- This article is about the first installment in the series. For the series as a whole, see Scream (franchise).
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Produced by||Cathy Konrad |
|Written by||Kevin Williamson|
|Starring||David Arquette |
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Release date(s)||December 20, 1996|
|Running time||111 minutes|
|Budget||$14,000,000 USD (estimated)|
|Gross revenue||$173,046,663 USD|
|Followed by||Scream 2|
Scream (originally titled "Scary Movie") is a 1996 horror film directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. The film revitalized the slasher film genre in the mid 1990s, similar to the impact Halloween (1978) had on horror in the late 70s and 80s.
It upswept the standard concept with a tongue-in-cheek approach that combined straightforward scares with dialogue, putting a satirical approach to slasher film conventions. The film features many teen idols of the time, including Neve Campbell, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy and Courteney Cox.
A year after Sidney's mom is murdered, more murders start to occur. She begins to suspect if these murders are related and tries to find the killer as everyone seems to be a suspect.
Casey Becker, home alone, answers her ringing phone. The man on the other end says he must have dialed the wrong number and hangs up. Soon after he calls again, making flirtatious comments and asking about her boyfriend. At first, Casey plays along, but soon the man starts making threatening and sadistic comments. From there, he goes on to reveal that her boyfriend is tied up on the back patio. Now in control, the caller turns the situation into an extreme horror trivia contest. If Casey answers the trivia questions right, she and her boyfriend, Steven get to live. If she fails to answer correctly, they die. As a starter, she answers the "warm-up question" correctly. Not impressed, the caller then asks her a trick question: "Who is the killer in Friday the 13th?". Casey quickly answers saying the killer is Jason Voorhees, only to be proven wrong, Jason's mother, Pamela Voorhees, was the film's first killer. Jason didn't become the killer until Part 2. The caller then tells Casey that she's earned a bonus question but she has just ended her boyfriend's life. A shocked Casey then hurries to turn the patio lights on and finds Steve has been disemboweled.The caller promises Casey another round, but Casey instead refuses to answer the question. A chair then smashes the patio door windows, as Casey runs out of the house armed with a kitchen knife. Right after she is caught up by a cloaked figure in a mask and is stabbed in the chest. Now on the ground, she is strangled while attempting to call her parents. With her last ounce of strength Casey takes off the killer's mask and sees his face. Surprised by this revelation, the killer's identity is not shown on-screen.
Meanwhile, as Casey's parents returned home they received their daughter's panicked phone call, only to hear muffled moans on the other end. Instructing his wife to go to the neighbors' house, Casey's father is guided outside by her frantic screaming, as they spot a gutted Casey hanging from a tree in the back garden.The movie then cuts to Sidney Prescott, who is attempting to cope with the anniversary of her mother's brutal rape and murder. The following night while home and alone, the killer invades her house and attempts to kill her. After a short but intense struggle, the killer disappears. Then Billy, her boyfriend, suddenly comes through Sidney's bedroom window. At first, Sidney is relieved to see Billy but after a cellphone falls out of his pocket she is tempted to believe he was the one who called and attacked her. She runs downstairs and opens the front door, only to run into Dewey, the Sheriff's deputy.
Dewey then has Billy arrested and they all head to the Police Station.Sidney tries to sort through the trauma of being attacked and, in reaction to circumstantial evidence, unwillingly points an accusatory finger at her boyfriend Billy Loomis. She decides to stay at the home of her friend Tatum Riley, while under the watchful eye of Tatum's brother Dwight, nicknamed Dewey, the Sheriff's deputy. While there, she again receives a phone call from the killer, who tells her she made a grave mistake by thinking Billy Loomis was the killer. He ends their conversation by saying she will find out who the killer is, soon enough... Already under considerable stress, Sidney is forced to deal with the scandalization of her own attack by ambitious tabloid television newswoman Gale Weathers, who was the author of a tell-all book revealing the promiscuous affair between Sidney's mother and her convicted killer, Cotton Weary. School is soon canceled as a precautionary measure leaving the building temporarily abandoned. The school principal is then killed while still inside the school when he was distracted.Meanwhile, in the local video store, Stu Macher and Randy Meeks are discussing the killer's identity with Randy openly stating that Billy could be the killer, albeit having a stupid motive with wanting to kill his girlfriend. Stu disagrees, as Randy then continues saying that, in theory, "EVERYBODY'S A SUSPECT!". Right after, Billy comes over and shuts up the startled Randy before pointing out that Randy could just as well be a killer. Due to his intricate horror film knowledge.
