CATEGORIES Features, Cinematical


Did 'My Soul to Take' not do it for you? Why not revisit one of Wes Craven's better films, if not the best of his career? 'Scream' certainly wasn't the first of its kind, but it did kick start a new generation of teenaged slasher films, a generation that upped the gore and sheer scare factor exponentially. In fact, it clearly set a new bar with its first scene alone.

Thanks to the first 12 minutes of 'Scream' the question "What's your favorite scary movie?" will never be the same again. It's a quiet night at the Becker house and high school student Casey (Drew Barrymore) is home alone making some popcorn and getting ready to put in a scary movie, but that all changes when the phone rings. A seemingly innocent case of dialing the wrong number turns into a downright nightmare when Casey realizes not only is the call no accident, but the caller is watching her as she paces the house.

The terror of the situation increases tenfold when this anonymous caller unveils Casey's boyfriend Steve tied to a chair, bleeding from the head, solidifying that this is no joke. That's when the sickest part of the scenario begins and the killer instructs Casey, "I want to play a little game." All she has to do is answer a few simple scary movie trivia questions correctly and she and Steve can go free. It's just too bad Casey didn't last long enough to hear Billy and Stu's (Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard) cracked out speech at the end of the film: "We ask you questions and if you get it wrong, BOO-GAH, you die." "If you get it right, you die."


Even if the killers were playing a fair game, Steve didn't stand a chance because Casey gets a question wrong and we watch as Steve's insides pour out onto the pool deck. The game continues, but the final question basically seals Casey's fate: "What door am I at?" Refusing to answer the question, a chair comes flying through the glass door and a frantic chase ensues. Overcooked popcorn fills the house with smoke, further obscuring the masked intruder. Casey manages to make her way outside and can even see her parents' car returning in the distance, but the killer catches her just before she can run to safety.

Casey's unsuspecting parents return to a ransacked home. In an attempt to call the cops Casey's mother picks up the portable phone only to hear her dying daughter on the other end. As if that's not heartbreaking enough, Mrs. Becker bursts out the front door to see her poor daughter hanging from a tree sans insides. Of all the horrific kills in 'Scream,' it's the image of a gutted Casey Becker hanging from her neck in this scene that still makes me uneasy even after dozens of viewings.