Monday, 27 September 2010

It's Satire... Fool.

Too many people take this film seriously. It's satire. One of the best forms of comedy. Because it's clever. It's a horror.. On the surface... But underneath that, at it's heart, it's a mockery of all old school slasher movies. I am talking, of course, about Scream. It's a pity that less people will watch it due to the unnecessary prejudice about horror movies. It's satire.. Fool. I have some good friends who are self proclaimed 'film nerds' and while that's a fair claim, they're unlikely to touch this movie with a barge pole.

It's a shame. It's a really good movie. It may sound familiar. High school girl, home alone, begins to get phone calls from an unknown caller who wants to play a game or the boyfriend tied up on the patio dies. Fairly average? It goes on. More high school murders linked to something that happened a year ago but the killer is too good for the police... Picking off teens one by one.. At parties, their houses or the school. Anywhere. But the difference is, while other slasher movies are bloody, this one is bloody funny. And make no mistake, it's just plain bloody too.

Drew loved singing Tom Jones down the phone to her boyfriend

It diverges from the rest of the genre by taking what is normal for the style and slanting it ever so slightly. There is no calm voice for the telephone threats, if hit, the killer won't somehow develop super strength and throw you back, he will fall down with a loud "OOF." On that note, the victims do fight back, often, and successfully... More or less. Apart from these aspects, the slasher genre rules are all there but in a post modern fashion. By this I mean the characters essentially discuss how to survive; the rules of survival in a horror movie. On numerous occasions, characters refer to their lives being 'like a horror movie.' One brilliant example of these post modern features is the party. Randy (Jamie Kennedy) discusses the rules of survival, "Never have sex" as clips of his two friends dancing the dance of love appear and "Don't say I'll be right back" just before Stu (Matthew Lillard) walks out uttering the phrase.

Performance wise, Drew Barrymore stands out in her short but crucial role to introduce the story but the true star is Matthew Lillard's grinning, comic and also scary Stu. Also worthy of notice are the real life and on screen couple, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, playing Gale Weathers, the bitchy news lady and Deputy Dewy, the love able police deputy.

Hearing Drew's singing made Matthew all bashful

In technical aspects it still manages to mock the genre. The peer-round-the-corner camera shot, the cheesy violin music... It all works with beautiful irony. And why? Director Wes Craven. Since he was one of the few directors that essentially invented the genre it seems fitting that he mocks it. And he has the ability to since he knows every aspect of the horror movie and can twist it successfully without making it look bad like other spoofs. (See Saturday The 14th)

It's a good movie. It's half horror, half comedy. If you expect it to be something, expect funny. If you expect horror, you're likely to be disappointed. I suggest watching it.

Best Bit? There's a lot. I mean a lot. I'm having trouble picking one. Just watch and see.

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