I had the rare pleasure of a Monday night film last night and it seemed fitting to catch something by Wes Craven... Scream is easily the least revived of my Wes Craven films but I read some affectionate notices for it yesterday on FB and was suitably intrigued. I grew lukewarm on Scream over the years, finding it too slick for comfort, or the cast of Most Likely To Succeed young hopefuls a turn off, but after a decade long estrangement, the glut of post-Scream cleavage-pumping teen horror pics now long forgotten, I found the film surprisingly enjoyable, and the cavalcade of movie references and in-jokes (my favorite, "go down the street to the McKenzie's house") less irritating than I supposed. The film's denouement still seems a little thin but the third act is so busy piling on the carnage it matters little. Despite the mass-marketed visage of the killer, the wailing Edvard Munch face cuts one of the more striking figures in the pantheon of slasher movie maniacs, although the constant pratfalls are a little overdone. Matthew Lillard is the film's ace card and steals the film's funniest line ("My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me!") and it's a shame he never went on to more substantial things. Incidentally, the film mush have one of the most rudimentary and insipid title cards I've ever seen on a modern Hollywood film.
Watching Scream and its movie in-jokes, jogged a memory of Wes Craven and Sam Raimi's game of tag, which was initiated with Evil Dead - the film featured a torn Hills Have Eyes poster in the cabin cellar - the sly implication that no matter how frightening Craven's film was, the Evil Dead was even more terrifying. Craven responded in A Nightmare on Elm Street when Evil Dead is seen playing a late night slot on TV. Not to be outdone, Raimi included Freddy Krueger's glove in Evil Dead II which can be seen hung up in the tool shed... Did I miss any other Craven/Raimi nods ?