James Hock - MRH Faculty
The Return of Slasher Season
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
by Mark C.
As the Halloween season returns, many people find themselves gathering in theaters and in their homes watching scary movies to give them a festive tone to fit this spooky holiday. One of the most beloved genres of horror movies is slasher films. Whether it be the bad acting, corny one liners, or the gory, violence, slasher movies have had a hold on audiences for decades. One of the best of which is 1996's Scream Directed by Wes Craven.
This 90's film brings new life to an otherwise known formula that is slasher films. Scream does this by being self aware of horror movie tropes, and at times even referencing famous horror classics. The beginning of this movie starts off with Casey played by Drew Barrymore, on the phone with a mysterious stranger. What was a flirtatious conversation takes a turn for the worst, as she finds herself having to play a game of slasher movie trivia or else her boyfriend dies. As her questions follow a common theme all being horror antagonist, she soon realizes she herself is a part of one.
Dubbed the Ghostface killer, he later begins to terrorize the town of Woodsboro with a string of murders in grand fashion. In classic slasher fashion the teens of Woodsboro take this time of crisis to throw parties, as Ghostface targets his new victim Sidney Presscott. With the town of Woodsboro having a Salem vibe, it brings an eerie tone to a movie that otherwise is full of raunchy, horny teens. Giving ¨Scream¨ that classic horror movie vibe of sex, violence and bad decisions.
As opposed to older slasher movies, Scream trades constant blood shed for a great plot and better storytelling. This movie allows for new developments to take place, allowing for the situations to change over and over. This makes the audience not only find themselves more and more invested in the film, but make their own predictions for later developments. This is achieved by building upon its characters, giving insight to their background and passions.
Director Wes Craven uses a plethora of techniques to not only take a jab at his old works being one of the fathers of slasher films, but also uses them to elevate this film above them. Throughout the movie a variety of references to his old works. He does this by stating what is coming next in the movie, but still making it surprising and thrilling when it comes. Along with this he still gives audiences the classes extravagant kills that slasher fans love. While keeping these classic attributes in this film Wes Craven takes it up a level by using camera angles and other perspectives, to let the audience feel as if they are looking and acting through the eyes of the character themselves.