It was new and thrilling.
It was, forgive me… A scream.