Wednesday, June 30, 2010

1st of July (But No Fireworks)

It's the 1st of July, half way through the year (a frightening thought), so I thought I'd take a look at the music that have defined my first six months of the year. Did you notice the Kelis reference in the title there? I am so smart. S-M-A-T.

The following songs have all had their moment in the sun on my iPod where I have listened to them on repeat. That is very literally the case with some of the songs on here, which have clocked up so many repetitive spins that I almost grew tired of them due to so many listens. Almost. The honour for "song the year" is definitely, at this stage, a fight between Groove Armada's "Paper Romance", Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Bittersweet" and Scissor Sisters' "Invisible Light". Although there are several songs that could make a play for the title if I have a sudden change of heart.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
, "Bittersweet [Freemason's Extended Mix]" - Play it loud! Just a pure, unadulterated dance floor orgasm.
Kylie Minogue, "Aphrodite Megamix" - If I had to choose my favourite track from Aphrodite it would be "Too Much", but this megamix featuring several songs from the album is just incredible and was the only thing I listened to for about four days straight.

Scissor Sisters, "Invisible Light" - One of the most euphoric tracks you're ever likely to hear, even ripping of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is a bonza movie. It is, however, that final minute and 33 seconds that I wish would go on for hours.
M.I.A., "XXXO" - It was this for "Meds & Feds" from M.I.A.'s new album /\/\/\Y/\ for best in show honours, but went with "XXXO" for it's lyric about Quentin Tarantino.

Groove Armada, "Paper Romance" - A total stormer, and an unexpected one at that.
Kelly Rowland, "Commander" - The sub-subgenre that I like to say "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life Dance Floor Anthems" found a new eternal classic in Kelly Rowland's "Commander". Play it long, play it loud.

Goldfrapp, "Rocket [Richard X One Zero Remix]" & Goldfrapp, "Rocket [Richard X Four Eight Remix]" - They are different, and yet both are amazing. Richard X is a God.

Gabriella Cilmi, "On a Mission" - The first song from 2010 to mustre up over 100 listens on my iTunes, fact. It helped that at the time I had limited access to new music, but it's nevertheless an incredible track.
Robyn, "Dancing on My Own" - Crying while dancing is a term used to describe dance songs that deal with themes of loss and woe. This is one of those songs and it is good. So good that one might actually find themselves breaking out a tear if you're really in the zone of the themes.

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, "Dance the Way I Feel" - Those synths! THOSE BLOODY SYNTHS! Looking forward to the album in August. Have you actually watched the video? It's like Empire of the Sun directed by David Lynch on a break from INLAND EMPIRE. Fluorescent and a bit frightening.
Kelis, "Acapella" - I wanted to include "22nd Century" but apparently Kelis and her record company don't want any marketing for songs that haven't been released as singles and have deleted any knowledge of the song from YouTube. Oh well, "Acapella" is good, too, but "22nd Century" with its extended breakdown in the middle is just glorious and rivals "Invisible Light" as the single musical highlight of the year so far.

Fantasia, "Even Angels" - I adore Fantasia and "Even Angels" was a spectacular modern day R&B song that barely anybody noticed. At least Guy Lodge agrees with me.
Kele, "Rise" - The highlight of Kele's impressive solo album debut, The Boxer.

Christina Aguilera, "Little Dreamer" - Very much a case of an artist, shockingly, leaving perhaps the best song she's ever recorded off an album and making it a "bonus track". Just like Britney Spears' "Quicksand", actually. "Little Dreamer" is a bit classier than that song, which is something Xtina's Bionic could have used.
Paula Seling & Ovi, "Playing with Fire" - Romania's Eurovision entry, lest we forget. It's still great.

As for albums? Well, there are obvious contenders such as Scissor Sisters' Night Work, Groove Armada's Black Light, Janelle Monae's The ArchAndroid, Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite, Kelis' Flesh Tone, Sleigh Bells' Treats, Gabriella Cilmi's Ten and John Adams' compilation on the I Am Love soundtrack that will be definite end of year fixtures.

