I'm enjoying the Fathom Events classic movies, and I am especially glad to be back at the movies. Even if I am seeing old stuff.

People are getting back into the swing of it. We've been going ever since they opened back up. There were very few people going at first, but it's picking up. It makes me happy. I'd hate to see them go under. Isn't it funny how the more connected we get, the more isolated we become?

Every now and then the horror genre needs a booster shot to breathe new life into it. Recently we had Halloween and the It movies. The original slasher cycle brought people out in droves. It's good when something breaks out of the small horror pool and brings in bigger crowds.

Scream was such a movie. It started off small, but became a very successful sleeper. Word of mouth grew and young people really felt a connection.

We had a talk with a nice lady who was nineteen when Scream was in its heyday. She said she had seen it over and over again back then, and she had her twenty year old daughter with her for her first taste of the movie. I love it when good people pass on a slasher legacy.

At the same time there was a big backlash against Scream. So-called serious fans decried the film, and a dividing line went through the genre.

I never got it. What's not to like? Screenwriter Kevin Williamson was obviously an enthusiastic and passionate fan of slasher movies. Horror stalwart Wes Craven was brought in to direct. The movie is gory, funny, and very stylish. It has likeable characters. The twist behind the identity of Ghostface was bold and shocking.

It probably helped that I had no idea who most of the actors were. I was aware of Drew Barrymore, of course. I really liked some of her 90s films, like Poison Ivy, Far From Home, and Gun Crazy. People complained about the WB cast, but I didn't even know what that meant at first. I hadn't watched television in ages. I liked Matthew Lillard in Serial Mom.

Scream was one of the biggest hits of the 90s and so there were inevitable sequels. Of course. Sequels are an enormous aspect of slasher history. Scream 2 was enjoyable enough. Part 3 was pretty weak, I'm afraid to say. Scream 4 was a nice comeback. There was a series, but I never bothered with it.

A slasher movement was launched by Scream. There were a few good ones, like Urban Legend and Valentine, but for the most part bigger budgets did not lead to better slasher pictures. I liked it when they were done by renegade little production companies.

Now Scream 5 is on the horizon. And why not? Everything else is getting revived. I wouldn't see it unless Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox were appearing in the movie. I find it impossible to dislike Deputy Dewey, Gale Weathers, and poor beleaguered Sydney Prescott.

Sadly, a dark cloud hangs over the Scream legacy. The series was produced by Dimension, which was owned by Miramax. Which of course was the House of Weinstein. Rose McGowan plays Sydney's spirited friend Tatum. She later accused Harvey Weinstein of assault.

I look back at Scream, and I cannot remember any other horror movie before it that polarized the genre so much. Sure, we liked and disliked various movies, but I had never seen such animosity. Scream was released in 1996. Right when the internet was beginning to take prominence in society. Isn't that a coincidence?

Written by Mark Sieber

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry