I saw this film for the first time on Halloween night right after I finished watching Halloween(original) for the first time. Also I saw Nightmare on Elm Street before I watched this movie as well. This is how this movie is intended to be viewed: after NOES and Halloween. THIS IS KEY PEOPLE!!! you MUST see A Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho, AND Halloween to get the full effect for this one. Friday the 13th and The Silence of the Lambs don't hurt either. If you do not you can never appreciate this movie fully. There are so many little things in this one that you will pick up that make your enjoyment of this film more complete.
All that to say, this film is a very smart and witty comedy/horror film that is as funny as it is suspenseful. you never really know where it is going to go next. I'm not sure what I can say without giving away plot, but I'll do my best. This film is an addition, a parody, and an homage to the Slasher genre. it pulls it off beautifully. it perfects the genre if you will. It...it's very tongue-in-cheek. it is sort of difficult to explain the relationship this film has to the rest of the major slashers. you just have to see it for yourself (READ THE FIRST PARAGRAPH).
One of the major reasons I like this film, is that everyone in this film is HUMAN. In other slasher films, people aren't as human. As characters, you can't relate to them. take Halloween (the first one) for example, Laurie is just a character. you get no backstory from her at all (as far as I remember). she's just a random girl who some killer stalks (keep it in the perspective of the first one). and don't even get me started on her friends. all I can say is: knife fodder. with Scream, all characters are easy to relate to. what I mean is, they are clearly human characters, which brings me to my NEXT point: THE KILLER!!!
The Killer. aaah yes, the killer. Ghostface. let me start of by saying this, in any other slasher film, we'll pick on Friday the 13th this time, it goes like this: Jason could be sitting on the couch flipping channels for 90 minutes doing NOTHING and still make his kill quota for the movie. How? because the characters in his movie are so dumb this is how it would go: Jason would be sitting there and dumb chick #1 would come up to him screaming the "the killer is chasing me" scream. he wouldn't react and so she would take his machete and stab herself still screaming. it would continue like this until Final Girl would bonk him on ht head and he would get up, stretch, and go off to hibernate until the next sequel. It is just that easy for the average slasher film serial killer to kill his victims. you don't believe me? watch some of them. not Ghostface though. ohohoho no not Ghostface. no Ghostface EARNS his kills. I can't tell you what I mean though. you have to see it. this proves though, that under the awesome costume, Ghostface is just an ordinary person with ordinary strengths and skills. It makes the film a lot more believable. none of this "Arnie in his prime hit me over the head with a 100 megaton Hydrogen Bomb that went on to explode sending the sun crashing on me and I picked myself up brushed myself off and went on my way" crap. You get bored of an unkillable killer after a short time.
well, I've written out my confusing rant long enough. I hope you enjoy reading it. this film isn't perfect but I would highly suggest this one. it is certainly my favorite slasher film and it also comes with the bonus feature of a rare (I actually think one of a kind) good sequel. but, I must leave you with one final piece of advice: pay attention to the DIALOGUE. well, yeah. I've ranted long enough.
TRIVIA TIME: 1. A reporter comes up to Sidney and says "People want to know, they have a right to know." This is Linda Blair the person who played the demon posessed child Regan in The Exorcist
2. Billy's surname, Loomis, is the same as that of Donald Pleasance's character in Halloween, which in turn was the name of Marion Crane's lover in Psycho.
3. The beginning of the movie is much like When A Stranger Calls.
4. When Sidney is going into her house, the killer comes out of the closet the same way Michael Myers comes out of the closet after Bob in Halloween
5. When Casey's parents come home and see that something is wrong, her father says to her mother, "Go down the street to the Mackenzies' house..." which is a quote from Halloween
6. When Billy (who looks like Johnny Depp) sneaks into Sidney's room in a manner similar to a scene where Depp's character does something similar in A Nightmare on Elm Street
7. Casey hanging from the tree looks like the opening of Suspiria
8. The school janitor Fred (played by Wes Craven) can be seen wearing Freddy Krueger's outfit from A Nightmare on Elm Street
9. When Ghostface calls Sidney for the first time he asks her why she doesn't like scary movies. she responds by saying that "they're all the same. just some dumb chick who is getting chased and she goes up the stairs when she should be going out the front door". Moments later, Ghostface attacks Sidney and she runs towards the front door, discovers that it is locked, and runs up the stairs.
10. Tatum wears a jersey with the number 10 on it. This is the same thing Johnny Depp's character wore in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
11. The Jiffy Pop popcorn in the first scene acts as a clock. It goes from normal to out of control as does the scene (not really anything to do with slasher films but I thought it was interesting.
12. When Casey is trying to answer the "Jason...It's Jason" question in an attempt to save her boyfriend's life, you can hear a light musical score homage to John Carpenter's Halloween score.
13. Joseph Whipp who played Deputy Burke, was also in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street as a cop named Sergenat Parker.
14. Tatum says that the situation is like a Wes Carpenter film. This is a reference to Wes Craven who directed and John Carpenter who directed Halloween
15. The scene in which Casey is being chased outside with the killer directly behind her, the camera is positioned so that they are both running at the screen, in slower motion than normal, with the killer in the background appearing much larger and wielding a weapon directly above the victim's head in the darkness, closely resembles the famous scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre
16. In the scene where a drunk Randy is telling Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween to turn around through the TV, he repeats, "Jamie, turn around. Turn around, Jamie!" as the killer is slowly creeping up behind him. This is somewhat of an inside joke, as the actor who plays Randy is also named Jamie and the killer is behind him.
17. During the opening sequence when the killer asks Casey who the killer in Halloween is, listen closely and you'll hear bits of John Carpenter's original Halloween Theme in the soundtrack.
18. Casey says about the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films that "the first one was scary but the rest sucked." The first film was directed by Wes Craven, the sequels weren't. He did direct "New Nightmare", but it doesn't really count as a) it's not called "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and b) is set outside the continuity of the other films, classing them all just as films compared to the "reality" of itself. Alternatively of course she's just mistaken.
19. The school principal is played by Henry Winkler aka the Fonz, on one scene he is in the bathroom, and he goes to comb his hair, then realizes that it's ok, just like on Happy Days.
20. When Sidney is called at Tatum's house by Ghostface, Ghostface says "looks like you fingered the wrong guy AGAIN" foreshadowing that Cotton is innocent.
And of course, I couldn't finish off a blog about Scream without stating the rules. I'll put in the rules of the entire trilogy actually.
Scream: 1. You will not survive if you have sex
2. You will not survive if you drink or do drugs
3. You will not survive if you say 'I'll be right back"
4. Everyone is a suspect
5. You will not survive if you say "who's there"
6. You will not survive if you go out to investigate a strange noise.
Scream 2: 1. The body count is always bigger
2. The death scenes are always much more elaborate. much more blood and gore.
3. If you want your franchise to succeed: NEVER EVER ...(cut off) Note: in the trailer, Randy finishes the sentence by saying NEVER EVER assume the killer is dead. however, that's not how the official rule ends.
Scream 3: 1. The killer is superhuman. Stabbing him wont work, shooting him wont work. Basically, in the third one, you've gotta cyrogenically freeze his head, decapitate him, or blow him up. (although anyone who has seen a slasher sequel knows that 99% of the time, even these extreme measures do not work)
2. Anyone, including the main character, can die.
3. The past will come back to get you. Whatever you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest! Any sins you comitted in the past are about to break out and destroy you.