From Worst to Best, Slasher Studios Revisits SCREAM

scream

It’s been five years since the release of Scream 4 so I figured I’d take a look at my ranking of the series and see if anything has changed. Truth be told, it has. This ranking isn’t going to be a popular opinion for sure and I want to get it right out in the open that I at least “like” each installment of the slasher series. It’s just that I happen to love two of the installments while merely “liking” the other two” Here it is…feel free to let me know what you think! Happy slashing everyone.

4. Scream 4 (2011)
Scream 4…what a five years it has been. When this sequel was originally released, I went back again and again and again to support what might end up being the last film in the horror franchise. I loved it and I wanted more. Watching it now, a half decade later, I find it to be a bit of a missed opportunity. The old characters, our “Woodsboro trio”, aren’t given nearly enough to do. The new cast, well, they are okay but they also aren’t given much to do. This is the kind of sequel that seems to hedge its bets right when it should be breaking all the rules. Side note: Allison Brie is fantastic as Sidney’s publicist Rebecca BUT….think of how great this could have been if she’s been Gale’s publicist trying to rebrand her for the social media public of 2011? Once again, it’s fine, but still a missed opportunity.

3. Scream 3 (2000)
Scream 3 is the kind of movie that has a lot of great ideas mixed in with a few mediocre ideas. The film spends far too much time with Sidney away from the group, alone in the cabin. The supernatural “visions” of her dead mother are also silly and out-of-place in the world of this slasher series. That being said, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers has never been better. Given a bitter rival to play against, played by a deliciously witty Parker Posey, she shines in every single scene that she is given. Overall, I think Scream 3 is a fun film that’s actually a bit underrated. It isn’t perfect but the stuff that works, pretty much any scene with Posey, makes it a lot better than it has any right to be.

2. Scream (1996)
Scream made horror movies scary again with a brilliantly constructed plot. One year after the death of Sidney Prescott’s (Campbell) mother, two students turn up gutted. When a serial killer appears, Sidney begins to suspect whether her mother’s death and the two new deaths are related. No one is safe, as the killer begins to pick everyone off one by one. Finally, something the horror genre was missing: a good old fashioned murder mystery. The performances all around are first rate from Neve Campbell as the vulnerable to Courteney Cox as the bitchy journalist willing to do whatever it takes to get a story Gale Weathers to David Arquette as the sweet, slightly dimwitted Deputy Dewey to Drew Barrymore’s doomed Casey Becker.

1. Scream 2 (1997)
Although at times I feel as though I am in the minority, I truly believe that “Scream 2” is the best film in the Scream franchise. This is that rare sequel that takes everything that works about its predecessor and manages to take it to another level. The deaths are suspenseful, the characters are charming and likable, and the twist ending works better than it has any right to. I also truly believe that this is some of Craven’s finest directing and the “cop car” scene is a hide-your-eyes-behind-your-fingers chiller of a scene. More than that, this film is just a hell of a lot of fun from beginning to end.

College Slashers We Love: “Scream 2” (1997) Review

Following the events from the first film, we find Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) now attending Windsor College. At this point she receives prank call from people pretending to be Ghostface, unfortunately for them caller id is invented. Also attending Windsor with Sidney is our other survivor Randy (Jamie Kennedy). Sidney thinks the past events in Woodsboro is behind her, but when two of her fellow college students are murdered during a midnight screening of the film Stab (based on the book The Woodsboro Murders), Sidney realizes it’s far from over. This time it appears someone is trying to make a real life sequel. Our other survivors Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courteney Cox) appear at Windsor in hopes catching our newest killer(s). Many suspects come about including Sid’s new boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell), her best friend Hallie (Elise Neal), the newest fellow movie geek Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), and even the man from Sidney’s past Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber). Can our four heroes unmask this vicious killer before the loose ends are tied?

