Written by: TheFecalKid
From what I can gather, this film has generated two groups of people. The people who despise it, and the people who love it. Yours truly, falls in the latter. When I was younger, it was all about Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Batman movies, and aside from the odd horror movie I saw when I snuck into the living room, I really didn't see too many. Then I turned nine, this movie came out, and my life was changed forever. After that first time I was hooked, and I used to watch this every time I visited my dad for months and months after it came out. In the end, I wore the VHS right out, and he had to pick himself up another copy. Mixing humour, horror, and pop culture, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson have breathed new life into the horror genre, and have made a very smart, and sophisticated thriller. And to think, Craven had originally turned this movie down.
In an opening scene that has become a cinema classic, Casey (Drew Barrymore) is the victim of a terrifying game of cat & mouse. After being tormented on the phone with classic horror trivia, she witnesses her boyfriend's murder, only to be done in herself. Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, and Jamie Kennedy are Sydney, Billy, Stu, Tatum and Randy, respectively. All in their late 20's and playing high school students, these 5 youngsters find themselves in quite a predicament when their little town of Woodsboro is suddenly plagued by a series of violent murders. This is only too familiar for Sydney, whose mother was murdered only a year before that. Luckily "the man responsible" is behind bars, and Sydney is trying to get on with her life. But this recent killing spree has only awakened old demons, including Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), a local news reporter who cashed in by writing a tell-all book about the case surrounding Sydney's mother's murder. Providing comic relief is Dewey (David Arquette), Tatum's bumbling policeman older brother. He is however, of little help, as he is quite taken with Mrs. Weathers, and has his own agendas.
While most kids brush off these murders, and see it as an excuse to drink and party more often, Sydney has a lot more at stake. She begins getting terrorizing phone calls, and it would seem that she is the killers next target. After being attacked by the killer and trapping herself in her room, she calls 911. While waiting, her boyfriend Billy climbs through her window, like he did the night prior. This time a cell phone falls out of his jacket, and Sydney rushes away from him. Dewey was waiting just outside the front door, along with a few other members of the local police. He is placed in custody until Sydney receives another phone call, proving Billy's innocence. Due to the recent events, the school suspended classes until further notice. So the obvious thing to do would be to have a giant party at Stu's house. This really sets the movie up for an amazing third act, with all the major players in the same house, and the killer stalking them all.
I can't find a flaw in this movie. There's little things here and there, but every movie has them. I felt that everyone played their parts well, and it was nice to see Henry Winkler in a brief cameo. That dear, sweet man. Oddly enough, I found that the music was one of my favourite parts of the whole movie. The score was amazing at building up the tension, until it was suddenly all let out at just the right moments. The gore? Well there isn't a lot of gore to be had, but what you do see is pretty brutal. A lot of it is just a bloody knife and some blood on a shirt, but the disemboweling scene, and the throat slashing are both pretty decent, and will give the gorehounds something to cheer about.
I really can't give this movie enough praise. While I'm biased because it was my favourite horror series as a youngin', I still think that even today it holds up. Even though my tastes have changed, jumping from one horror genre to the other, I can still always come back to this, and enjoy it. I guess when I was younger I never clued into a lot of the references, but it seems like every 5 minutes or so there's either a direct or indirect reference to some sort of horror classic. Might piss some people off, but I liked it. It's kind of nice to see all your favourite movies referenced like this, lets you know there are actually people out there with all the same interests in horror. I just picked up the box set today, and for a relatively good price. This is the first time I've seen this movie in at least 5 years, and I can still say that it made me laugh, jump, and put me in an all around good mood. There's a lot of people who hate this movie, and don't think it's scary enough, or don't like the mix between dark humour and horror. Those people obviously don't get this movie one bit, or what it was trying to do.