Movie Review: Scream (1996)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1996 thriller starring Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox.

Synopsis: As the one-year anniversary of her mother's murder draws closer, teenager Sidney Prescott, believing her mom's killer is already in prison, is terrorized by a knife-wielding maniac that has already killed several of her classmates. Is it her missing father, as the police believe, or is someone else have an unknown motive for murder?


My wife and I decided to watch a movie together a couple days ago and, since I couldn't find anything that looked interesting at the time, I decided to go with an older classic. This is a film we've seen on more than one occasion and, as a result, we pretty much already knew how it ended. But, after seeing it again, I have to say it was still entertaining to watch.

The thing I like about this movie is it is exactly what I want when I watch a horror/slasher film. There is a good mix of mystery and suspense. But, at the same time, the movie doesn't take itself too seriously and still mixes in the occasional piece of comedy (my personal favorite is when the high school principal, played by Henry Winkler, has a conversation with a janitor that looks like Freddy Krueger).

Normally when I watch films like this, I don't have too hard of a time figuring out who the killer is. This movie, however, actually does a pretty good job of keeping the murder's identity a secret until the very end. Even if you quickly rule out her father (Lawrence Hecht) simply because he's the favorite suspect (it's never the guy the police suspect), there are just too many others to choose from.

For example, when I first watched this movie, I figured, since the killer seemed obsessed with horror movies, all I would have to do is find the person who was obsessed with movies. As it turns out, most of Sidney's (Campbell) class seemed to be obsessed with horror movies, making this assumption the wrong one.

On top of it, there was still a question about if the current murders were connected to her mother's murder a year earlier. She seemed certain her testimony put the right man behind bars. But, as the movie progressed, it seemed like she was wrong or, at very least, someone was trying to convince her she was.

Yet, at the same time, if the killer was the same one who killed her mother or in some way connected to that murder, then why was he randomly killing her classmates too? It's this kind of thing that keeps the film interesting throughout and more films should try to copy it as a result.

Final Opinion

This is a fantastic movie that is entertaining every time we watch it (even though we already know how it ends). If you haven't seen it, I recommend taking the time to watch it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 07/21/2023, StevenHelmer
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