Later that night everybody begins to show up for the party, that Stu had suggested they hold in honor of getting out of school so early on. At first the party is fine as Sidney and Tatum show up, soon after so do Dewey and Gale. The party soon takes a turn for the worse afterward as Tatum goes down to the garage to get beer, only to be cornered by the killer, who slashes her left arm as, she attempts to escape. Spotting an opportunity to get out through the pet flap in the automatic garage door, she tries to escape, but the killer stops her short by turning the door on, sending her to the top and crushing her neck.
Meanwhile, Gale and Kenny watch the video from the videotape she hid inside the house, sensing the potential for a major scoop. However, due to the distance from the house to the van, the video feed is experiencing a 30-second delay. She then exits the van and is joined by deputy Dewey.
Back at the party, as Sidney tries to find Tatum, Billy suddenly shows up at the party and the two of them go upstairs. The partygoers soon receive word of the principal's death, and head to the school football field to gaze upon his corpse, leaving a select few, including Sidney and Randy, alone in the house.Outside, Dewey and Gale narrowly escape certain death, as they evade the partygoers' speeding car, on their way to the school's football field. Having landed below Gale, Dewey then kisses her.
Upstairs, after having made love to one another, Sidney watches in horror as Billy is stabbed by the killer, forcing her to run out of the room to escape. She attempts to climb out the window, but is forced out by the killer pushing her out in an attempt to maim or kill her, she lands on the covered boat and recovers only to discover her best friend, Tatum's body wedged in the pet door dead, she held her mouth in disbelief and descended down to the driveway. Randy, still watching television, narrowly avoids death when the killer walks up behind him, only to be interrupted by Sidney's screams, who has found Tatum's body. Giving pursuit, the killer leaves Randy unnoticed. Inside Gale's news van, her cameraman Kenny allows Sidney inside. With the camera's delay, Kenny and Sidney now witness the killer's attempt to murder Randy. Trying to warn him, Kenny steps outside the van, but has his throat slashed by the killer.Gale and Dewey, having discovered the car belongs to Neil Prescott, return to the house. They believe Neil is the killer and has come to the party to continue his spree. Both attacked after having spread out, Gale attempts to leave the scene in her van but finds a dead Kenny, and drives off-road and crashes to avoid hitting Sidney. Dewey, who went inside the house, is now seen coming out again, falling down to reveal a knife in his back. Running back inside, Sidney finds Randy and Stu, who are presented as the only remaining suspects. When they both accuse each other of being the killer, Sidney does not know who to trust, and slams the door in their faces.
A seriously injured Billy then reappears, falling down the stairs. Sidney helps him up and gives him a gun for safety. Billy then opens the door and allows Randy back inside, who states Stu has gone mad. Billy, still holding the gun, responds "we all go a little mad sometimes" and then shoots Randy in the shoulder, who falls to the floor. A shocked Sidney is then shown that Billy's blood wound is in fact corn syrup, a common horror movie practice for blood when Sidney suddenly turns to find Stu, who unveils a voice-changing box.Finally, the truth is revealed: The murders were planned and carried out by both Billy and Stu, as a means for getting revenge on Sidney's mother. Billy informs Sidney that her mother had an affair with his father, Hank Loomis and that this was the reason for the demise of Billy's parents' marriage. He then goes on to state it was him who murdered Sidney's mother and not Cotton Weary, who was convicted of the murder based upon Sidney's testimony. It turns out Billy's rage over his parents splitting up because of the affair with Sidney's mother turned him into a murderer. Stu and Billy also reveal they have abducted Sidney's father and it was his cellphone they used to make their ominous phone calls, and that they planned to murder Sidney and her father by shooting him in the head and making it seem as if he committed suicide after committing the murders.