But there have been some other fine albums from the year. How about M.I.A.'s /\/\/\Y/\, Kele's The Boxer, Marina and the Diamonds' The Family Jewels, the Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack, Robyn's Body Talk, Part I (looking forward to parts 2 and 3 throughout the year), Violent Soho's Violent Soho, Nobody's Daughter by Hole, Acolyte by Delphic and the weird David Byrne/Fatboy Slim concept album about Imelda Marcos, Here Lies Love. They will all be worth remembering and re-evaluating at the end of the year to see how they have held up amongst the other titles listed above.

Since writing this I have discovered the new Chemical Brothers album, Further, as well as Cossus Snufsigalonica by Fear of Tigers. The latter of which is particularly astonishing.

And if you're going to reply with suggestions, feel free, just beware that I will delete any that suggest mopey male singers who play the guitar. That is not accepted at this blog!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glenn with a Double N

♪♫ It's Glenn with a Double N
Not Glen with one N
'Cause Glen with one N goes "n" not "nn"
It's NN instead of N
Gle instead of Gly
Simple as be
See Glenn! ♫♪

One of the original songs from Liza Minnelli's Liza with a Z ("a concert for television" as the opening credits inform us) is "Say Liza (Liza with a Z)" in which the grand Liza sings about how often her name is mispronounced, miss-spelled and generally butchered by the masses. I can relate. I have spent my entire life spelling my name for people, not even taking a second to let the person ask "one n or two?" because I just know that the person will automatically assume it is one. It is not one, it is two. I've had teachers of six years continue to spell it incorrectly. I get emails from film people wanting me to spruik their product, but if they spell my name wrong I tend to send it straight into the trash bin. And I actually have had some think my name was "Glyn", which is odd since that's hardly the more common name.

Liza gets it.

I finally got around to watching said 1972 special for which Liza Minnelli won an Emmy and director/choreographer Bob Fosse won two. It came the same year that Minnelli won an Academy Award for Cabaret and a Tony Award for her contribution to Broadway. She and Bob Fosse won the trifecta of awards within the same year, which I don't think had happened before and hasn't happened since.

The show is a delight to watch from start to finish. Minnelli has been in the spotlight a lot these past ten years or so with her marriage and subsequent divorce, her appearance on cult television series Arrested Development as well as mainstream hits such as Idol and her concert series' and album releases. Just this month she appeared on screen in Sex and the City 2 and if that appearance left you wondering just what on Earth the big deal is with this woman then sit down and watch the 50 extraordinary minutes of Liza with a Z and you'll see. Actually, watch Cabaret first and then watch Liza with a Z. The term "a force of nature" gets applied to Liza a lot and with that red hot double shot of 1972 brilliance it's hard to not fall back on cliche and call her that yourself.

The show is astounding, it really is. 50 minutes of Broadway excellence. Amazing renditions of standards like "Son of a Preacher Man", "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "My Mammy" sit alongside a trio of Cabaret classics "Wilkommen", "Money", "Maybe This Time" and "Life is a Cabaret" as well as original tracks such as "Say Liza (Liza with a Z)", "Yes" and the glorious musical comedy of "Ring Them Bells". My favourite number was "I Gotcha" originally sung by Joe Tex. It's a dazzling eye-popping performance with killer choreography and a vocal performance by Minnelli that is a step out of the norm.

Incredible stuff. And I haven't even mentioned Bob Fosse's choreography and direction, the cinematography and editing or the fact many things that have been inspired by this collaboration. This is why Liza is still so renowned. If you're not willing to discover why then that's your own fault.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Five Shots: Palm Trees

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 4 of Scream (0:18:23-0:18:38)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Heavy spoilers and gore throughout!

Length: 15secs
Primary Characters: Sidney Prescott and Mrs Tate (Lois Saunders)
Pop Culture References:
  • None - it's 15 seconds long! It'd be impressive if there were any, although curiously Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Halloween H20 is a school principal called Keri Tate. No, that wasn't that curious, actually.

This shot always makes me wonder what Scream would have been like if Drew Barrymore had have actually taken the lead role like she was originally offered. This shot makes me wonder what Barrymore would have looked like in this classroom, sitting there with her blonde bob. I always thought she'd look too old (I think it's the hair), but she's only two years older than Neve Campbell who plays Sidney and she seems to fit into the look of the film quite easily.

