October 31, 2011

Scream: What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

Posted in movies tagged , at 8:50 am by Jenn

Skeet definitely looks skeezy here

Summary: Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) gets what she thinks is a wrong-number call, but after she hangs up, the caller calls back. This time he just wants to chat. Casey hangs up and goes to make some popcorn on the stove. The caller calls again and she tells him she’s about to watch a scary movie. “What’s your favorite scary movie?” he asks. Casey picks Halloween, then has to guess what the caller’s favorite horror movie is. She guesses Friday the 13th, saying only the first one was scary. The caller asks her name, saying he wants to know who he’s looking at.

Casey starts to get nervous, turning on the patio lights and locking the back door. She hangs up but the caller calls a fourth and fifth time. Now he’s angry and threatens to gut her like a fish if she hangs up again. He tells her they’re playing a game. Casey runs around the house, locking all the doors, and looks into the yard but can’t see anyone. She threatens to call the police, but the caller points out that they’re out in the middle of nowhere and the police would never make it in time. Casey asks what he wants, and he replies, “To see what your insides look like.”

The doorbell rings and Casey calls out asking who’s there. The caller calls again, telling her never to ask who’s there. (As if he would tell her anyway.) Casey claims her boyfriend’s on his way, but the caller isn’t intimidated. He asks Casey if her boyfriend’s name is Steve. He makes her turn on the patio lights, and now she can see Steve tied to a chair outside. She starts to go out to him, but the caller tells her not to. He tells her they’re going to play a game, and if she doesn’t play, Steve’s dead.

Casey turns off the light as the caller tells her she just has to answer one question. She gets the warm-up question right, the name of the killer in Halloween, but she mistakenly says Jason is the killer in Friday the 13th. (It was his mother. Uh, spoiler.) Casey will get another chance in the bonus round, but Steve’s time is up. After watching him die, Casey begs the caller to leave her alone. He says he will if she can answer his final question: Is he at the front door or the back door?

Casey grabs a letter opener as a chair is thrown through the patio door. She runs through the house, ignoring the fire that the popcorn has started in the kitchen. She sees a flash of black run through the house and sneaks outside, still carrying the phone. She peeks inside and sees a figure in black wearing a white mask. A car is coming up the road, and instead of running right toward it, Casey stays next to the house. She turns to see the figure in black standing right behind her.

The figure grabs Casey through the window, chasing her as she runs off and stabbing her in the chest. She tries to fight him off and get to the house, which her parents are just now entering. She’s too weak to call out, and the figure grabs her again as her parents go inside. Casey reaches up and pulls down the figure’s mask as he raises his knife to finish her off.

Casey’s parents panic over not being able to find her in the house, and her mother picks up the phone to call 911. Casey’s phone is still on, and her mother can hear her gasping for breath as her killer drags her across the lawn. Casey’s father tells her mother to drive to the neighbor’s house and call the police. She goes outside to do so and screams. Casey’s bloody corpse is hanging from a tree in the front yard.

Elsewhere, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is working at her computer in her bedroom. She goes to close her window and Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) scares her from outside, making her scream. Sidney’s father comes to check on her, but she insists everything’s fine. Billy’s nowhere in sight. Mr. Prescott tells Sidney he’s going out of town for a few days, and after he leaves, Billy pops up from under the bed.

Billy tells Sidney he misses how their relationship used to be almost R-rated; now they’re more of an edited-for-TV version. They start making out, but Sidney stops them before they can go too far. As Billy exits through the window, Sidney offers him a PG-13 relationship, flashing him a breast.

The next morning, the police and press are swarming Sidney’s high school. Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) is one of the reporters. Sidney meets up with her friend Tatum (Rose McGowan), who tells her that Casey and Steve were murdered. They police are investigating, saying it’s the worst crime their town, Woodsboro, has seen since… She trails off. Sidney is called out of class to meet with Sheriff Burke and Deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette) in Principal Himbry’s (Henry Winkler) office in case she has any information that can help them.

At lunch, Sidney, Tatum, and Billy discuss the murders with Randy (Jamie Kennedy) and Stu (Matthew Lillard). They talk about whether a woman could have committed the crimes. Stu doesn’t spare any graphic details. Randy notes that Stu used to date Casey, so he could be considered a suspect, but Tatum says she was with Stu all evening. Randy also has an alibi, as he was working at a video store. Their joking around makes Sidney uncomfortable, and she walks off.

