What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?: Scream (1996)

So this Horrorfest, I am going to be doing something a little different. We are going to have “Screamtastic Saturdays”. Every Saturday in October going to be on a different Scream movie. So let’s kick it off with:

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What’s your favorite scary movie?

*Spolier Alert*

So I really loved this movie. I have to say that Wes Craven as one of the horror kings totally tanked on Nightmare on Elm Street. This was by far, much better. One of the coolest things about this film is that it is a parody of horror films, while still being its own horror film.

So the beginning starts off with Drew Barrymore cooking popcorn and preparing for a fun night in watching scary movies with her boyfriend. Just like When A Stranger Calls, she receives a strange phone call and is at first into it, thinking it is just a joke.

scary movie mansfield park Scream

 

However, it slowly turns as the caller threatens Casey that he is going to kill her and her boyfriend.

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But she has a chance at being saved, all she has to do is answer who was the killer in Friday the 13th.

“Phone Voice: Name the killer in Friday the 13th.

Casey: Jason! Jason! Jason!

Phone Voice: I’m sorry. That’s the wrong answer!

Casey: No, it’s not. No it’s not. It was Jason.

Phone Voice: Afraid not. No way.

Casey: Listen, it was Jason! I saw that movie 20 g******* times!

Phone Voice: Then you should know that Jason’s mother, Mrs. Voorhees was the original killer. Jason didn’t show up until the sequel. I’m afraid that was a wrong answer.

Casey: [Weeping] You tricked me.

Phone Voice: Lucky for you there’s a bonus round, but poor Steve… I’m afraid he’s OUT!”

So Steve is murdered and Casey runs throughout the house trying to get away from the killer. Of which she doesn’t make it out and finds herself victim #1.

victim

And thus the body count begins…

So the killing of Drew Barrymore holds two significant things. One, she was one the most famous actress in the film, and was killed first. This was supposed to be a homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), in which the most famous actress of the film, Janet Leigh, was only in the movie for a short while before she was killed. This was also supposed to be a parody of Craven’s film Nightmare on Elm Street, when the first character we meet, Tina (played by Amanda Wyss),is killed. Craven also had his character Casey wear white just like Tina in Nightmare on Elm Street.

The next day, the town Woodsboro is just ravanged by reporters who are eager to find out more about this murder, especially since it occurred almost exactly a year after their little town experienced a murder just as gruesome. The murder of Maureen Prescott by Cotton Weary.

Meanwhile, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is trying to cope with everything that is going on.

Scream

She is having a really hard time with the anniversary of her mother’s death. When she hears about the murders and sees the reporters it brings the mess of the past year back to her. The memories just come flooding back.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

One of her other big issues is her boyfriend Billy Loomis.

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Okay, I just have to go off on a tangent here: Billy is sooooooooooooo creepy looking. When I first saw this I was like he is toooootally the killer. I mean LOOK AT HIM! He has killer written alllll over him. Those eyes, they are super frigtening. And the way he talks? He tells Sidney that he was watching Silence of the Lambs and that made him think of her and want to come over and get funky. What a freak!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

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(BTW it is another Psycho reference. Billy Loomis is a homage to Sam Loomis, Marion Crane’s boyfriend in Psycho; and Dr. Sam Loomis in Halloween.)

Anyways, so the two have been having issues since Sidney’s mom died. She was so traumatized by the event that she has isolated herself and found it hard to let anyone in again. Her best friend Tatum is cool with it as she understands she needs time to grieve, but Billy has been having a hard time backtracking from third base to the benches. Ladies, let me just say that if any guy ever tries to pressure into having sex when you aren’t ready, junk punch him and run away. You don’t need that loser in your life.

That day her father has to go out of town, leaving Sidney all alone in a big house.

Yep, gonna make references all night.

Yep, gonna make When a Stranger Calls  references all night.

She makes plans to meet up with Tatum and stay at her place, but falls asleep. Tatum is late picking her up as her cheerleading practice went way over. While Sidney is waiting she gets a phone call from the killer who starts harassing her. And she stupidly calls throughout the house trying to find him.

