October 8th -- Craven Slashers

Scream (1996)
Directed by Wes Craven

Ah, stock serial-killing shasher goodness. Scream’s neither unbearably scary nor original, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun to watch it not be both at the same time – all the while offering electric entertainment in the vein of Carpenter’s Halloween. Where Scream earns its Trivial Pursuit piece in the horror genre is in persistent, verbalized homage to a rich catalogue of its brethren, from classic Hitchcock to classic Craven himself. Since it’s a tally-mark horror flick -- meaning you’ll be counting down all the victims -- Wes Craven’s revitalization of the entertaining horror niche is best served with a group of friends within arm’s reach and a bowl of popcorn to toss around. It's got a nice kick to it, especially when a group of people play off of each other's bustling nervous tension.

It took me a while to finally process this, but the mask in Scream actually replicates the facial structure of Edvard Munch’s line of paintings entitled “The Scream”. Munch went on to claim that part of his influence comes from the event in which he “sensed an infinite scream passing through nature”. Scream, as a respectful piece of pulp penitence, lifts the efforts of all the films and directors encapsulated in its collage style of adoration on a pedestal. It’s a celebration of their capacities to rustle up sharp, quick chills in moviegoer’s bodies as they play with that fabric of “nature’s scream”. Sure, Ghostface might have just been a ghoulish mask that Craven wanted to slap on his killers for a kick, but no matter whether it was intention or not he allowed Scream to ride on the undercurrent of Munch’s observations on subliminal, undammed fear.


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