Sidney comes home from school to an empty house, since her dad’s out of town, and talks to Tatum on the phone. Sidney feels déjà vu from all the police and reporters being around. They make plans to meet up that evening, as Sidney’s going to spend the night at Tatum’s. She tries to watch TV, but everything she sees is about Casey and Steve. She also sees a report from Gale about Sidney’s mother, Maureen, who was raped and murdered a year ago.

Sidney lies down for a while, waking up after dark when the phone rings. It’s Tatum telling her she’s on her way. The phone rings again, but this time it’s Casey’s killer. Sidney thinks it’s Randy playing a trick on her. She scoffs at horror movies, saying they’re all about big-breasted girls who run upstairs when they should run out of the house. The caller tells her he’s not Randy and announces that he’s on the front porch.

Sidney heads for the window and doesn’t see anyone, so she opens the door and steps outside. The caller insists he’s there, so Sidney looks around, still not seeing anyone. She starts getting nervous, then realizes the caller’s bluffing. She pretends to pick her nose and asks what she’s doing, since the caller can supposedly see her. Sidney threatens to hang up, still thinking the caller is Randy, but he tells her he’ll kill her like her mother. She goes back inside, where a masked figure in black grabs her.

Ghostface and Sidney fight, and he threatens to cut her with the knife, but she gets away and goes upstairs (exactly what she said people shouldn’t do in horror movies). She uses her closet door to keep her bedroom door from opening all the way. Sidney tries to call the police, but the phone is off the hook. She instead uses the Internet to reach 911. Billy appears at the window and Sidney frantically tells him the killer’s in the house. As he comforts her, his cell phone falls to the floor.

Sidney runs downstairs and opens the front door, where Dewey is holding up the mask. They scream and scare each other. Billy’s arrested as he insists that he didn’t do anything. Tatum arrives and Dewey tries to get her to leave. In the process, they reveal that they’re siblings. Gale shows up but Tatum won’t tell her what happened. Gale takes her anger out on her cameraman, Kenny, for not moving fast enough.

Dewey tries to call Sidney’s father from the police station, but he’s not registered at the hotel where he’s supposedly staying. Burke interrogates Billy, whose father says they should call his cell phone company and check the phone records to see that Billy never called Sidney. Billy admits to stopping by Sidney’s house the night before, but insists he didn’t go to Casey’s and didn’t kill anyone. Burke says they’ll have to hold him until they get his phone records.

Gale goes to the police station to make a report as Billy is taken to lock-up. He tries to reach out to Sidney, but she ignores him. Burke tells Dewey that kids today are so messed-up that Billy could easily be a killer. Tatum bugs Dewey to let her take Sidney home, overriding his authority. The three try to sneak out the back door to avoid the press, an idea Gale has thought of as well. She meets them behind the station and tries to get Sidney to give her a soundbite. Instead, Sidney asks how her book is coming along, then punches her.

At the Rileys’, Tatum relives the moment triumphantly. She asks Sidney if she thinks Billy is guilty. Sidney points out that he was there. Mrs. Riley tells Sidney her father’s on the phone, but when Sidney picks it up, it’s Ghostface. He tells her she “fingered the wrong guy again.” He promises that she’ll get some answers soon.

The next morning, a news report explains that Sidney was the key witness against Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), her mother’s alleged killer. Dewey tells her that Billy was released, since he couldn’t have made the phone call to her at the Rileys’. The police are still going to look into any phone calls he made to Sidney and Casey earlier.

At school, Sidney’s harassed by another reporter (Linda Blair!), then asks Gale to talk to her, saying she owes Maureen. Gale notes that someone was going to write a book about Maureen’s murder. Sidney accuses her of making things up about the case. Gale replies that Sidney got what she wanted – Cotton in jail.

Sidney asks if Cotton has changed his story, and Gale says no. He still claims that he had a consensual sexual relationship with Maureen and left his coat at the Prescotts’ house. Sidney saw someone leave wearing the coat, and though she testified it was Cotton, Gale notes that it could have been anyone. She thinks Cotton was framed. Sidney tries to sound confident when she saw Cotton killed Maureen, but Gale can tell that she’s not so sure anymore. Gale also thinks Maureen’s murder is related to Casey and Steve’s.

Tatum takes Sidney to class, and Gale tells Kenny they need to get proof about the murders being connected. She knows how much saving Cotton from death row could help her book sales. Sidney asks Stu if Billy’s mad, which is kind of a dumb question. A guy runs through the hall in black, wearing the white mask, and upsets Sidney. She runs off, smacking into Billy, who thinks she still suspects him. He insists he’s innocent and scared off the real killer.