Killer Scary Movie

“Sidney Prescott: Can you see me right now?  Ah, okay. [puts a finger in her nose] What am I doing? Huh? Huh? What am I doing? Hello? [takes finger out] Nice try, Randy. Tell Tatum to hurry up, okay? Bye now.

Ghostface: IF YOU HANG UP ON ME, YOU’LL DIE JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER! Do you want to die, Sidney? Your mother sure didn’t.

Sidney Prescott: F*** you, you cretin!”

Soon the killer comes in her house and she has to run away from him and try to get the police there. Billy shows up, climbing through her window. Sidney sees that he has a cellphone and freaks out, having the police cart him away.

Gilmore girls creep

So there are a couple places that were filmed in Santa Rosa, CA. One was the bathroom scene in which Sidney is attacked, the other is Tatum’s house which is right across the street from the house used in Pollyanna (1960). It is also across the street from the house used in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943). The house in the opening scene was next door to the house used in Cujo (1983).

Sidney spends the night at Tatum’s house and the next day is completely crazy. Billy was released as they had nothing to hold him. And they still are unable to find her father as he never checked into his hotel. Plus Gale Weathers, a reporter who has been harassing her for a year,  and all the other reporters are driving her crazy!

“Gale: There she is! Sidney, hi, what happened? Are you alright?

Tatum: She’s not answering any questions alright. Just leave us alone.

Sidney Prescott: No, no Tatum it’s OK. She’s just doing her job, right Gale?

Gale: That’s right.

Sidney Prescott: So how’s the book?

Gale: Oh it’ll be out later this year.

Sidney Prescott: Oh, I’ll look for it.

Gale: I’ll send you a copy.

[Sidney turns around a punches Gale in the face]”

Scream-Punch

Also at the school we have a little Wes Craven easter egg, as he dresses up as a janitor in a Freddy Krueger sweater.

So the principal decides to suspend school until further notice as it is just too risky for the students. After they all have left, he finds himself joining the body count as well, victim #2.

victim

The death of the principal was actually added to the film late into production. Bob Weinstein noticed there were 30 pgs in the script were nobody died and they decided that they needed another victim.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Billy’s friend Stu decides to throw a party and have all the kids in school come. I don’t understand why anyone’s parents would allow their kids to go out like that with A FREAKIN’ KILLER ON THE LOOSE. Come on people, Parent!!

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At the party, the kids are chillin’, drinking beer, watching horror films, etc. Billy and Sidney go upstairs and talk, resulting in the two having sex.

Meanwhile downstairs everyone is chillin’ while Tatum goes off to the garage to get more beer. The scene in the garage is the only weak link in the film. First of all when Tatum walks over to the garage door and it almost closes on her, that would never happen. My dad is a contractor and I remeber when I was a kid I thought the garage would close on me too. However, they design garage doors specfically to not do that. In fact they have a certain radius that if someone was to walk within that radius the door would stop. And come on she IS IN A FREAKIN’ GARAGE!!! Do you know how many weapons there are in that thing? She passes over a hoe, rake, and a shovel! You see all kinds of tools throughout their fight too. She could easly find something to attack him and win. Although I do have to give props to Wes for allowing Tatum to to put up such a great fight.

Victim #3

Victim #3

Back in the living room,  Randy is giving a rundown on how to survive a horror film,  (* are the rules that are given by the killer).

  1. You will not survive if you have sex
  2. You will not survive if you do drugs or drinks
  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 ask “Who’s there.”*
  6. *You will not survive if you go out to investigate a strange noise*

While all this is going on, Gale and Tatum’s brother Officer Dewey, have been spying on the party. Gale has snuck a camera into the party, so that she can view everything from her van. She and Dewey both take a break though, “walking off” together where they come upon Sidney’s father’s abandoned car.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Everyone back at the party gets the news that the principal is dead and had been strung up on the football field. Almost everyone leaves; with just Randy, Sidney, Billy, Stu, and Gale’s cameraman Kenny (in the van) staying behind .The killer comes out and starts attacking.