Stu and Billy then stab each other in non-vital places to make it seem like they were victims of Mr. Prescott's emotional and murderous breakdown while getting away with committing the murders. Things begin to fall apart though, as Billy stabs Stu too deeply and he begins to bleed profusely. Then Gale appears and distracts both of them.
Sidney then manages to escape, while they're dealing with Gale. After Stu and Billy deal with Gale, Sidney stabs Billy with an umbrella, who then falls on the floor, seemingly dead. Stu then reappears, trying to fight Sidney before she pushes a television set over onto his head. As Sidney is checking to see that Billy is dead, Randy reveals he is injured but still alive, crediting it to the fact that he is a virgin. Also injured but still alive, Billy gets up and punches Randy to the floor. He begins to choke Sidney to death, trying to stab her as well, before being shot down by Gale.
Randy, now back on his feet, warns Sidney and Gale that -according to horror movie law- he'll "come back to life" for one last scare. To their surprise, Billy opens his eyes and makes a grunt, only to be shot in the head by Sidney right after, finally killing him. Sidney's father comes out of the closet due to the commotion. Sidney unties him, and Randy assists her.
Dewey, who also appears to have been killed, is then shown being carried away on a gurney. Gale then makes an impromptu report on the events of the previous night as the authorities finally arrive on the crime scene and the movie comes to a close...
- Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott: Sidney is going through a rough time throughout the film, dealing with problems such as the anniversary of her mother Maureen's murder, as well as her boyfriend wanting to lose their virginity to each other. She has a rivalry with the obnoxious news-reporter Gale Weathers due to her writing a book filled with lies and rumors about her mother's murder trial. Along with Gale, Sidney manages to defeat the killer at the end of the film.
- Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers: An obnoxious news-reporter that will do almost anything to get a story. She has a rivalry with Sidney Prescott due to Gale writing a book about Sidney's mother's murder trial that is presumably filled with lies and rumors. Gale also has a love interest with Dwight "Dewey" Riley. At the film's ending, she proves not to be too heartless helping Sidney defeat the killer.
- David Arquette as Deputy Dwight "Dewey" Riley: A kind, yet dopey police officer who is the older brother of Sidney's best friend, Tatum Riley. He helps Sidney sort her life out and has a love interest with the news-reporter, Gale Weathers.
- Rose McGowan as Tatum Riley: Sidney's best friend, Stu Macher's girlfriend and younger sister of Officer Dewey Riley. She is later killed off during Stu's party, having her head crushed with an automatic garage door after attempting to escape from the killer when getting beer from the garage.
- Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis: Sidney's boyfriend and one of the two actual killers in the film. He can easily project fear into people, such as Sidney, Stu and Randy, the latter of whom he threatens for implying that he's the killer. Billy was driven insane because his mother had left him due to the affair between his father and Sidney's mother. He is later killed by Sidney when she shot him in the head.
- Matthew Lillard as Stuart "Stu" Macher: Tatum's boyfriend and Billy's best friend. Stu is one of the two killers in the film. He is weak-willed, pathetic, and stupid, the combination of these three leading him to be easily persuaded to help Billy murder people. He is later killed by Sidney after she pushes a television screen on top of him causing electrocution in a form of self-defense. When asked for a motive, Stu claims he committed the murders because of peer pressure, claiming he is "too sensitive".
- Jamie Kennedy as Randy Meeks: Randy is a friend of Sidney, Tatum, and Stu, but not Billy. He is a big horror movie buff and even works in a video store. He is the only one out of Sidney's "gang" not to be dating anyone which he appears to be happy with. Randy was the one who explained the rules of a horror movie at Stu's house. It is shown that Randy wants to date Sidney and is notable that he survives the film.
Notable minor characters
- C.W Morgan as Hank Loomis: the father of Billy Loomis.
- Henry Winkler as Principal Arthur Himbry (uncredited): The school principal. He expresses concern for the insensitivity of two students who mock Casey and Steve's murder, until he himself is killed by Ghostface.