Sidney tells Billy that the killer called her, and he notes that it couldn’t have been him, since he was in lock-up. He wonders if she’s trying to come up with reasons not to sleep with him. Billy notes that things between them changed after Maureen died. Sidney can’t believe he’s so flippant about her mother’s death. Billy notes that it was a year ago (tomorrow); when his mom left him and his dad, he got over it pretty quickly. Sidney sarcastically tells him she’s sorry her life isn’t perfect enough for him.

Principal Himbry blasts the student who ran through the halls, as well as his coconspirators. He cuts up their mask and expels them. One of the students complains that he’s not being fair. Himbry says fair would be hanging them from a tree and exposing their insides. In the bathroom, Sidney overhears two girls accusing her of making things up for attention. One of them even thinks she’s the killer and killed Casey because she and Steve were having an affair. The other notes that Sidney has a boyfriend, and the first says she could be a slut like her mother.

After the girls leave, not realizing Sidney was in the bathroom with them, Sidney starts to get paranoid and makes sure she’s alone. She’s not: Ghostface is hiding in a stall. Sidney hightails it out before he can get to her. The police return to the school, which Gale is staking out, and she meets Dewey. She flirts with him, thinking he falls into her target demographic, 18-24. He’s immune to her charms.

Himbry announces that classes have been cancelled but there’s a citywide curfew starting at 9. Gale asks Dewey where Mr. Prescott is, wondering if he’s a suspect. He won’t give he any info but tells her she’s prettier in person. Gale’s pleased that he watches her show. “I’m 25. I was 24 for a whole year,” he replies.

Everyone leaves school early and Stu tells Sidney and Tatum he’s having a big party that night. Tatum talks Sidney into coming. Himbry plays around with the mask, then hears a knock at his office door. The only person around is a janitor (Wes Craven!) wearing a Freddy sweater. Himbry is overly jumpy and keeps scaring himself, but he’s still not prepared when Ghostface comes out from behind his door and kills him.

Tatum and Sidney discuss Gale’s claims; Sidney’s still in denial that Maureen could have had an affair with Cotton. She’s angry with Gale for spreading what she thinks are lies about her mom. Sidney’s nervous about the killer, and Tatum tells her to stop freaking herself out “like some Wes Carpenter film.”

Randy’s working at the video store, where he tells Stu he thinks Billy’s still a suspect. Stu finds it suspicious that Mr. Prescott is missing. Randy says he’s probably dead and his body will pop up in the final reel. He yells that there’s a simple formula for horror movies: “Everybody’s a suspect!” As he says that Mr. Prescott is a red herring and Billy is the killer, Billy arrives and asks how they know it isn’t Randy. Randy admits that he’d be a major suspect in a movie, even without a motive: “It’s the millennium. Motives are incidental.”

Woodsboro prepares for curfew as Dewey takes Sidney and Tatum downtown and stops by the police station. Tatum wonders who would play Sidney in a movie version of her life. Dewey suggests Meg Ryan, but Sidney thinks with her luck, she’d get Tori Spelling. As the girls shop for the party, they discuss Billy and his patience over Sidney’s hesitance to have sex with him. They don’t see Ghostface watching them from nearby.

Burke tells Dewey that the calls from Ghostface to Sidney were made from a phone registered to Mr. Prescott. He reminds Dewey that the next day is the anniversary of Maureen’s death. Burke decides to keep roadblocks and the curfew in effect while they try to find Mr. Prescott. He tells Dewey to stick close to Sidney. Dewey does so by…taking Sidney and Tatum to the party, then leaving. (Good job, Dewey.)

Gale also goes to the party, running into Dewey outside and telling him she wants to be around in case a story breaks. He’s actually sticking around to keep an eye on things. Gale takes advantage of this to get access to the house, taking a camera with her. Randy has brought a bunch of horror movies, many of them featuring Jamie Lee Curtis. Stu sends Tatum to get him a beer as he answers the door and lets Dewey and Gale in. Dewey proves again to be a bad cop when he lets the kids keep drinking. Gale places her camera on top of the VCR without anyone seeing.

Tatum goes to the garage for beer and gets spooked by a cat. As she’s heading back into the house, the lights go out and Tatum realizes the door is locked. She opens the garage door, but it only goes up a little, then goes back down, thanks to Ghostface. Tatum thinks it’s Randy, telling him Sidney will freak out if she sees him. She asks if he wants to “play psycho killer,” asking if she can be the victim. Ghostface definitely wants to play, and he’s brought his knife along to prove it.

