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Scream (1996)

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Phone Voice (voice)
Kevin Patrick Walls ...
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Carla Hatley ...
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Lawrence Hecht ...
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Lois Saunders ...
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Joseph Whipp ...
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Storyline

1 year after her mother's death, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), and her friends started experiencing some strange phone calls. They later learned the calls were coming from a crazed serial killer, in a white faced mask and a large black robe, looking for revenge. His phone calls usually consist of many questions, the main one being: Whats your favorite scary movie? Along with many scary movie trivia, ending with bloody pieces of innocent lives scattered around the small town of Woodsboro. Written by Joss Oran

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Solving This Mystery Is Going To Be Murder. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic horror violence and gore, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scary Movie  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,354,586 (USA) (20 December 1996)

Gross:

$103,001,286 (USA) (18 July 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) (PAL DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 54 mins) Tatum says that the situation is like a Wes Carpenter film. This is a reference to Wes Craven, who directed the movie, and John Carpenter, who directed Halloween (1978), which is featured in the movie. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 27 mins) When Sidney locks herself in Dewey's Jeep, the door locks are shown to be on top of the door panel, but are not shown in the outside view of the SUV. Also the locks are designed next to the door handle, meaning the locks shown are from a different vehicle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Casey: Hello?
Phone Voice: Hello.
Casey: Yes?
Phone Voice: Who is this?
Casey: Who are you trying to reach?
Phone Voice: What number is this?
Casey: Well, what number are you trying to reach?
Phone Voice: I don't know.
Casey: I think you have the wrong number.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Right before the credits roll, there is a quick flash of the killer's face (Ghostface), so quick, it causes the viewer to doubt they actually saw it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Flubber (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Fear The Reaper
Performed by Gus Black (as Gus)
Written by Donald Roeser
Courtesy of Sony/AIV Tunes LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Clever, scary and funny - a must-see for horror fans
13 April 2007 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Making a brilliant, original horror film is pretty hard these days, since practically everything has already been told, and more than once. Using that premise, director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson came up with Scream, whose cleverness derives from the fact that it knows every single stereotype of the genre and satirizes them.

Take the opening sequence, for example: a young girl (Drew Barrymore) is making popcorn and waiting for her boyfriend when she suddenly receives a phone call. Normally, this would be a huge clichè, only this time the killer decides to play a little game (horror film quiz, naturally) with his victim. In fact, the only reason why he kills her is that she gave the wrong answer to one of his questions (those who haven't seen Friday 13th might want to skip that bit, as it spoils said movie's ending). That scene is both very scary (the murder is quite graphic and disturbing) and at the same time funny (it tests the characters', and the audience's, knowledge of the horror genre), and the rest of the film continues in the same vein: after the first killing, the masked psychopath starts disposing of other teenagers in the town of Woodsboro using the same technique. One of the targets is Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), whose mother was raped and killed the year before. This implies the killer might be the same, but who could it be? Sidney's distant father? Her mother's lover (Liev Schreiber)? Or some random guy, with no motive at all?

Fortunately, it is not the last category: this murderer has a motive and a plausible identity as well. But it isn't the payoff that makes Scream interesting; it's how Craven and Williamson get to it, by outlining the genre's conventions (some of which were actually invented by the director himself) and using them in a clever, if self-referential, way. The point of the movie is, the more you know of this kind of films (pay attention to the rules, stated by geeky film buff Randy), the more chances you have to survive (although you must take into account that the killer has seen the same movies). The in-jokes that would ruin other films are the very cause of Scream's success, with memorable scenes such as the villain mimicking the movie his victims are watching or Craven's unmissable cameo as a janitor wearing Freddy Krueger's outfit (not to mention priceless lines like "Movies don't create psychos, movies make psychos more creative!").

In other words, Scream is a smart, effective horror film, which manages to amuse and scare in equal measures. Definitely worth watching, even if the two sequels (especially Scream 3) don't really match the original's intelligence and, forgive the expression, originality.


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