The horror film inspired by a true story. All the secrets of Scream

The cinema of the 90s was not only marked by romantic comedies or from that great money-grinding masterpiece of Titanic. It was also the decade in which the genre horror has found new lifeblood, so much so that it comes out of the pragmatism of the ’80s, bringing to the big screen a completely new experience that has forever marked “B series” cinematography. It was 1996 when the first chapter of Scream, directed by Wes Creven and scripted by Kevin Williamson (who later made the hits of Dawson’s Creek and of The Vampire Diaries). A film of such great success – so much so that it surpassed the first chapter of Nightmare – that several sequels have been made over the years. The second and third were produced in 1997 and 2000 and were supposed to put an end to the trilogy. In 2011, the same creative team brought the franchise back to the cinema by making the fourth chapter (with the iconic protagonist in the cast) which received excellent acclaim from the public but not from critics.

And eleven years after the last film, the Scream series still expands its horizons. On January 13, 2021, a day earlier than the American ones, a new chapter of the saga, the fifth. Despite Covid, despite constant postponements due to a pandemic that is seriously endangering all cinematic behavior, Scream he returns to delight his own fan more faithful with a new horror story waiting to be discovered which, according to the first reviews from the USA, seems to have gained a lot of positive opinions. On the plot there is still the strictest reserve, but it promises an engaging and reckless story that brings the protagonists back to Woodsboro, in the city where it all began. Why has the saga been so successful? Blend horror and comedy, mocking all cliche such.

Thus began Sydney Prescott’s nightmare, the Scream storyline

The small town of Woodsboro was devastated by a homocide. Casey Becker (Drew Brarrymore) was brutally murdered along with her partner. This event creates dismay in the community, and particularly affects the young Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) already scarred by the death of her mother. The crimes do not stop and the whole city is shaken by the fear of a fearsome serial killer who hides his identity by wearing the Ghostface mask. Despite herself, Sydney remains embroiled in this spiral of blood and terror, but in the fight for survival she is joined by Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) – Journalist assault in search of the latest scoop – and by the young deputy sheriff Linus (David Arquette). For Sydney will start a real one nightmare from which it will be impossible to get out alive, but discovering the identity of the murderer is the only plausible choice to escape death.

In each sequel the crimes are becoming more and more heinous and being able to survive the hold of the killer is impossible. Nobody is safe. Neither the good nor the bad ones. Sydney remains the protagonist of all the films in the saga, even if she is joined by several co-stars who, unfortunately, become the sacrificial victims of the moment. Neve Campbell was making her first appearance on the big screen at the time, but she wasn’t a newcomer as, coinciding with the success of Scream, starred in Five in the family (historic family drama now on Netflix). Before her, Drew Barrymore was cast but secondarily she turned down the role, preferring to be the killer’s first victim. The first film alone grossed more than $ 100 million in the United States, making it the hit of the film season.

The saga that revived the “slasher” genre

Of such great importance not only for its impact within popular culture, but because Scream had the advantage of reviving the charm of slasher movie on the big screen. Known in the late 70’s and 80’s thanks to Friday 13 and the first film by Halloween, the shasher is a sub-genre of horror in which, usually, it showcases strong scenes, truculentie bloody where the homicidal maniac enjoys “hunting” a group of people often using sharp edged weapons. From this description the term was coined which, translated from English, means “to hurt deeply with a knife”. Scream he takes the stylistic features of this genre and blends them with a biting and quoting comedy, mixing the tension, the thrills with a pungent social satire. This mix allowed the film to become the highest-grossing box office and, as a result, paved the way for sequels. The blend was then replicated (with more and more tones pulp) in subsequent films.

Between reality and fiction. The film is inspired by the murders of Danny Rolling

Cruelty and violence are the cornerstones of the saga. However, few are aware that the director and screenwriter, when they started working on the project, were inspired by a crime story that really happened in telling the story of Sydney Prescott. In particular, Scream rremember what happened in Florida in 1990, when the entire community was turned upside down by one series of murders at the hands of the Gainesville Ripper. The man, arrested and sentenced to death following a robbery, kidnapped and killed 5 people. Arrested in 1999, he was also charged with other murders he allegedly committed in Georgia as a young man. He was executed in 2006.

A little horror comedy. Wes Craven’s first “no”

Finishing the film wasn’t easy at all. Wes Craven, at least initially, never believed that Scream could be successful. He who has been the director of many horror films, including the amazing I.the snake and the rainbow e The Black House, he was not convinced that Scream could find its way through the audience. He had called it “a comedy that pretends to be a horror”. So much so that he even refused to direct the film. The project passed through the hands of Sam Raimi, Danny Boyle, George Romero, to then arrive back in the hands of Craven who ended up directing all four chapters. The last one, in 2011, was his last film as a director before he died.

The legend of Ghostface and the loves on the set: the gossip of Scream

The dress worn by the serial killer has become a much loved item by fans. The mask is a typical dress used for Halloween day and is easy to find in department stores. It then became iconic by accident. According to rumors from the set, she was found in a warehouse by some members of the troupe. However, neither the director nor the producers convinced him. Only after the first scene, the one in which Drew Barrymore appears, was it used to hide the identity of the killer. Many loves were also born on the set. For example, Courtney Cox during the filming of the first film met her husband, who later became a partner at work. The two married in 1999, have a daughter, and separated in 2013. Also, in the second film, there is also a cameo from Linda Blair, the actress of The Exorcist, who plays the part of a journalist.

The television parenthesis, in 2015 comes the homonymous TV series

Under the production of Wes Craven, one was also made in 2015 TV series inspired by the myth of Scream. It had nothing to do with the films in the saga, but shared the themes and the violence. It was broadcast in the US on the MTV network, but has never been successful enough to be canceled after three seasons and a handful of episodes. The latest arrived in 2019 with a revamped cast. The first two are on Netflix today.

Scary Movie, the scream parody to be laughed at

At the beginning of the 2000s, during the rediscovery of the genre by the majors, another saga – comic and with vulgar jokes – arrived in theaters which celebrated Scream and the many horror films released in recent years. There are 5 titles of Scary Movie, advertised in Italy with a laugh will bury you, who made fun of the films directed by Wes Craven. Today they have become true laughter cults.

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