Scream 2 for me is the best college horror film because it takes place all over the campus. We have a fun sequel discussion in one of the film classes, chit-chat and Ghostface calls on the grounds, chase scenes in the Halls, and an amazing suspense-filled scene that takes place in one of the sorority houses. Any film can take place at a college, but when the film actually uses the campus for some of the major settings, that’s when it’s really well-done. In Scream 2’s case, the campus almost becomes one of the characters in itself. All of the campus settings are so well-done and provide great suspense with the events that take place. One can only imagine how creeped out they would be if they would be in CiCi’s (Sarah Michelle Gellar) shoes if they were in a sorority house alone receiving menacing phone calls. Or even being in Gale’s situation by being chased and ultimately trapped by a killer in a sound room in one of class buildings. One scene I have to say is really artistically well-done is Sidney on the theater stage rehearsing with her cast members in the play, who are dressed like a Greek chorus and she thinks she sees Ghostface amongst the masked crew as different stage effects occur throughout it.

There is so much more that can be said about this film that I could praise it for, but I chose to stick to the college theme for this review, why I chose it as my favorite, and why it uses the college campus setting so perfectly.

—Cody Landman

Great Moms of Horror: Debbie Salt (“Scream 2”)

*********SPOILERS*************

While Rebecca De Mornay is by far my favorite horror mom, 2nd place for me would go to Mrs. Loomis aka Debbie Salt in Scream 2. Throughout the movie we see Laurie Metcalfe as the annoying news reporter following Gale around the Windsor College campus begging for an interview as Gale’s “biggest fan”. However when we come to the reveal of who the 2nd and last killer it is, it’s none other than Ms. Salt herself. But wait, Sidney recognizes her….”Mrs. Loomis?” and to quote the other killer Mickey: “Billy’s…mother!” It’s at this point when shit gets real. Once Mrs. Loomis thinks she’s killed both Micky and Gale, it’s a stand off between Mrs. Loomis and Sid. As the scene progresses, we gradually see Mrs. L really lose it. Sid takes swipes at her as a mother and at her dead son. Till finally Loomis flips out and will stop at nothing until Sid is dead. What I like about Mrs. Loomis is that the woman really knows how to blend in. Not only that but she held tough throughout the whole battle with Sid. That is until Sid put a bullet in her head. Metcale really and excellently channels the infamous Pamels Voorhees in this movie. Starting really sweet when we first meet her, to turning fucking psycho by the end. Who woulda thought Aunt Jackie from Roseanne could have tackled a role like this?

–Cody Landman

Slashers We Love: “Scream 2” Review

As part of the Slasher Studios Horror Film Club, we have two great reviews from you today from the always wonderful Brian C Tyler. This is the first of the two reviews, this one being for the second chapter in the Scream series. It is my personal favorite. Let’s see if Brian feels the same way…

SCREAM 2 is everything we could have hoped for in a sequel. All the characters we know and love have returned along with lots of new, fresh faces to fall in love with, suspect and watch die. It also helped that Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson returned to write and direct.

This sequel will always hold a special place in my heart for being the first horror film I’ve ever seen in theaters. However, this film has much more than nostalgia going for it. The opening scene, while a bit over-the-top and not as scary as that in the original, is a brilliant comment on us, the fans. Maureen, bloodied and near death, letting out a loud cry for help as the crowd cheers, is a very powerful moment and the greatness of the film is just beginning. We’re immediately re-introduced to Sidney and Randy, now attending college with a new circle of friends, and then Gale and Dewey. They’ve all dealt with the tragedy in their own ways, and are now trying to move on. However, just because we saw them survive before does not mean they are safe or beyond suspicion. The performances are still dead on, sometimes even better than in the original. The new characters are also very lovable and we have many more amazing references and homages to horror film, particularly sequels.

The best thing about this sequel, though, is the suspense. There’s so many great stalk/chase sequences that have you on the edge of your seat no matter how many times you’ve seen the film. Sarah Michelle Gellar’s sorority house death is a great old-school stalk, chase and kill scene. And both Gale’s chase and Sidney and Hallie in the cop car are two scenes that make my heart race every time I watch the movie. It’s all topped with an epic climax, with lots of twists, suspense and great dialog that makes me smile every time I watch it. This is definitely the best sequel and one of the most intense and clever slasher films of the last twenty years.

Picking Favorites: Ranking the “Scream” Films

Ranking a horror film series is usually just asking for trouble. For every one person that agrees with you, there will be at least a dozen that feel cheated by your list. “How DARE you rank X above X? What were you thinking?!?!” Well, in honor of this week’s Slasher Studios Horror Film Club, I decided to take my ranking list to the test and take on the Scream franchise. Agree with the list? Disagree? I want your feedback! Which Scream film do you feel is the most successful? The following is my list from best to worst. Let the games begin!

