“My Mom and Dad are gonna be so mad at me!” The squeals of Stuart (Matthew Lillard) sounded the sirens of satire and scares inherent in Wes Craven’s Scream. Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this month, this tale of teenagers who are aware of horror film tropes changed the dwindling landscape of mainstream horror at the time of release. It also signaled more than a few flimsy copycats that tried and failed to bring that same spirit of satiric anarchy to the world of the slasher. Was Scream a good or bad thing for horror? Thomas Mariani and his special guest have a lot to say on that matter.
Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 05 — Scream (1996)
Featuring a solid roster of young talent for the time and an awareness of the tropes everyone became all too familiar with in the post-80s boom of the slasher genre, Scream spoke to the Blockbuster generation that became too aware to be scared. Now, with a killer who was just as ahead of the game as those he was trying to kill, all bets were off. Right from the moment Drew Barrymore gets slashed in the prologue, no one was safe. Everyone’s a suspect. Everyone’s a potential victim. All of this is unveiled in a story that features the young and capable Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), lovable oaf of a police officer Dewey (David Arquette) and the opportunistic Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) at the center. Throw in a few familiar faces to the decade and the longest party scene in cinematic history and you’ve got yourself a recipe for mayhem and references to classic horror.
Joining Thomas on this post-modern journey is his Decades of Horror 1980s co-host and award winning filmmaker Christopher G. Moore. Together, this pair discuss the unique stamp Scream brought to a genre that seemed to be dying with the final traditional breaths of the 80s slashers. There’s talk of how negative the impact Scream had on the genre, what the line is between a reference & smugness and just how many of these cast members peaked here. What? Everyone knows Jamie Kennedy didn’t peak until Son of the Mask, right? It’s a tantalizing discussion that can’t be missed!
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