- Lawrence Hecht as Neil Prescott: Sidney's father. He is away on business and the suspicion of the killings is being heavily suspected upon him. The real killers, Billy and Stu abduct him and show him to Sidney during the film's near end.
- W. Earl Brown as Kenneth "Kenny" Brown: Gale Weather's cameraman. He has his throat slashed by the killer. However, he saves Sidneys life by informing her of the door at the back of the news van. His last word was door as he points to the back of the van
- Joseph Whipp as Sheriff Burke: The police sheriff who is continuously trying to track down the killer. He is shown to have a friendship with Dewey Riley.
Major cameo characters
- Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary (uncredited), the accused killer of Sidney Prescott's mother and with whom she had a secret affair.
- Kevin Patrick Walls as Steven Orth: Casey Becker's boyfriend who gets killed in the beginning of the movie.
Other cameo characters
- Linda Blair as Obnoxious Reporter (uncredited): A cameo by Linda Blair (famous for the horror classic The Exorcist) who tells Sidney they have a right to know about her attack.
A signature device, started in Scream and continued in future films, was the typical "rules" for the slasher subgenre of horror movies being stated by the characters. In Scream, those rules (as described by Randy) are:
- You may not survive the movie if you have sex.
- You may not survive the movie if you drink or do drugs.
- You may not survive the movie if you say "I'll be right back", "Hello?" or "Who's there?"
A similar set of "rules" was used for the movie's trailer:
- Don't answer the phone
- Don't open the door
- Don't try to hide
- But most of all don't scream
The film features numerous in-jokes and references to other horror projects. The victims in Scream are quite self-aware: they each make clear their familiarity with, and poke fun at, teen slasher and horror flicks, which sets up their fairly ironic responses to the film's situations.
Two of the most common references are to A Nightmare on Elm Street and its director Wes Craven. In the audio commentary for the DVD, Craven says that he almost took out the line where Casey Becker says the first A Nightmare on Elm Street was good but the rest sucked, because he thought it would make him seem egotistical. However, it was pointed out to him that he had co-written the third film and also wrote and directed the seventh. A Nightmare on Elm Street is also referenced in the high school janitor. Fred, played by Craven, wears an outfit resembling Freddy Krueger's. Later in the film, Tatum tells Sidney that she is "sounding like a Wes Carpenter flick", a fictional name created from compounding the names Wes Craven and John Carpenter (co-producer of the first three installments in the Halloween film series, co-writer of the first two, and director of the first).
At one point Billy sneaks into Sidney's room through her window, startling her, in a way that quotes Glen sneaking into Nancy's room in A Nightmare on Elm Street. The similarity between the scenes is emphasized by the physical resemblance Skeet Ulrich, who plays Billy's character, bears to the young Johnny Depp, who played Glen's character.
In addition to its director, Halloween is referenced many times throughout the film. When Ghostface asked Casey what's her favorite scary movie and she told Halloween, when Casey's parents come home and see that something is wrong, her father says to her mother, "Drive down to the Mackenzie", which is a quote from Halloween. During the party scene, Randy Meeks, Stu Macher and the other party-goers are watching the horror film. They watch many famous scenes such as Michael Myers murdering Bob, as well as Laurie Strode discovering her friend's dead bodies scattered in the bedroom. The song that Billy puts on when he and Sidney are making out in her room is a cover version of "Don't Fear the Reaper" which was featured in Halloween in the scene where Laurie and Annie are driving to their babysitting jobs.
Billy's surname, Loomis, is the same as that of Donald Pleasence's character in Halloween, which in turn was the name of Marion Crane's lover in Psycho. In a similar fashion to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), Scream's highly-billed star Drew Barrymore dies early in the film. Referring to Crane's similar premature murder, Robin Wood writes of the "alienation effect" of the killing of the "apparent center of the film." In the later stages of the film, Billy Loomis quotes Norman Bates, saying "We all go a little mad sometimes." Licking his fake blood, Loomis says that it is actually corn syrup and food coloring, "the same stuff they used as pig's blood in Carrie".
As Stu and Billy reveal themselves to Sidney as the killers, they stand head to head, echoing a famous still photo from the film The Thing With Two Heads (1972).
