Decades Blogathon – Scream (1996)

1996

 

Welcome back around to the second week in Decades, a blogathon in which me and my good friend and inspiration Mark from Three Rows Back are asking bloggers to weigh in on their favorite films from decades past, films that were released in a year ending in ‘6.’ We’ve been posting a review per day, re-blogging each other’s posts (with the exception being this weekend where we took some time off). I had the chance to write my thoughts on Shane Black’s newest film, The Nice Guys. If you missed that piece you can find it here.

But today we have an exceptional piece from the one and only Zoë, who’s the genius behind The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger. It’s a site I have been dedicated to for some time now, and if you want to go visit it here you will soon see why that’s the case. She’s here to talk about horror-comedy classic Scream


Scream movie poster

SYNOPSIS: A group of teens are pitted against a masked murderer that tests their knowledge of horror movies. – via IMDB

Thank you guys for letting me indulge in re-watching Scream. I don’t know how I would have motivated it to anyone without this Decades Blogathon 😛

Alright, alright, alright! Let me get to talking to a movie that I absolutely adore. Scream. Gosh, I watched this so many times as a kid I damn near wore out the VHS. I had way too much fun with this all the time. I have always had a soft spot for horror/slasher films, whether they are good or bad. This one? It is one of the better ones. I know that it has been mocked and ragged on for ages, but Craven gave us something beautiful when we got this.

Pretty much everyone knows the intro, I am sure. Not much should in theory be a secret there… I think. Anyway, within minutes, you get the setup. Open with Drew Barrymore making herself popcorn, getting a strange call, which starts funny but ends in a terrifying fashion. Recipe for something amazing. End it with an insanely brutal murder and staged corpse scene? Winning all the way. The Scream franchise touts some horrifying deaths, but hers will forever remain right up there for me, because it really set the tone of what was to come in the movies.

Scream ghostface mask

Scream is way smarter than it is given credit for by most. The movie knows exactly what it is, and doesn’t beat around the bush about it. It is in your face honest, and tackles all the conventions of horrors/slashers up until that point, and yet still masterfully crafts a film that feels fresh and new. Obviously these are things that became more clear to me the older I got. Back in the day, it was all about the silly jokes, the phone calls, and Ghostface. Let’s not even pretend. Then I grew up, and got to see exactly how clever Scream actually is. It’s gory, it balances humour and horror, and it does so with great finesse.

Scream bad movies

As for the cast, I thoroughly enjoy them all. You don’t see many of them that much anymore, because they were the reigning nineties champs, but they all did what they were to do. Neve Campbell was perfect to play sweet, innocent, emotionally damaged Sidney, the virgin, and David Arquette is the absolutely adorable Deputy Dewey, and I will always love him. For reals. What a sweetie. Courtney Cox owned in her role of the bitchy and unscrupulous Gale Weathers. Skeet Ulrich was also the perfect pick for Billy, a little dodgy and strange, but rather entrancing nonetheless. Fan favourite Randy Meeks was helmed by Jaime Kennedy, and his character will always be important to the end. He was the one who told us what was happening, who shared the rules and etiquette of survival and the perfect crime.

Scream Gale gets punched

Another thing I enjoy about this movie is how quotable it is. It doesn’t get old, and you are bound to find someone who recognises some of the obscure references and quotes you can yank out of it. That is something that I always appreciate in movies, the ability to stick with you, via imagery or some infinitely awesome quote. The score also complements the movie every step of the way, and all the little references make this film a little gem. I loved the humour here, too, which at times was really dark, and other times really silly. I am glad that it was Craven who helmed this film, as he balanced this out. Apparently other directors that were considered initially viewed Scream as more of a comedy than anything. Phew. Luckily it didn’t go that way!

Scream rules

Overall, Scream is still a highly entertaining watch, even after all this time, and peddles tons of humour, horror, and gore. If you haven’t seen it (*cough cough* TOM), I would highly recommend checking it out! Obviously I am a fan, and I know I am not alone on that front!

