by Ryan Turek – Director and Writer of Still Screaming
Since we’re reflecting on the 14th anniversary of Scream, I’ll briefly talk about where I was at when the film came out and how it completely defied my expectations.
I was away from my home town, going to school in New York City and living just across the water in Jersey City (that’s where my apartment at the time was). I was, and always will be, a huge horror fan. And I had been reading about Scream in Fangoria, but something about it wasn’t connecting with me. I rightly felt a bit burned by Wes Craven’s A Vampire in Brooklyn, so my interest in Scream was minimal.
Then the TV spots for the film started to hit. They were amusing. There was “that girl from Party of Five” running around. There was some humor. And there was some girl in a tight sweater with nice breasts poking her head into a garage (“it must’ve been cold in there!” I thought). Of course, that shot was supposed to drag suckers like me into the theater.
And it did.
Christmas break found all of my friends heading home to their respective families and I had a few nights left in Jersey before I got on a train to visit my folks in Connecticut. As a film student who spent most of his time in NYC there was plenty of trouble I could get into, but I went to the movies to see Scream on opening night. There was a decent-sized crowd in theater number 4 and as the film played out, well, it brought the house down. Couples were jumping out of their seat. Groups of kids were yelling at the screen. I sat back, munching on my popcorn thinking, “Holy crap…Craven got it right.” I had never seen anything like it. Smart, funny, aware of itself, scary…
I was hooked. A few nights later, I saw it again.