When Casey (Drew Barrymore) is dragged across the lawn by her murderer it strongly resembles a scene from Dementia 13.
The blood pooling at Gale Weather's (Courteney Cox) feet by the news van is reminiscent of a scene in Night of the Living Dead where blood pools on the floor by Barbra's feet (played by Judith O'Dea).
Many films are briefly mentioned during a scene in which Billy and Stu visit Randy at work at a video store. Films Randy mentions include Candyman, The Howling, Prom Night, Everybody's All-American. Frankenstein is showing on the monitors.
Sidney mentions The Town That Dreaded Sundown while she, Dewey, and Tatum are buying food for the party.
During the party scene, the partygoers are struggling with which movie to watch. The possibilities include The Evil Dead, Hellraiser, The Fog and Terror Train. Clerks is seen as a videotape on top of a television. During the party scene, when Billy arrives, Randy exclaims "What's Leatherface doing here?". Leatherface is the antagonist in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
In addition to mentioning several horror films throughout the film, many minor characters were portrayed by actors that have worked with Wes Craven before and have also appeared in prominent horror films. For example, Linda Blair, who played Regan in The Exorcist, also plays the obnoxious reporter who approaches Sidney when she first returns to school. Joseph Whipp, who plays Sheriff Burke in Scream, also plays the sheriff in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Frances Lee McCain, playing Mrs. Riley, also played the part of Billy's mother, Lynn Peltzer, in 1984's Gremlins.
Other films that are seen or mentioned throughout the film include:
- Friday the 13th - When the killer calls Casey Becker, he asks her "Who was the killer in Friday the 13th?". She exclaims Jason Voorhees as the answer, but the killer meant the original killer from the first movie, Jason's mother.
- The Exorcist - When Billy sneaks into Sidney's bedroom, he says he came by due to being bored, sitting at home watching a TV-cut version of The Exorcist.
- Basic Instinct - Stu and Tatum had an argument about Casey and Steve's killer. Stu told that it was a male, but Tatum sayed it was a girl, giving Basic Instinct as an example.
- All the Right Moves - Tatum mentions wanting to see All the Right Moves so she can see Tom Cruise's penis.
- Clueless (Alicia Silverstone's character was quoted)
- The Silence of the Lambs - Billy mentions Jodie Foster (who played Clarice Starling in the movie) in one scene with Sidney. He also mentions Hannibal Lecter and that they never decided why he liked to eat people.
- Halloween - a clip of Halloween is shown at the party Stu ask when they can see Jamie Lee's breast
- Trading Places
- I Spit on Your Grave - When Tatum encounters the killer in the garage, she mistakes him for Randy, exclaiming "So what movie is this from? I spit on your garage?"
- The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
- The Bad Seed.
- Smoke and Clerks are both seen on the top of Stu's video player, a poster for Clerks is also seen in the background of the movie store.
- Psycho - When Billy shoot's Randy he says "Anthony Perkins, Psycho"
Scream is very much aware that it is a movie, and has fun with this. During the opening scene, Casey discusses movies, sequels, and trivia with the killer on the phone. Randy seems almost unable to tell the difference between a movie world and his own world. He constantly compares what is going on to situations in horror films, and at one point even says: "If this was a scary movie, I would be the main suspect." Randy also seems to believe very devoutly in his "Rules For Surviving a Horror Movie;" he eventually believes that the only reason he himself survives is because he's a virgin. Billy also comments that life is just "one big movie. Only you can't pick your genre."
Most notable of all, the climactic scene of the film revolves around the characters watching the movie Halloween, unaware that they themselves are being watched on a hidden camera with a time delay. At one point Randy (played by Jamie Kennedy) yells at the movie: "Look behind you, Jamie", unaware that there is also a killer behind him. Kenny watches this from inside the news van, and also yells: "Behind you, kid." despite the time delay meaning the warning is just as pointless as Randy's. The result is a movie character (Kenny) watching what the hidden camera in the room shows, giving advice to another movie character (Randy), also watching a movie, also giving advice to a movie character (in the movie he's watching).