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One of the best scenes is the scene where a drunk Randy is telling Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween to turn around while the killer is behind him. He constantly repeats, “Jamie, turn around. Turn around, Jamie!” as the killer is slowly creeping up behind him. The actor who plays Randy is also named Jamie (Jamie Kennedy) and the killer was currently behind him. This is also the only scene in which the  killer is actually one of the actors. Skeet Ulrich had asked specifically if he could wear the costume for one scene.

So Kenny and Dewey fall victim to his knife.

Victim #8

Victim #4&5

After Sidney and Billy are done having sex and have placed their clothes back on the killer charges in and stabs Billy. Sidney manages to run away and finds Tatum’s body.

As she continues running away she ends up getting in the way of Gale who was fleeing the killer from her van. Gale swerves to miss Sidney and crashes, getting knocked out. Sidney goes back to the house, taking the gun from the dying Dewey. She runs into Randy and Stu and is unsure who is the killer. She then runs into a wounded Billy and gives him the gun. Billy immediately shoots Randy and stands up.

Say What

Yep, Billy isn’t injured at all. In fact, it was all a ploy he is the real killer.

dun-dun-duuuun

Corn Syrup

Billy: Corn Syrup, just like in the real movies.

Yep, the whole time Billy and Stu have been the killers. From Sidney’s mom to everyone else.

“Sidney Prescott: Why? Why did you kill my mother?

Billy: Why? WHY! You hear that Stu? I think she wants a motive. Well I don’t really believe in motives Sid, I mean did Norman Bates have a motive?

Stu: No.

Billy: Did we ever find out why Hannibal Lecter like to eat people? DON’T THINK SO! See it’s a lot more scarier when there’s no motive, Sid. We did your Mom a favor, Sid. That woman was a slut-bag whore who flashed her s*** all over town like she was Sharon Stone or somethin’.

Stu: Yeah, we put her out of her misery, ’cause let’s face Sidney, your mother was no Sharon Stone,hmm?

Billy: Is that motive enough for you? How about this? Your slut mother was f****** my father and she’s the reason my mom moved out and abandoned me. [Sid looks astonished] How’s that for a motive? Maternal abandonment causes serious deviant behaviour. It certainly f***** you up. It made you have sex with a psychopath.”

Yep, and not only that the planned the whole thing out so that her father would take the blame, make it look like he had a mental breakdown on the anniversary of his wife’s death and started killing people. They had kidnapped him and bring him out for their final act. Billy and Stu planned that attack on Sidney to make any second arrest look false and questionable.

you're evil

Of course their plan will not be complete until they make themselves look like victims. Stu stabs Billy, and Billy stabs Stu. While the two are monologing and arguing they have seemed to forget one important thing.

 Sidney and her father have disappeared.

“Stu: S***…

Billy: What?

Stu: Oh, s***.

Billy: [They go into the kitchen to find Sidney and Mr. Prescott gone] Where are they? Where are they?

Stu: I don’t know, Billy, but I’m hurtin’, man!

Yep, just like they say in Dial M for Murder (1954), you can never plan the perfect murder. What sounds good on paper can never transfer to real life, because in real life there are just too many things that can go wrong.

“Margot Mary Wendice: Do you really believe in the perfect murder?

Mark Halliday: Mmm, yes, absolutely. On paper, that is. And I think I could, uh, plan one better than most people; but I doubt if I could carry it out.

Tony Wendice: Oh? Why not?

Mark Halliday: Well, because in stories things usually turn out the way the author wants them to; and in real life they don’t… always.”

So here Stu and Billy find themselves completely off script, and unsure…

[the phone rings]

Stu: Should I let the machine get it?

Billy: [answers it] Hello?

Sidney Prescott: Are you alone in the house?

Billy: B****! You b****, where the f*** are you?

Sidney Prescott: Not so fast, we’re going to play a little game. It’s called: Guess who just called the police and reported your sorry motherf******* a**!

[Stu is slowly collapsing to the floor]

Billy: Find her, you dips***! Get up!

Stu: I can’t, Billy. You already cut me too deep. I think I’m dying here, man!

Billy: [Billy gives Stu the phone] Talk to her. Talk to her.

Stu: Hello?

