Wes Craven has cemented himself as one of the finer filmmakers in the history of our beloved genre. He’s also recognized as a very hit-or-miss director who possesses a tendency to half-ass his way through half of his pictures. When he’s fully dedicated (A Nightmare on Elm Street, The People Under the Stairs), he’s brilliant, when he’s merely dipping his toes into the pool of blood (Cursed, My Soul to Take), he’s forgettable to say the least.
Fortunately for fans of the longtime horror contributor, he seems to hold his Scream franchise in high regard, as he hasn’t fumbled the ball often when leading Ghostface through suburbia on his killing quests.
Here now, I offer my heartfelt appreciation, as well as a brief ranking of the complete franchise (and my attempt to justify the potioning of each film).
1. Scream (1996): After a disheartening slump, the slasher sub-genre received a zeable surge in popularity in 1996 upon the release of Craven’s sleeper smash hit, Scream. The attention the film harvested prompted a return to prominence for psychotic, youth-seeking serial killers, and before too long Ghostface had company in the likes of Ben Willis, Victor Crowley, Leslie Vernon and a handful of vile veterans who’d all but disappeared from big screens.
The film creates near-palpable tenon while incorporating proficient mystery, a hint of fear, gallons of blood and a thorough understanding of pop culture. The end result is a masterpiece that captures the essence of the 1990’s perfectly.
Being a junior in high school upon the films initial release adds to the mystique of the picture for me personally, but there are plenty of reasons to enjoy this one beyond mple nostalgia. Scream did after all introduce us to the most relevant serial killer nce Freddy Krueger!http://youtu.be/kJmU24wCVZ0
2. Scream 2 (1997): Wes made a genius maneuver when he opted to bypass delays between franchise installments and get Scream 2 into immediate production. The timely turnaround ensured that wonderful characters like dney Prescott, Randy Meeks, Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley still lived on fresh in our minds, and it provided for a strong sense of series continuity, as we were mply required to follow a group of surviving high schoolers into their dreaded college trantion.
Scream 2 manages to duplicate the pop culture relevance of its predecessor, and even offers a few shocking moments and a very plauble finale. The reveal is rewarding and believable, tying in directly with focal figures of the first film. Craven and series scribe Kevin Williamson even find a way to shatter a few more clichés along the way.
While it’s quite clearly inferior to Scream, Scream 2 is arguably the best slasher follow up nce Rick Rosenthal’s direct successor to John Carpenter’s original Halloween.http://youtu.be/vlN9QbOFS2w
3. Scream 4 (2011): I appreciate the long delayed return of one of the most identifiable antagonists to grace the big screen. I also applaud the attempt to reinstate the intelligence of the first two Scream pictures. With that out of the way, this one isn’t quite the grand masterpiece most critics would have you believe, though it does make for an enjoyable experience.
The story certainly doesn’t offer too much in terms of originality. In fact, it feels damn near carbon copy to the already-established Scream formula. Take the second feature, catapult it 14 years into the future and you’ve got Scream 4, as a new masked madman sets out to slaughter d while ensuring his methods are as contemporary as posble.
Unlike Scream 3, the latest film to don our lovable trio of d, Dewey and Gale actually exhibits pason. Kevin Williamson clearly went out of his way to ensure that the details of this feature are pertinent to today’s society, and though there are some annoying habits at work, the script is for the most part, intelligent. Toss in a couple extremely cool death scenes, and you’ve got yourself a pretty fine film that’s actually fit to stand alone.
http://youtu.be/HwYHmL7CV6w4. Scream 3 (2000): What’s Wes Craven without a dropped pass or so? I’m going to be real brief here.
Scream 3 is a miserable flick that drops d, Dewey and Gale in the middle of the set for the upcoming slasher “Stab 3”, the third film to be shot based on d’s original horrific plight.
The only thing here to praise is the aforementioned characters. The script feels like a rushed offering, the big reveal is a letdown, and the clever plot points of the first two franchise films are completely absent. The only flick in the series worth avoiding, Scream 3 is hands down the weakest film to showcase the now insanely popular Ghostface.