When “Scream” debuted in 1996, it marked a turning point for the horror film genre, which at the time was going through a period of lethargy.
Directed by the late horror writer Wes Craven (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”), “Scream” combined a crime thriller and dark comedy with the violence of slasher films to satirize the stereotypes of the horror film genre as it did before 1978 saw Halloween, 1980’s Friday the 13th, and even Craven’s own films, including the aforementioned Nightmare. The characters relied on various horror movie stereotypes to survive the murders that the fictional city took Woodsboro, CA, hit by the masked serial killer named Ghostface, whose primary target is high school student Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell, “Party of Five”).
“Craven previously reinvented horror film with ‘(Nightmare’) and he did it again with ‘Scream’,” said retired Henry Ford College film / theater professor Dr. George Popovich
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, “Scream” will be re-released on Sunday, October 10th and Monday, October 11th, in Dearborn’s AMC Fairlane Megastar 21 (see sidebar) on the big screen. Fathom Events sponsors the republication.
In addition to Campbell, Courteney Cox (âFriendsâ), David Arquette (âNever Been Kissedâ), Drew Barrymore (âFirestarterâ), Rose McGowan (âCharmedâ), Lansing native Matthew Lillard (âGood Girls “), Skeet Ulrich (” The Craft “), Jamie Kennedy (” Bowfinger “), Liev Schreiber (” The Sum of All Fears “) and cameo appearances by Linda Blair (” The Exorcist “) and Henry Winkler ( “Happy Days”).
“‘Scream’ was the first of the self-esteem or meta-horror films to hit the big time,” said Popovich. “While some earlier films were moving towards self-awareness (1948’s ‘Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein’ and 1985’s ‘Fright Night’), ‘Scream’ went bad.”
He continued, â’Scream’ has nothing to do with the plot. It’s about itself. “Scream” takes place in a universe where movies like “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween” actually exist. ‘Scream’ implemented an ingenious concept: it lets the audience participate in the plot of the film. Since the audience was familiar with the ‘rules’ of modern slasher films, the audience was able to judge and explore what defines the horror genre and the characters – audience participation at its best. “
Lillard agreed and added.
âI would give credit to two things: It was a game changer in terms of tone, of the script that Kevin Williamson (‘Dawson’s Creek’) wrote (and) of what Wes Craven directed. It captured a moment in the 1990s and it made an impact. Much of this film has been living off that original effect for a long time, âsaid Lillard. âThe other is that Neve Campbell is great. She’s a hero people grew up with, they care about her, they care about her as a character – she’s someone to stand up for … you haven’t seen that in a long time. I give her a lot of credit. She is an incredible number 1 on the call sheet. “
“Scream” grossed $ 173 million at the box office, making back its modest $ 15 million and more. It also received critical acclaim for deconstructing the horror film genre. It spawned “Scream 2” in 1997, “Scream 3” in 2000, and “Scream 4” in 2011, not to mention the inspiration for the next generation of horror films.
In fact, “Scream 4” was filmed in Michigan in 2010. The filmmakers took advantage of the state’s short-lived film tax incentive program, which Governor Rick Snyder later abolished. The film was shot primarily in Wayne County and Washtenaw Counties. Plymouth and Northville stood in for Woodsboro. Woodworth Middle School in Dearborn has doubled to Woodsboro High School. Local 4’s Devin Scillian and Local 4’s former meteorologist Kim Adams made cameos.
Campbell confessed she was reluctant to return for “Scream 4”, but got excited when she heard Williamson’s pitch. Also, Craven directed and Arquette and Cox sealed their respective roles as Sheriff Dewey Riley and reporter / writer Gale Weathers for Campbell. These three characters are the pillars of the “Scream” series.
âIt’s a fun dynamic between the characters. It was fun to do it all over again, âsaid Campbell. â(Cox) is fantastic – I just love this woman! She’s just very intelligent, a great business woman, really talented, and extremely funny. She has an incredible heart. I totally loved working with her. It’s funny the first three films – and we don’t know why; We really didn’t find out – we never really got the chance to connect. Then we definitely did it with this film and we are really happy that we did it. “
A fifth âScreamâ is slated to be released in early 2022, with Campbell, Cox and Arquette returning. While Williamson is not writing the script (“The Amazing Spider-Man” is screenwriter James Vanderbilt), he will be executive producer. This film is the first without Craven, who died in 2015. Long-time employees Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin – who worked on âDevil’s Dueâ in 2014 – will direct the fifth film together.
“‘Scream’ is successful because it won’t slide into camp,” said Popovich. “Camp occurs when the actors don’t take the film seriously and the audience knows … The gruesome horrors are played directly and taken seriously.”
“Scream” on the big screen
“Scream” will be shown at AMC Fairlane Megastar 21 on 18900 Michigan Avenue in Fairlane Town Center, Dearborn on the following dates and times:
â¢ Oct. 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
â¢ Oct. 11 a.m. at 7 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at www.fathomevents.com or www.atomtickets.com.