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**Scream was the first of its kind that redefined horror with new rules, a meta plot, and rebellious unexpected twists.** Scream followed all the rules and simultaneously broke them in a brilliant self-aware genre reinvention that leveraged every horror movie trope to set up and subvert every expectation. Scream is a love ballad to horror movie fans that intimately knows and zealously honors the legacy of terror-filled films that came before while creating something new, innovative, bold, and surprising. Scream’s dark humor and admiration of overused horror plot points resulted in one of the first meta films in history. Characters know they are living a real-life horror film and yet make dumb and predictable horror movie decisions tricking the viewers into a sort of safety before breaking all the rules and surprising with unexpected twists and turns. Scream was the first of its kind and welcomed a whole new horror sub-genre and a movie franchise that still has no end in sight over 25 years later.
**_Scream delivered a breath of fresh air into the slasher franchise and holds up rather well nearly 30 years later._** The plot of this film follows a cookie-cutter structure that models nearly all of the great slasher franchises of the late 1970s and early 1980s, but that is entirely the point. Scream is completely aware of the tropes of horror movies and utilizes them in a creative way by adding commentary and subtle comedy delivered by the characters throughout the film. It is not a full-fledged comedy by any means; there is no forced humor or jokes, but it is more of a dark comedy that pokes fun at itself in the background. The performances from our main cast were great. Neve Campbell delivers an excellent badass performance and is the perfect lead for the franchise. She is capable of fighting back in a brutal way and rivals Laurie Stroud from Halloween as my favorite final girl of all time. Courtney Cox was quite good as well; she had limited screen time but was able to really make the most of it. David Arquette was okay; he did not blow me away by any means, and he is quite replaceable in my opinion. Matthew Lillard was my favorite of the film; his performance was over the top and quite mentally deranged, which worked really well. Skeet Ulrich was also quite good, but took a backseat to Lillard in my opinion. The direction of this film was great. Wes Craven did an excellent job delivering unique shots and utilizing the camera angle and height quite well. I do think this movie needs a little more gore and violence for it being a slasher film. There was really only one kill that was quite memorable to me. For it being a homage and critique of the slasher genre, it was lacking quite a bit in the slash department. In addition, the runtime felt a bit bloated, and I think if this was cut down to maybe ten minutes, the viewing experience would have been better. Overall, I do think this movie is slightly overrated, but it is still a great film and worthy of its praise (for the most part). **Score:** _79%_ | **Verdict:** _Great_
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