Tatum tries to make a run for it, using the beer bottles to buy her some time. The garage door is still closed, so she tries to make it out the doggy door. She gets stuck and Ghostface sends the door up, killing her. Inside, the party breaks up, with only Sidney and Stu remaining. Billy shows up and Stu sends him and Sidney upstairs to talk or…not talk. Randy reappears, upset that Billy came back and ruined his chances to hook up with Sidney.

Gale goes back to her van, where Kenny’s already watching her slightly delayed footage from the party. Inside the house, Billy apologizes to Sidney for being selfish, though she admits she’s the one who’s been a jerk. She knows she can’t remain in denial about Maureen forever, and she can’t stop hiding behind her death. Sidney’s afraid she’ll turn out like her mother. Billy compares her situation to Jodie Foster flashing back to her dead father in Silence of the Lambs. Sidney notes that this is her life, not a movie. Billy tells her it’s all one big movie. They start making out, then more.

Downstairs, Randy and a bunch of people watch Halloween, and Randy gives everyone a lesson on horror movies. Rule #1: No sex. Rule #2: No drinking or doing drugs. Rule #3: Never say, “I’ll be right back.” Stu breaks the second two rules by heading outside for another beer and telling everyone he’ll be right back. Dewey gets Gale from the van, telling her that someone reported a car in the bushes down the road. As she leaves Kenny, she tells him she’ll be right back.

As Sidney and Billy get it on upstairs, Randy gets a phone call telling him that Principal Himbry was found dead, his body hanging from the goalposts on the football field. The last remaining partygoers (minus Stu, Randy, and the lovebirds) drive off to go cut him down. Gale and Dewey flirt as they walk down the road, then have to jump out of the way of the speeding partygoers. Dewey winds up on top of Gale and they kiss. They come across the car, which Dewey recognizes as Mr. Prescott’s, and run back to the house to get Sidney.

Post-coitus, Sidney asks Billy who he used his one phone call to contact when he was arrested. He says he called his father, but she knows Burke called him. Billy says no one answered when he called. He asks if Sidney still thinks he’s a suspect, and she assures him she doesn’t, she just thinks it would have been clever of him to use his one call to contact her. Billy angrily asks what he has to do to prove he’s not the killer. Well, getting stabbed by Ghostface would do it, which is exactly what happens.

Ghostface goes after Sidney next, chasing her through the house and trapping her in a bedroom. She spots Kenny’s van outside and yells for help, but no one hears her. As Ghostface tries to get into the room, Sidney starts to go out the window. She fights Ghostface off, falling onto a boat in the driveway. From there, she can see Tatum’s dead body hanging from the garage door. Randy drunkenly watches Halloween by himself, yelling for Jamie Lee Curtis to look behind her. He should really be looking behind himself, since Ghostface is there.

Sidney makes it to the van, where she and Kenny watch Ghostface approach Randy 30 seconds after the fact. They get out of the van to go up to the house, but Ghostface is waiting and stabs Kenny. He gets Sidney in the shoulder, but she’s able to escape by going back into the van and crawling out the back. She hops a fence and runs off as Dewey and Gale return to the house. Dewey heads inside, telling Gale to call Burke for backup.

Inside the house, Dewey hears screams and calls out for Mr. Prescott. The screams are actually from the movie. Gale runs to the van to get Kenny’s phone and sees puddles of blood. She calls 911, getting spooked when Randy pops up outside the car. She hits him with the phone and starts to drive off, but the windshield is covered in blood. That’s because Kenny’s dead body is on the roof of the van. Gale manages to throw him off, but as she’s driving away, she swerves to miss hitting Sidney and hits a tree instead.

Sidney heads back to the house, yelling for Dewey, who stumbles out the front door. He’s been stabbed in the back. Ghostface is right behind him. He chases Sidney to Dewey’s car, which she locks herself inside. Too bad he has the keys. Ghostface ducks down so Sidney can’t see and unlocks the back of the jeep. The radio goes off and Sidney uses it to call for help. Ghostface attacks but Sidney gets away again, heading back to the house.

Randy and Stu approach and Sidney grabs Dewey’s gun. The guys each tell Sidney the other is the killer, but she can’t decide which of them to trust, so she locks them both out of the house. Upstairs, a bloody Billy stumbles out of the bedroom and falls down the steps. He gets Sidney to give him Dewey’s gun, then opens the door and lets Randy in. Randy tells him Stu’s gone crazy, to which Stu replies, “We all go a little mad sometimes” before shooting Randy.