In addition to this, the movie features cameos, such as Linda Blair and Henry Winkler and general references to Hollywood figures, such as Sharon Stone and Richard Gere. The Richard Gere scene mentions the well-known gerbil urban legend. Craven stated that he received calls from agents telling him that if he leaves that scene in, he would never work again.
Box office performance
The film opened in 1,413 theaters, taking $6,354,586 in its opening weekend. The film made almost 87 million dollars in its initial release, and was then re-released to theatres on April 11, 1997 and went on to make another 16 million, making total a domestic gross of $103,046,663, with, as of 2007, a worldwide lifetime gross of $173,046,663. It peaked at number 3 in the U.S. domestic box office. The film's success made it the highest grossing slasher movie as of 2009.
The reaction to Scream was generally very positive amongst film reviewers, who appreciated the shift from the teen slasher films of the 1980s and their "endless series of laborious, half-baked sequels." Williamson's script was praised as containing a "fiendishly clever, complicated plot" which "deftly mixes irony, self-reference and wry social commentary with chills and blood spills."
Roger Ebert appreciated "the in-jokes and the self-aware characters", but was confused over whether the level of violence was "defused by the ironic way the film uses it and comments on it?" The New York Times says "not much of Scream is that gruesome", but observes that Craven "wants things both ways, capitalizing on lurid material while undermining it with mocking humor. Not even horror fans who can answer all this film's knowing trivia questions may be fully comfortable with such an exploitative mix."
Scream ranked number 32 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies and number 13 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly dubbed the film a "New Classic" by ranking it number 60 in their list of the 100 Best Films of the Last 25 Years. The film received an 84% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com. The film ranks 482nd on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.
The film won several awards, including Best Movie at the MTV Movie Awards 1997, and Saturn Awards for Best Actress (Neve Campbell), Best Writer and Best Horror Film. Craven was awarded the Grand Prize at the Gérardmer Film Festival.
The film inspired a revival of interest in the genre including Urban Legend, and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Three sequels were produced (Scream 2, Scream 3 and Scream 4), with Williamson's I Know What You Did Last Summer following in 1997. It was also the inspiration for several parody films such as the Scary Movie series. "Scary Movie" had been Scream's working title.
Ghostface's mask has become an icon in horror films, and has now become a staple mask during the Halloween season.
The film has been parodied many times on television. During the 1997 MTV Movie Awards, the opening scene was parodied, with Mike Myers calling and terrorizing Casey Becker instead of the film's killer, Ghostface.
One of the unique aspects of the film involved the mystery surrounding the identity of the killer (a plot device that had not been used for some time) and the twist ending in which it is revealed there are in fact two killers, which also became a popular trend amongst the horror revival that followed.
The original, gorier version of the film was released on VHS in 1997. The box covers classified the film as rated "R" even though it was actually the unrated version. The unrated cut was only available on video when the film was released for sale to the general public while the rental version, released earlier that year, still contained the theatrical cut. The unrated version was officially released as "The Director's Cut" on laser disc but has yet to be released on DVD in America. The unrated version has been released on DVD in other regions such as Europe and Japan with quality varying. Differences in the film include: A shot of Steve's entrails falling out of his stomach; a longer, slower version of the shot where Casey's body is shown hanging from a tree; Tatum's head getting crushed by the garage door; More blood can be seen pouring down Kenny's chest after getting his throat slashed; A more graphic version of the scene where Stu and Billy stab each other.
When the film was released for sale on VHS in 1997 it was available in several different forms including three collectible covers with one featuring Drew Barrymore's face, one had Neve Campbell's face and the other had Courteney Cox's face. There was also a collector's set which came with the wide screen version of the film on one tape and another tape featuring the movie with audio commentary by Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson. The set also featured a special Scream phone card with 10 minutes of talk time and three large collector's cards with the faces of Drew, Neve and Courteney (the same images used on the special VHS covers).
Like in all movies, there have been some mistakes or "goofs" in the Scream saga. Here are some of them:
- When Billy is being put in the cop car, some equipment is visible (mic, camera)
- When Ghostface is pulling Casey, you can see some protection around her neck, so she doesn't get hurt while being pulled.
