Beware Halloweenies! It’s me, your mistress of the macabre, back like an unwelcome phantom urging you to dive deeper into our disturbing October marathon of retro horror classics.
Yesterday I prescribed taking a tour of Rob Zombie’s depraved debut, the backwoods carnival of carnage called House of 1000 Corpses. Hopefully you survived the Firefly family’s twisted games and bore witness to Zombie’s gonzo grindhouse tribute.
But enough wallowing in the gritty slime and grime of 70s exploitation throwbacks! Today I say we scrub off the muck and take a meta journey into the glossy, self-aware realm of 90s horror. Let’s revisit the slickest, smartest suburban slasher of them all – Wes Craven’s 1996 smash hit Scream!
After resurrecting Freddy Krueger and staking his claim as the master of nightmares, Craven ingeniously reinvented the slasher genre for a new decade. Scream follows the perfectly named Sidney Prescott as a mysterious Ghostface killer targets her and her friends, taunting them with trivia about horror movie tropes even as he lurks to make them real.
With its fresh cast of then-unknown young stars like Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich, the slick script packed with wink-wink in-jokes, and Craven’s proven talent guiding the scares, Scream became a massive hit. It reignited interest in the slasher genre by affectionately sending up the familiar formulas. But the satire has a bite, with compelling characters and suspense that made the trope tweaking terrifying.
A huge part of Scream’s success was its cast, led by Campbell’s turn as the troubled but tenacious Sidney. She brought relatable realism to the heightened horror hijinks brewing in Woodsboro. Courteney Cox stretches beyond Friends as the ruthless reporter Gale Weathers, while David Arquette charmingly bumbles through as deputy Dewey. And Rose McGowan’s brief but memorable turn as Tatum made her an instant icon.
Together, the fresh cast and whip-smart script brought energy and laughs to a formula grown stale. And they let Craven flex his horror chops anew, drenching the deconstruction in ominous atmosphere and visceral violence. Scream arrived like a breath of fresh air, using razor sharp satire to carve out a bold new future for postmodern horror.
Even if you’ve seen Scream before, it’s the perfect palate cleanser after our plunge into pure retro chaos. Let me know if you revisit Ghostface’s inaugural killing spree and how well it holds up today! And stay tuned you knife-wielding weirdos, because I’ll be back with more macabre movies to make October terrifying! Just remember the rules…
Stream Scream in Extra High Quality for Free!
Luckily, you can revisit Woodsboro and all of Ghostface’s gruesome mayhem completely free this October! For the price of just your sanity, Scream is now streaming on The Roku Channel. That’s right, the horror classic that revitalized the slasher genre in the 90s can be streamed in HD straight to your TV through Roku devices. No need to rent or buy it – The Roku Channel offers it completely free with ads, ready for you to rewatch anytime this haunting season. It’s the perfect way to get your meta slasher fix just in time for Halloween. So grab your popcorn, turn down the lights, and let Ghostface stalk Sidney Prescott once again on The Roku Channel!