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Scream (1996)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 180,516 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 824 user | 227 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

A masked killer begins murdering teenagers in a small town, and as the body count rises, one girl and her friends contemplate the "rules" of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one.

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Title: Scream (1996)

Scream (1996) on IMDb 7.2/10

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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

One year after the death of Sidney Prescott's (Campbell) mother, two students turn up gutted. When a serial killer appears, Sidney begins to suspect whether her mother's death and the two new deaths are related. No one is safe, as the killer begins to pick everyone off one by one. Everyone's a suspect in this case. Written by FilmFanUK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | mask | murder | tabloid | california | See more »

Taglines:

Don't Answer The Phone. Don't Open The Door. Don't Try To Escape. See more »

Genres:

Crime | 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:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scary Movie  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

DEM 14,564,502 (Germany) (12 December 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Winner of the 1997 Mtv Movie Award for Best Picture. See more »

Goofs

The police station is supposedly on a one-way street, but a sign reading "Slow School X-ing" indicates traffic travels in both directions. 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

Henry Winkler, who played Principal Himbry, was asked to go uncredited because the producers did not want to detract any attention from the younger, lesser known actors. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Kate Winslet/Eminem (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Better Than Me
Performed by Sister Machine Gun
Written by Chris Randall
Courtesy of Wax Trax! Records/TVT Records
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.


55 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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