- At the same scene as above, when Ghostface is pulling Casey, you can see some of Drew Barrymore's real hair.
- When Ghostface is with Tatum, she throws bottles of beer to him and we can see that the costume is wet, but when he pushes the button in order to pull Tatum with the garage door, we can see that his costume is dry.
- At the end of the movie, When Billy says, "...and if you get it right, you die," Stu bumps into the camera making it shake.
- At the end of Stu´s Party, Ghostface sneaks up on Randy, in that moment, Sidney (Neve Campbell) accidentally breaks character and calls him "Jamie!".
- In the scene where Billy throws the phone at Stu, the fake blood on Skeet's hands were so slippy that the phone slipped out of his hands and accidentally hit Matthew in the head.
- Billy asking, "I mean, did Norman Bates have a motive?" and Stu responding with "No." The end of Psycho had a ten-minute sequence dedicated to explaining Bates's motives and psychological condition.
- Shortly after Sidney knocks out Billy, Gale comes in and shoots Billy with the gun he had, however his gun was still at the place that he was knocked out by the living room, and Gale came in through the main entrance after having been knocked unconscious.
- Filming took place over eight weeks.
- To keep Drew Barrymore looking scared and crying, director Wes Craven kept telling her real life stories about animal cruelty. She is a keen animal lover in real life.
- Barrymore shot all of her scenes in the first five days of production.
- William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying (1930) features a character named Skeet McGowan (Scream features actors Skeet Ulrich and Rose McGowan) and a character named Dewey just as Scream does.
- The opening with Drew Barrymore lasts for twelve minutes.
- At one point when filming the opening scene, someone forgot to unplug the phone that Casey used to try and call the cops. This resulted in real, puzzled 911 operators hearing Drew Barrymore screaming for her life on the phone.
- Wes Craven discovered the Ghostface mask while scouting for filming locations in California. Craven was walking throughout a possible filming-house, and inside one of the rooms, he saw the mask hung on a wall. He sends a photo to Dimension Films and they told him to have the prop department make a mask similar to the mask in the bedroom, as they did not own the rights to the mask.
- During production, Ghostface's signature black robe was going to be white, to make him appear even more like a ghost. This was changed in fear of people comparing the costume to those that the Ku Klux Klan wear.
- When the killer smashes his head through a window and Casey hits him in the face with the phone, Wes Craven is actually wearing the costume and was really hit in the face.
- When Bob Weinstein watched parts of the first scenes filmed, he said that the mask used was idiotic. He asked the producers to film one scene with seven different masks and let him choose the one he liked the most. Producers didn't agree and threatened to shut down production. They told him to wait until the first sequence (Drew Barrymore's) was completed and then he could decide. After watching it, he happily agreed to the mask used and didn't make another complaint for the rest of the filming.
- Rose McGowan discovered that she could actually fit through a pet flap.
- Jamie Kennedy was chosen for the role of Randy because he would often improvise humor into his lines, which made Director Wes Craven laugh.
- Drew Barrymore was originally cast as Sidney Prescott. But Barrymore insisted that if she played Casey then it would make the audience think anything could happen.
- On the movie cover which shows the cast, Skeet Ulrich has a mustache and goatee, although he is completely clean shaven in the film.
- Drew Barrymore and Neve Campbell did not meet Roger Jackson, the actor who played The Voice, before shooting commenced. Whenever they are talking on the phone to the killer, they are actually talking to him.
- Melissa Joan Hart, Brittany Murphy, Alicia Witt, Melanie Lynskey, and Melinda Clarke all auditioned for the role of Sidney Prescott.
- The special effects artists used about 50 gallons of blood.
- Tatum's house is right across the street from the house in Santa Rosa, California used in Pollyanna. It is also across the street from the house used in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. The house in the opening scene was next door to the house used in Cujo.
- On The Directors in 2007, David Arquette revealed that he presumptuously turned down the role of Billy in favor for playing Dewey, which was originally written as a hunky, leading man part.
