Cast and Crew: Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, Rose McGowan, David Arquette, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy, Liev Schreiber, Linda Blair, Henry Wrinkler
What It’s About: Someone (who appears to be a fan of “scary movies”) is killing the teenagers of Woodboro. Who are they, and what is their connection to the murder of Sidney’s (Neve Campbell) mother?
Why Watch it Today?: Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone on this date in 1876. Few films feature scenes that use the telephone to create tension as well as the opening scene of Scream, in which the killer terrifies and torments Drew Barrymore. Scream revived the moribund Slasher film sub-genre, taking it away from the long worn out franchises and the supernatural dead-end it found itself in and, in the wake of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, included characters that knew the “rules” of the genre. While this was hardly a new idea (indeed, examples of thrillers featuring genre aware characters stretch back at least as far as Arsenic and Old Lace and “post modern/meta” elements were showing up in films like Fright Night, Return of the Living Dead and Popcorn, all made within ten years of Scream), perception is 9/10ths of hype. Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson’s slick synthesis of scenes cribbed from 1980s also ran slasher films with a young cast of up and comers and TV stars was hailed as innovative and a brief boom in “self-aware” horror films arrived in Scream‘s wake. While Scream‘s legacy, pedigree and moral may be questionable, the scares, thrills and tension the film creates are undeniable.