1. Scream 2 (1997)
Although at times I feel as though I am in the minority, I truly believe that “Scream 2” is the best film in the Scream franchise. This is that rare sequel that takes everything that works about its predecessor and manages to take it to another level. The deaths are suspenseful, the characters are charming and likable, and the twist ending works better than it has any right to. I also truly believe that this is some of Craven’s finest directing and the “cop car” scene is a hide-your-eyes-behind-your-fingers chiller of a scene. More than that, this film is just a hell of a lot of fun from beginning to end.

2. Scream (1996)
Scream made horror movies scary again with a brilliantly constructed plot. One year after the death of Sidney Prescott’s (Campbell) mother, two students turn up gutted. When a serial killer appears, Sidney begins to suspect whether her mother’s death and the two new deaths are related. No one is safe, as the killer begins to pick everyone off one by one. Finally, something the horror genre was missing: a good old fashioned murder mystery. The performances all around are first rate from Neve Campbell as the vulnerable to Courteney Cox as the bitchy journalist willing to do whatever it takes to get a story Gale Weathers to David Arquette as the sweet, slightly dimwitted Deputy Dewey to Drew Barrymore’s doomed Casey Becker.

3. Scream 4 (2011)
“Scream 4″ is executed with an artistic flair of wit and style that long time fans and film buffs alike will love. While I sometimes wished there could have been a little more genuine tension and suspense, the final twenty minutes are just so off-the-wall that it makes up for any slow patches. All in all, this is bloody, fun, and very entertaining. The cast is clearly having a ton of fun, and most of them really put on a good show. This may be cinematic junk food but it sure is tasty.

4. Scream 3 (2000)
“Scream 3″ is the kind of movie that has a lot of great ideas mixed in with a few mediocre ideas. The film spends far too much time with Sidney away from the group, alone in the cabin. We want to see Sidney take on evil and put on a good fight. Something that doesn’t happen here until the final act. That being said, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers has never been better. Given a bitter rival to play against, played by a deliciously witty Parker Posey, she shines in every single scene that she is given. Overall, I think “Scream 3″ is a fun film. It may be the worst installment of the franchise but it is still a hell of a lot better than 90% of the horror that is released today.

90’s Slasher Throwback: “Scream 2”

“By definition alone, [sequels] are inferior films.” Randy, “Scream 2”

Who would have thought that a small, low-budget horror movie named “Scream” would forever change the horror movie genre? When it was released in 1996, the small film was expected to do about $20 million at the box office and have a fast flight to video. The movie ended up grossing over $103 million ($171 million in today’s dollars) and spend nearly five months in the box office top 10. It achieved something that most horror movies do not: excellent reviews and terrific word-of-mouth. Less than one year later, director Wes Craven and company would be back in theaters will the cleverly titled “Scream 2”. Does “Scream 2” live up to the name of the original or does it die trying? Now that the horror meta movement has come and gone, how does it hold up as a slasher sequel to one of the most influential horror films in history?

“Scream 2” opens two years after the terrifying events that occurred in Woodsboro. Sidney is now attending Windsor College with long time friend and horror movie pal Randy. Meanwhile, Gale Weathers best selling book on Sidney’s life has now been made into a major motion picture. When two college students are killed in a theatre while watching the new film “Stab,” Sidney soon realizes that history is repeating itself again. Gale Weathers is present around the college reporting on the latest gruesome details that her movie has sparked. Sidney’s cop buddy Dewey comes to visit Sidney after he hears the news also. No one believes the murders were in any way connected to Woodsboro, until more students around the campus are found dead. Gale and Dewey investigate and find that someone is trying to recreate Woodsboro. Sidney is no rookie when it comes to surviving a killer but someone wiser is on campus to show her some good old fashion revenge.

Although at times I feel as though I am in the minority, I truly believe that “Scream 2” is the best film in the Scream franchise. This is that rare sequel that takes everything that works about its predecessor and manages to take it to another level. The deaths are suspenseful, the characters are charming and likable, and the twist ending works better than it has any right to. I also truly believe that this is some of Craven’s finest directing and the “cop car” scene is a hide-your-eyes-behind-your-fingers chiller of a scene. More than that, this film is just a hell of a lot of fun from beginning to end.