Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm watching Scream again tonight...

...the 1996 horror film directed by Wes Craven. Once again struck by the brilliance of the script, the sharpness of the dialogue, the deft blend of horror and humour, and the incomparable spookiness of Ghostface, since once he appears (as opposed to speaking on the phone) he never says a word and simply tries to dispatch his victims ASAP. The mask itself is extremely haunting.

The first two sequels were dreadful, but the most recent-- Scream 4, or Scr4am-- was an improvement. Still not a patch on the original. (I sometimes feel there should be an organised campaign against sequels.)

Yes, Scream is a very violent film, and one that rather revels in sadism, so I feel rather troubled about liking it so much. Many of the films I like are violent and laced with profanity-- although Groundhog Day is my favourite film of all time, I believe Pulp Fiction is the best film of all time. That doesn't mean I approve of bad language, raunchiness and violence in movies. I think it's simply a sad fact of cinematic life.

Even though I love the horror genre, I think most horror films are abysmal and only a very, very few are genuine classics. The Wicker Man (the original, not the Nicholas Cage travesty), Dead of Night (an Ealing film from 1945), Carrie, an Amicus horror anthology called From Beyond the Grave...and that's about it. I wouldn't include The Shining, The Exorcist, or the commendable recent production The Woman in Black. All good films, but they don't have the cutting edge (pun very much intended) to make them worth going back to again and again.

But Scream has it.

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