Stu licks his fingers, letting Sidney know that his “blood” is corn syrup. Stu comes in through another door with the voice modulator used to create Ghostface’s voice. The guys corner Sidney in the kitchen, telling her she needs to answer a question. First she has her own question: Why did they kill Maureen? Billy denies that they need a motive, saying it’s scarier without one. Maureen was a whore and they put her out of her misery. Billy reveals that Maureen was having an affair with his mother, which is why his mom left town. Stu notes that Sidney’s no longer a virgin, so she can die.

As Stu ducks out of the room (saying he’ll be right back), Billy tells Sidney it’s after midnight, so it’s officially the anniversary of her mother’s death. Stu returns with Mr. Prescott, planting a cell phone and the voice modulator on him. The guys do that stupid-villain-who-talks-too-much thing, explaining that they’re going to make it look like Mr. Prescott snapped, killed a bunch of people (including Sidney), and committed suicide.

First they have to make it look like they’re victims, so Billy stabs Stu. Stu repays him in kind, but not as gently as Billy would have liked. Sidney and Mr. Prescott communicate with their eyes as Stu says they’re going to survive to plan a sequel. Sidney calls them crazy, and Billy tells her, “Movies don’t create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative.” He orders Stu to get the gun, but it’s missing. Gale has arrived and grabbed herself a weapon. She doesn’t move fast enough, though, since Billy’s able to get the gun back, shove her outside, and knock her out. Billy’s about to shoot Gale when Stu realizes that Sidney and her father are gone.

The phone rings – it’s Sidney, taunting Billy that she called the police. Billy leaves the phone with Stu, who’s losing a lot of blood, and Sidney asks for his motive. Stu blames peer pressure. Billy freaks out, ripping up pillows in the living room as Stu cries that his parents are going to be mad at him. Billy goes back through the house, looking for Sidney, who’s now in the Ghostface outfit. She jumps out of a closet and stabs him with an umbrella. Stu runs in and attacks her, but she fights him off, hitting him with a vase, then pushing the TV over on his head.

As she goes back to where Billy’s lying and picks up the Ghostface mask, Randy reappears, saying he’s never been so happy to be a virgin. Billy pops up with the knife and tells Sidney to say hello to her mother. She puts her finger in one of his stab wounds, which just makes him angrier. Before he can bring the knife down, he’s shot by Gale. Randy warns that this is usually the part of the horror movie where the killer comes back to life for one last scare. Billy sits up and Sidney quickly shoots him, saying, “Not in my movie.”

Mr. Prescott comes in with a crash and finally gets untied. As the sun comes up and the paramedics take Dewey away, Gale gets to give an eyewitness account of what happened.

Thoughts: I just had to do this for Halloween. I’ll do the second and third ones some other time (even though the third one isn’t actually from the ’90s). Probably not the fourth, though, since it doesn’t really fit with the first three.

I wonder what Billy would say about the fact that I did this post off of an edited-for-TV version of the movie. (Hey, it’s been on MTV, like, ten times this month. I took advantage of it.) I think the language is the only thing they edited, anyway. I’m pretty sure they didn’t take any scenes out, and I’ve seen the movie enough times that I probably would have noticed if they had.

This is the only movie where I can tolerate Matthew Lillard. However, he did a really good job in an episode of House he was in last year, and it was all dramatic.

What’s with Kevin Williamson having people go through each other’s windows? Do they not have doors where he grew up?

The party is kind of confusing. It seems to break up twice. But apparently it was filmed over 21 days, so the continuity problems can be forgiven.

I never realized that the scene where Ghostface chases Sidney through Stu’s house after “stabbing” Billy is a big hint as to his identity. The house is big and has a number of doors and hallways, but Ghostface knows his way around. This makes sense, since it’s his house.

I’ve always loved the inside joke of Randy yelling for Jamie Lee Curtis to turn around, calling her Jamie, which is the actor’s name.

Kenny’s “cellular” is a Zack Morris phone. Hee.

I found some great trivia about the movie, some of which I didn’t know before:

  • Wes Craven got Drew Barrymore to cry by telling her tales of animal cruelty.
  • The MPAA wanted Craven to edit Drew’s death scene because it was too graphic, but he lied that they only had one take of it.
  • Bob Weinstein told Craven to kill off Himbry because there are 30 pages of script where no one dies.
  • Ghostface was originally supposed to wear white, but people thought he might look like a member of the KKK.
  • The person playing Ghostface when he sneaks up behind Randy is actually Skeet, who asked to do a scene where he wears the costume.
  • Dewey was originally supposed to die, but Craven filmed the scene where he’s conscious and being taken away by the paramedics in case he changed his mind about killing him off.
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