Sidney Prescott: Ah, Stu, Stu, Stu… What’s your motive? Billy’s got one. The police are on their way. What are you going to tell them?

Stu: Peer pressure. I’m far too sensitive.

Billy:[Billy takes the phone back] I’m going to rip you up, b****, just like your f****** mother!

Sidney Prescott: You’ve gotta find me first, you pansy-a** momma’s boy!”

Now the game of cat and mouse has changed with the hunted becoming the hunters.

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In the end Gale, Sidney, Dewey, Mr. Prescott, and Randy survive.

So that was Scream one of the best horror-parodies ever made. For more fun check out Scream in 30 sec with bunnies. And How It Should Have Ended

This film really brought back the slasher genre, as after this slasher remakes and slasher film numbers escalated. It also brought up the debate on whether or not violence in movies affected people and caused them to become more violent? The most important thing is that this film increased the use of caller ID and made such phone harassment much harder. Although not for me.

The other thing I realized in this film is that I am soooooo Randy.

Randy

I also realized that just like The Cable Guy, I’m only a few steps away from the crazy.

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Well, that’s Scream. Tune in next Saturday for Scream 2.

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

To go to the previous post, go to In Their Proper Place

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For more on Scream, go to When Horror Doesn’t Stay on the Screen

For more on Wes Craven, go to Krueger Town

For more on phone harrasment, go to It’s Coming From Inside the House

For more films influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, go to Everyone’s Entitled to One Good Scare

For more on serial killers, go to Hello? Is There a Killer in My Kitchen?

For more on slasher films, go to Camp Blood

For more films that spanned numerous sequels, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

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I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

I don’t belong in the world

Carnival of Souls is a very creepy movie! It was simply fantastic! I highly recommend it for anyone out there who is into creepy films as this one really fits the bill. It was made in 1962 in three weeks on a very low budget. It was categorized as a B horror film, and due to problems with the distributing company, (it went out of business), it failed to be as big of a hit as it could have been. However, it is now a cult classic and loved by many. If you want to watch the film click here.

****FYI Spolier Alert****

The film starts off with this girl, Mary, who is out in her car driving around with her friends. They run into these guys who challenge them to a drag race, and as every young adult does in ’50s and ’60s movies, they agree.

As I’m sure you have already guessed, it does not turn out well. In fact the girls’ car ends up going right over a bridge and crashing into a river. The police spend three hours dragging the water searching for the car or the bodies, when something strange happens……

Hey guys! How ya doing?

Mary walks out the river UNHARMED! She is pefectly fine, just dirty and for some strange reason doesn’t remember what happened to cause her to escape unharmed.

However after this episode Mary isn’t at all like herself. She is colder, and wants to isolate herself. She even speaks at one time how she hates being with her parents, calling them “those people”, a feeling she had never expressed before. She ends packing up and moving to Utah where she will be an organist for a local church.

HOWEVER, this is were the film starts to get REALLY CREEPY. I recommend making sure you watch this late at night in the dark for optimal effect.

So she’s driving along on the way to this town and notices this pavillion in which she feels a connection to, but shrugs it off. She continues driving along a deserted road…everything is going great when all of a sudden……

A FLOATING FACE APPEARS IN HER WINDOW!!!!!!!

OMG this part scared me so bad when I first watched it! She’s out on this deserted road and all of a sudden a face without a body APPEARS FLOATING OUTSIDE HER WINDOW!

And this guy is no looker! He’s a majorly creepy dude!

Hello Mary

After that scare, she somehow makes it to a gas station to get directions to the boarding house she is going to stay at. She also asks the attendent about the pavilion. He tells her that it used to be a carnival.

(Okay now we can totally tell that something creepy is going to go down in that Carnival. The anticipation is rising!!!!!)

So she gets to the boarding house where we have a somewhat comedic landlady. Mary is starting to feel better about what happened, shrugging it off as being tired and scared. The next day she visits the church and starts practicing.Everyone is touched by her lovely organ music, it is as sweet as the songs of angels!

(Now I know that organ music can be lovely to some, but to me it always makes me think of creepy monsters such as the Phantom of the Opera or Dracula.)

