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Scream (1996)

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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.

Director:

Wes Craven
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600 ( 131)
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Drew Barrymore ... Casey Becker
Roger Jackson ... Phone Voice (voice)
Kevin Patrick Walls Kevin Patrick Walls ... Steve Orth
David Booth ... Casey's Father
Carla Hatley Carla Hatley ... Casey's Mother
Neve Campbell ... Sidney Prescott
Skeet Ulrich ... Billy Loomis
Lawrence Hecht Lawrence Hecht ... Neil Prescott
Courteney Cox ... Gale Weathers
W. Earl Brown ... Kenny Jones
Rose McGowan ... Tatum Riley
Lois Saunders Lois Saunders ... Mrs. Tate
David Arquette ... Deputy Dewey
Joseph Whipp Joseph Whipp ... Sheriff Burke
Matthew Lillard ... Stuart
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Storyline

A 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:

From The First Name In Suspense Comes The Last Word In Fear 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scary Movie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,354,586, 22 December 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$103,046,663

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$173,046,663
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) (PAL DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gale's (Courteney Cox's) news van is a 1989 Ford Econoline (E-350). See more »

Goofs

(at around 51 mins) When the principal goes to open the door the first time. The door opens left to right (the hinges are on the right side.) When he closes it he closes it left to right (the hinges are on the left side). However, it is revealed that in this shot we are looking at a mirror when the principal turns around and is startled by his reflection, then proceeds to fix his hair. 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

Featured in Fate Connection (2008) 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 »

User Reviews

 
Clever, scary and funny - a must-see for horror fans
13 April 2007 | by Max_cinefilo89See 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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