Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Movie Review: Scream and Scream 2

I have a confession to make. I like Scary Movie. No not the later ones. But the first two movies really didn't feature most of the complaints people hurl towards the series.  See unlike all the other ... movie movies. Scary Movie had one target. Scream.  But that being said the one legitimate condemnation was the Scream was already a parody in and of itself. Guess which one I saw first as a kid. Scream came out when I was 9 and other than Child's Play I wasn't into scary movies slapstick was more my shtick.

Well I finally sat down and watched Scream.

The big conceit of the movie is that scary movies in and of themselves are formulaic and if a murderer did actually adhere to, "horror rules" people would be able to figure him out pretty quickly. And that furthermore the characters if they were smart should be able to figure out when they were about to bite it.

Fun fact this is a movie by Wes Craven i.e. so yeah if anybody's going to stare right into the face of the audience and go, "Come on people we all know this song and dance by now", it should be him. See he intended this movie as a way to put to bed his genre by making it look so damn stupid nobody would ever want to make another one.  But that didn't happen.

My guess as to why. Is simple. Scream is a 90's movie. For better or for worse horror movies in particular 80's horror movies all seem to deal with the ideology of the '80s. I know that's weird to say. And by poking at the horror rules it can also poke fun at and then transform the ideology of itself.

For instance the sick play on morality by the killer is ultimatly subverted by one of the most morally bankrupt characters surviving, subtly saying to the audience yeah we're not doing that anymore. Who lives and who dies will not be based on some archaic code.

And that's what makes the movie, "special". See the plot and the tropes are all standard slasher if you take away the forth wall breaking it is what it is.

Now Scream 2 I feel is a much more interesting movie. Largely because it feels like it has something to say. Or lots of somethings. See the sequel isn't just about horror but media in general. Almost all the set pieces and characters are tied to media, most of the big showdowns occurring in theaters, and sound stages, the set up being about blurring the line between the characters and audience as much as possible.

I think, the point was to lampshade that the only reason why slasher movies work is the dissociation between those two groups.

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