When director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson teamed up to release Scream in 1996, they changed the horror genre with its fourth wall-breaking, movie-referencing dialogue. Scream was a film that spoke to the newly born, savvy internet generation, a film that wasn’t afraid to reveal, discuss and make light of the unwritten rules that governed all slasher films until that point.
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“Scream is to modern horror films what the Beatles were to rock music. Look at it now and it’s easy to forget the impact it’s had on so many of the films we’ve seen since. Nowadays almost every slasher movie has some sort of “clever” post-modern fourth wall-breaking scene where someone says “we shouldn’t split up, that’s how people die in the movies”. Scream did it first, and while it’s been imitated countless times since it’s somewhat telling that Scream still does it better than most, 15 years since its release.
Scream 2 (1997)
“After slicing apart the horror genre and aiming knowing winks at many of its foibles in Scream, some felt that there wasn’t much opportunity to do the same in Scream 2 since so much had been covered already. By its very nature though Scream 2provided Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson a chance to poke fun at one very important aspect of horror films that went unchallenged in the first film – sequels.”
Scream 3 (2000)
“Gone are the clever references to horror films from the first Scream and the cheeky nods at sequel clichés in its follow-up, replaced by confusing plot points, tired fourth wall references and an ending that’s about as satisfying as using beehives as football boots, with the simple explanation each time that ‘hey, it’s the third one, we can do any old shite and it’s fair game’.”
Scream 4 (2011)
“Scream 4 had an uphill battle to be relevant in this new all-knowing, self-referential, nudge-nudge-wink-wink horror landscape, one the Scream series itself essentially created in the first place. It’s impressive, then, that writer Kevin Williamson and director Wes Craven have taken these decade-old characters and ideas and brought them into the 2010s so convincingly.”
Scream: The TV Series (2015)
“Regardless of your thoughts on the four Scream movies, Scream: The TV Series should be approached as a completely new franchise because, essentially, it is. Woodsboro, the location of the Scream films, doesn’t exist. Sidney, Gale Weathers, Officer Dewey, they’re all completely gone. There is no reference whatsoever to the events of the movies.”