Scream (Franchise)

4 – Scream 3; This movie is the series’ failed filler. It was an extreme surprise at just how quickly the franchise flopped. Scream 3 falls victim to sacrificing it’s horror essence for a more comedic route, making it seem too much like its parody franchise, Scary Movie. The characters are just as one-dimensional as the story is convoluted – both of which being insurmountable. Next to none of the kills are unique, taking away from the best entertainment factor. There is the voice-changer returning for Scream’s third installment but has been upgraded to an ultimately lame plot device to excuse bad writing. The changes make for the perfect example of a disappointment in film. Cinemaster Score: 4.6/10

3 – Scream 4; Scream 4 is the series’ further devolving into camp and comedy, rather than originality and satire. Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott) feels like she is phoning it in every scene with almost no resemblance of the character she once played. Of course we have the group of self-aware teenagers as well, yet they lack the likeability of the original cast. Courtney Cox (Gale Weathers) and David Arquette (Dewey Riley) do provide welcome additions but are quite dull in their delivery. The twist is somewhat surprising, but a little ham-fisted compared to the previous film’s. Overall, it is a pale imitation of its better predecessors, but still a step above Scream 3Cinemaster Score: 6.3/10

2 – Scream 2; Scream 2 is the perfect sequel to Scream, a strong addition to the franchise that retains the charm of the original. The main cast is full of repeat characters from the first, and the new inclusions are well-developed. Unique kills and great practical effects make for some of the best kills in the series, with every one feeling believable. By moving the story to a college campus setting there is more opportunity for the killer to operate and it is put to excellent use in tense situations. The ultimate plot twist is very unexpected and adds a great rewatchable factor when trying to piece it together from the start. Perhaps the only thing holding Scream 2 back is its over-reliance on satirical writing to further the plot. It’s welcome in small amounts but does detract from the movie when it’s used as a crutch. Cinemaster Score: 8.1/10

1 – Scream; The original takes the cake for the franchise by quite a bit. While Scream 2 is a great sequel, it simply cannot compete with its predecessor. Scream as a film on its own is one of the best mystery slashers to date. Every element of the movie is at near perfection. The acting is phenomenal from Drew Barrymore (Casey Becker) to Skeet Ulrich (Billy Loomis). Wes Craven put in some of his best horror movie elements. The story keeps you hooked all the way through as the audience guesses as well at who the killer may be. The narrative keeps it rewatchable with its unique meta style. Most important to its success is Scream’s realism. Rather than a very direct killer going after clueless victims for brutal deaths – Scream has the scare of reality. The tension is shown with the anxiety of mystery and distrust, the kills are believable for the scenario, and the motives aren’t necessarily justifiable – but do make sense. All adding up to one of the best slashers in decades. Cinemaster Score: 8/10

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