Self Parody Can Still Be Screamingly Scary

Scream is what happens when you combine the world-weary, cloyingly experienced direction of Wes Craven, and the creative talents of a (then) young and hungry screenwriter, Kevin Williamson. Scream received a lot of ink upon its debut for boldly parodying the genre, turning dialog and plot developments (usually unbearably trite) into something witty and unpredictable.

However, Scream achieves greatness whereas many other B-movie horror spoofs fail in their attempted hipness, solely because it manages to remain a disturbing, hurtful movie taking place within the bounds of reality. Despite its comic relief, every scare in Scream still feels real. The film doesn’t so much mock itself as it merely suggests that even serial killers can have a sense of humor. The film’s black hooded crank caller graduates to movie-icon status, thanks to some wonderful cinematography and editing techniques by Craven, who still knows how to force a jump out of his audience. David Arquette, on the other hand, achieves icon status for his inept character of Dewey Riley and will become the butt of many jokes because of some effective stunt casting. (i.e. Scary Movie)

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