Welcome to Framed, a column at Cinematical that used to run every Thursday, celebrating the artistry of cinema — one frame at a time. It’s time to say goodbye, though. Thank you for reading and for all your support.
Wes Craven returns to the director’s chair for another installment in the ‘Scream’ series, which hits theaters April 15. His 1996 film reinvigorated and redefined the rules of classic slasher cinema, effectively changing the face of the genre for a whole new audience. The movie’s opening was an intense sequence that immediately made one thing clear: anyone in the film could die. Kevin Williamson‘s script reads like a standard horror flick about a group of high school students being terrorized by a masked killer, but all bets are off once the limp body of the movie’s top-billing star (Drew Barrymore) is seen swinging from a tree. Craven and Williamson lampoon the same slasher clichés that their characters are acting out on the screen. The cast essentially knows they’re in a movie, and does all the things horror audiences have been trained to believe will get them killed: people have sex, people party, people say, “I’ll be right back” and never return.
A high school girl is brutally murdered, which rocks the lives of her classmates — especially Sidney (Neve Campbell) who recently lost her mother to a terrible tragedy. When the killer then sets his sights on her, everyone in the small town becomes suspect, but Sidney fights for her life and tries to unmask the killer in the process. The whole time, Sidney and her friends are living out the roles we’ve become so accustomed to seeing in horror movies, and each character flaunts that self-awareness in the process. Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy, is a movie nerd who even muses about which actors would play the parts of him and his friends.