The minister gives Mary a ride home and she asks to see the carnival.

This movie has some really beautiful cinematography. If you don’t watch it for the horror                                                                              one should watch it for that.

So Mary returns home, still confused as to what her connection to the place must be. Her neighbor John, tries to come on to her but with really lame lines and Mary is just not having any of it.

As she is finally able to get rid of the loser, she looks outside……………..ONLY TO SEE THE FACE AGAIN!!!!!!

AND HE COMES INSIDE THE HOUSE! Mary runs out of her room to look, and THERE HE IS WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR!  AND STARTS TO CLIMB UP THE STAIRS!!!!! HE’S COMING FOR HER!!! RUN MARY! RUN!! RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary does run up to her room. And there’s a knock on the door and…..and…..and…..and….and….

It turns out to be the landlady! And she hasn’t seen anyone walking around the house. (Hmm….very suspicious!)

The next day John tries to come on to Mary again and we find out that he reeeeeeeeeeally likes to drink. Mary is very much still uninterested and goes on to buy a new dress.

Then the strangest thing happens. Mary tries on her dress and goes out to talk to the salelady about the hem…..When NO ONE CAN HEAR HER. NO ONE SEES HER. AND SHE CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING.

She changes and wanders aimlessly through the town trying to figure out why she can’t be heard or seen or hear anything.Eventually her hearing comes back and she continues on her way.

She goes to get a drink of water from the drinking fountain when a man comes upon her…….

I’m Back!

Luckily as Mary is running away in fear she happens to run right into a psychiatrist.

Literally. He just happened” to be running about in that area.

He takes her to his office so that she can talk to him and they can work out what she is feeling. And what she thinks she is seeing. He tells her that the only way to truly get over these hallucinations is to go to the carnival. The carnival is where everything began.

She goes and hopes that everything will be better for her. That the nightmare will be over.

The next day she goes to work and starts out playing a lovely song in the church…when all of a sudden………something comes over her and she plays devilish, creepy, horrifying music.

What’s coming over me?

Her hellish music causes her to lose her job, and she goes on home. She ends up going out with John as she is so freaked out and doesn’t want to be alone, but that doesn’t turn out to be any good; as Mary is still so cool and icy. She has a major freakout thinking she sees the creepy guy everywhere, and John takes her home. Mary rushes into her room, with John following hoping to get lucky. She looks up in the mirror expecting to see John when who should be there but…..

THE CREEPY GUY! THE GUY IS KISSING HER!

Mary looks up in shock, and screams. John is also freaked out and takes off to the safety of his room.

The next day she takes her car in to be looked at, only to have another experience with the creepy guy! She runs off scared for her life! And then no one can see or hear her anymore. She keeps seeing creepy dead people everywhere she goes.

But just like before, everything goes back to normal. She can hear and others can hear her.

She runs to the psychiatrist’s office, so confused and upset; pouring out all her feelings and emotions to him.

When what should happen but………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The CREEPY FACE MAN!

But then Mary wakes up in her car. Was it all a dream? What is happening to her?!

She runs to the carnival, once again to try and get where it all began to end it all. But that is where it really gets creepy. Men and women rise from the water and they do a creepy dance of death. The dance that Mary sees herself in!

The creepy guy and company follow her and chase her to the beach where they all grab her and everything fades to black.

The next day the minister and psychiatrist are looking for Mary. They find her shoes, footprints, and what looks like signs of a struggle on the beach, but there is no Mary to be found.

Back in Mary’s town the police have finally been able to drag the river bottoms and get the car out.

However, they are in for a big surprise as there are THREE bodies in the car. Mary’s body is in the car!

dun-dun-duuuun

I thought it was a simply fantastic movie! Some pieces are predictable, but the creepiness lives throughout.

I hope you enjoyed the first of these posts as there are more to come.

Here is a cover page I made for my facebook as part of my countdown to Halloween:

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Fo more on B Horror films, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket

For more on carnivals, go to A Tale So Strange It Must Be True

For more on cult classics, go to They’re Coming to Get You Barbara