With SCREAM 5 in cinemas, I thought it was a good idea to revisit the original movie from 1996 as well as its twin movie I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
SCREAM (1996, Wes Craven)
Scream was called a meta movie, a movie about movies: the characters – most of them high school students - are all diehard horror fans and never get tired of discussing movie tropes, not even when a masked killer pops up in their midst and starts killing people. It was this tongue-in-cheek approach that made the movie so successful. Made on a shoestring it made a fortune and was mainly responsible for the revival of teenage horror movies in the 1990s.
Some 25 years later the film is still very watchable. Neve Campbell remains an attractive heroine (sexy and not too stupid) and David Arquette and Courtenay Cox are great as, respectively, a plucky (but not too clever) police detective and an uppity (but resolute) journalist. However, in retrospect this postmodern, referential style – thought to be very hip at the time – feels a little goofy, needlessly eccentric. And if you thinks about it afterwards (once the identity of the killer(s) is revealed) you’ll notice that the whole thing doesn’t make much sense.
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (1997, Jim Gillespie)
I remembered Scream quite well, but had forgotten most of this one, but that’s of course not a bad thing when rewatching a horror flic. The premise is quite simple (and quite nice): four teenagers cover up a road accident in which they killed a man. One year later they start receiving messages from somebody who says that he knows what they did last summer …
Anyway, both Scream and this movie were written by the same screenwriter, Kevin Williamson. Surprisingly, the two movies are quite different. I Know, etc. refrains from the gimmick-ridden, tongue-in-cheek, postmodern, referential style that dominated the Scream series (and most 90s horror flics), it’s more in the style of the horror movies of the previous decades, a straightforward horror flic with a mean, lean killer (a man with a hook!)
The whole thing is pretty forgettable (no wonder I forgot most of it), but it’s also pretty enjoyable, if only for the two female stars, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Geller. The latter revealed that they were asked to wear Push-up bras throughout the movie. For this reason, the movie was called I Know what your Boobs did Last Summer by some.
Conclusion: Scream is the quirkier of the two movies and also the one with the better performances, but I Know, etc. Has the better premise (at least it makes some sense) and the better title. An yes, the better boobs as well.
Both *** out of 5.