TBT: 50 First Dates (2004)

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Tragically, yet another Drew Sandler-Adam Barrymore film is debuting this coming weekend — I don’t know, something called Blended, and to help celebrate this simply FABULOUS event. . . . (he says, with the entire jar of sarcasm spilled out all over the table). . . I am throwing it back to 2004, to a time when the two were reunited for their second go-around in a rom-com (bonus points go to the commenter with the other film they are in). This movie I do have to admit to enjoying on some level roughly approaching loving. I know, I know. I know what this means. Well, I don’t know, actually. . .because I have assumed my little laminated Film Critic Card was revoked the day I started this theme for TBT! So I basically have no apologies at this point. I’ll just come right out and say it. One of my guilty pleasure films is definitely

Today’s food for thought: 50 First Dates

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

Release: February 13, 2004

[DVD]

Adam Sandler has gotten into this very nasty habit of recycling his old friends in his movies. It’s almost as if a phone call is made to each and every one of them — including the Rob Schneiders, the Kevin Nealons, the Allen Coverts — within days of their latest outing being released to international audiences. The phone call probably goes a little something like:

“Hey, you assholes wanna go do that again? Aright, sick! Just come up with another cool, exotic location and we’ll do it; I’ll stuff my egg-shaped head in my private jet and pick ya’ll up on my way. By the way, you’ve still got that really funny-looking penis, right? Okay, alright. Awesome. We’re going to rely on that as our running gag for this next movie. Shut up. It’ll work. Trust me.”

Quite frankly I’d be excited to be receiving that phone call if I were any of those names just mentioned. The one thing about working with a guy like Adam Sandler is you really can’t complain about the job security. He’ll keep you in business, but unfortunately and in no small way ironically, that would be to your career’s detriment in all likelihood.  He’s comfortable magnetizing the same names again and again because that’s exactly what it is: comfortable. While that’s a strategy not likely to benefit Sandler’s acting range, it’s one that has actually produced the odd one or two little charmers.

50 First Dates was a good example of a final product reaping modest benefits of Sandler’s almost defiant conditions of labor. The cast is one that catches sparks, though it never catches fire; and while the contents aren’t anything a Monday-through-Friday Adam Sandler hater would ever bat an eyelid at, it’s with a great sense of relativism when I say you could do a lot worse than when Henry met Lucy.

Henry Roth, the man apparently no woman can resist (what a joke that is!) had stumbled across someone who he considered the woman of his dreams in the totally, amazingly, ridiculously, stupendously romantic locale of Hawaii. One morning while grabbing breakfast at a local diner on one of the main islands, Henry spotted a cute blonde girl sitting alone, and decided to approach her. An employee at the diner cautioned him, informing him she suffered from chronic short-term memory loss following a terrible car accident years back. Henry found himself too smitten to listen, though, and proceeded to do everything in his power to help Lucy remember who he was. The resultant pursuit of love wound up far more interesting than it had any right to be, even as all the jokes still appeared to attend the same old Sandler school of the scatological.

Life lessons are, naturally, in abundance in Adam Sandler flicks. Let’s see all the ways in which I can twist the plot of this one into suiting my blog’s own selfish needs, shall we:

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    Life’s full of tough choices. If it comes down to playing a trick on a really fat, heavily-tattooed bartender, or playing one on an innocent, sweet little girl with memory loss, pick which one will make you the lesser asshole of the two.

  2. MV5BMjAxNzI2MDA4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDExMzE3._V1_SX640_SY720_

    Variety is the spice of life. Tired of the bar scene as a place to pick up girls? Try faking a breakdown, with only a cute little penguin as your road buddy, as an attempt to flirt with potential female passers-by. If this doesn’t work, you could always fake your own kidnapping by hogtying yourself up in the back of your truck. That might be overreaching, though. . .

  3. 1677474,YLP7zQLz6ZSLuWzmze0PW+cnYRhdXbprbGh7njsvg0iMHY6n9UFdx_F1sfhwcUnP_6c6uuIOt37+Um3E6fWHFg==

    Is today a shirtless day? Or is it a mesh-shirt day? Sometimes it’s f**king impossible to make the decision. Life really is difficult sometimes. Especially if you live in Hawaii.

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    Hey man, if aquariums make you super-horny, then aquariums make you super-horny. Often, life requires no further explanation or conditions other than what’s obvious. Some people are just touched in the head.

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    Life demands you ingest the advice of your elders. With time comes experience, so if you have the legendary Dan Aykroyd in your face telling you your movie needs more ghosts to be busted in it, then by god you should listen. Too bad the advice here falls on deaf ears. . . .

3-0Recommendation: 50 First Dates narrowly avoids being lumped in with the rest of Sandler’s monotonous schlub-fests as it pays attention to something fairly important: chemistry between it’s two leads. Of course, this particular film banks on the fact that Sandler and Barrymore have that already established. Even still, it remains routinely funny, occasionally vulgar and always cliched and predictable viewing that offends the palate far less often than many other Sandler offerings. 50 First Dates is a film with a beguiling charm, if only because it relies on the strength of two actors who have done the very same thing years before.

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 99 mins.

Quoted: “Sometimes I wish my wife had Goldfield Syndrome. That way she wouldn’t remember last night when I called her mother a loud, obnoxious drunk with a face like J. Edgar Hoover’s ass. . .”

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