- As revealed on The Directors in 2007, Wes Craven originally turned down Scream because it was too violent, but reconsidered making one more gory movie for the hungry fans who continually told him that his best movie was The Hills Have Eyes.
- The film was sent to the MPAA over nine times for reconsideration, as they were going to give the movie a NC-17 rating. With each time the MPAA made Wes Craven cut out more of the films gore heavy shots. Bob Weinstein eventually had to step in, which secured the films R-rating. Wes Craven wanted to know what Bob Weinstein had said to the MPAA to get them to give the film its R-rating, and he told them to view the film as a comedy and not a horror film. This completely changed the MPAA's viewpoint.
- Being a favorite of the writer Kevin Williamson, Molly Ringwald was offered the role of Sidney Prescott, but turned it down, saying she'd rather not be playing a high school student at the age of 27.
- Casey claims, that all of the sequels to A Nightmare on Elm Street sucked. Wes Craven sold the rights to sequels before the film was released and became a success and disliked many of the sequels.
- The mask is based on the painting Scream by Edvard Munch.
- Skeet Ulrich is four days older than Matthew Lillard;both were born in January 1970.
- The cheerleader in the washroom scene was played by one of Skeet Ulrich's girlfriends.
- Matthew Lillard ad-libbed the line Ah...Houston, we have a problem when he discovered that the gun was gone.
- David Arquette's sister Patricia Arquette starred in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors written and produced by director Wes Craven.
- The Jiffy Pop popcorn in the first scene acts as a clock. It goes from normal to out of the control as does the scene.
- During the scene where Sidney drops a TV on Stu's head, Neve Campell (Sidney) and Matthew Lillard (Stu) ad-libbed the lines, "I always had a thing for ya, Sid!" (Matthew) and "In your dreams" (Neve).
- At the end of the first movie, Billy hitting Stu with with the phone in anger was unintentional, as the phone accidentally slipped out of Skeet Ulrich's hands due to the fake blood. Stu screaming "You hit me with the phone, dick!" was actually Matthew Lillard's reaction.
- In the scene, where Sidney attacks Billy with an umbrella, Billy's actor, Skeet Ulrich got legitimately injured. When he was hit by the umbrella, the stuntwoman playing Sidney couldn't see where she was aiming and wounded up hitting a wire in his chest he had gotten during surgery at a young age. Touching it ends up causing him some pain.
- The party scene near the end of the film runs forty-two minutes long. It was shot over the course of twenty-one days from the time the sun set to the time it rose. After it wrapped, the crew had t-shirts made that read " I SURVIVED SCENE 118" (which was the name of the scene during shooting). The cast and crew jokingly called it "The longest night in horror history."
- Courteney Cox and David Arquette met and fell in love on the set of this movie. They eventually married but divorced in 2013.
- Dewey (David Arquette) is specified as being twenty-five-years-old, approximately seven years older than most other lead characters, who are in high school. However, Arquette is roughly the same age as most of his co-stars, and is slightly younger than Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, and Jamie Kennedy, who all play high schoolers.
- All the killer's phone calls were all done by Roger Jackson on-set with a cell phone. At one point, the crew were contacted by the police demanding to know who they were because they thought there was a real killer making phone calls.
- The rare slasher franchise, where the original director directed every movie in the franchise. That's never happened before or since.
- After filming was completed, Wes Craven spent two months editing the final product.
- Henry Winkler was not credited as the producers wanted the attention to be focused on the young actors and actresses.
- Neve Campbell, the star of the movie, isn't even in the front or the center of the promotional poster for the movie. Within the group of actors depicted in the poster Drew Barrymore is in front, then Skeet Ulrich is behind her, then Neve Campbell, then Courteney Cox, and then David Arquette.
- For the penetrating effect of knives, the production used collapsible blades to prevent injury.
- The scene where the killer is sneaking up behind Randy (Jamie Kennedy) is the only one where the person in the costume is actually one of the actors rather than a stuntman. Skeet Ulrich specifically asked if he could wear the costume for one scene.
- The only film in the franchise where both killers are previously suspected of being the killers.
- Kevin Williamson confirmed that 261 Turner lane will return in the upcoming film Scream (2022).
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