"Sidney, it would appear to be your turn."

This is Mrs Tate, aka the frumpiest, dowdiest teacher known to man (outside of a comedy, of course). Poor lonely (I assume) Mrs Tate.

Man, that was a short scene, wasn't it?

Intro, Scene 1 Scene 2, Scene 3

Mother Knows Best

I trust Sony Pictures Classics know how to position Aussie crime film Animal Kingdom in the American cinemagoing landscape better than I. We all know that foreign films are finding it harder and harder to find an audience in the United States and must do their hardest to get bums in seats. SPC's answer? Well, according to this trailer - thanks to the gorgeous Alice Tynan at The Plot Thickens for alerting me to it - their answer is to sell Jacki Weaver as Evil Mother de jour of 2010.

I was initially surprised that Weaver - she of what is sure to be the year's best supporting performance, male or female - was quoted about on the film's US movie poster, but now it all makes sense as part of a bigger plan to sell her as the film's centrepiece, which - for me - it is.

Those are big words and apt ones, too, and here comes the new US trailer. Suddenly the entire movie revolves around Weaver's creepy, despicable mother character. The trailer gives way too much away in regards to the dastardly deeds that she performs - I and others have been careful to let her wicked arsenal of party tricks remain a surprise despite yammering on and on about how fantastic she is at dishing them out - but it certainly gives me faith that SPC have found an angle and are running with it. Anything that gets American audiences to actually see the movie and maybe even propel Jacki Weaver into Oscar contention is good by me.

In fact, this trailer is so enamoured with Weaver that her line "You've done some bad things, Sweetie" gets uttered not once, but TWICE! It's as if they're giving the movie a catchphrase (hey, it is a great line and Weaver's delivery is creepy beyond words). Is Weaver this year's Mo'Nique? I'd like to think so, but I doubt it. She's sure to win every award under the sun in her home country, but it will always be hard for an older, unknown actress to get noticed in the circus that is the American awards season. Anyone who enjoys an Evil Mother in their films must see Animal Kingdom. Anyone who prides themselves on seeing the best that world cinema has to offer must see Animal Kingdom, too.

Animal Kingdom is out in the USA on August 13 and is currently screening in Australia (to box office of over $3mil and counting, which is great news). Check out the trailer at Apple or below.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 3 of Scream (0:16:50-0:18:22)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Heavy spoilers and gore throughout!

Length: 1min 33secs
Primary Characters: Sidney Prescott and Tatum Riley (Rose McGowen)
Pop Culture References:
  • None :(

And so we're introduced to Woodsboro High (not "Greensboro" as the DVD box of Scream 3 misinforms). One thing that I really like about the Scream movies is how cinematic they look. Director Wes Craven and cinematographer Mark Irwin routinely use crane shots, utilise the wide screen and fill the frame with interesting compositions, which is not something you tend to find in a slasher movie. One such moment is this scene where we first see the required High School. Could have simply been a static shot of the school, but instead we get a swooping crane shot that gazes over the media circus out front before settling on Neve Campbell's Sidney yet again. She's definitely the "final girl", you can already tell.

And I like how in this shot the camera ever so vaguely hovers on the sight of this TV news reporter wearing a bright lime green outfit. Even in a distant wide shot Gale Weathers is trying to grab our attention. Attention got!


She's barely in this scene at all, but a brief moment, and yet not only do we know she's going to be a major player (she is played by Courteney Cox, after all), but characters we're not meant to notice don't get to wear lime green ensembles. They just don't.

Everyone say hello to Tatum Riley.

Do it!

"Hi Tatum!"

That's better. You will grow to love this woman. As played by Rose McGowen, Tatum is the prerequisite best friend whose acts overtly sexual (she's wearing that outfit to high school and "thank you very much" say all the teenage boys) but she is actually quite endearing. And, as this scene shows, tactful:

"Casey Becker and Steve Orth were killed last night. And we're not just talking killed, we're talking splatter movie killed. Ripped open from end to end."
"Casey Becker? She sits next to me in English."
"Not anymore!. So sad, her mom and dad found her hanging from a tree, her insides on the outside.
"Dewey was saying this was the worst crime they've seen in years. Even worse than... well, it's bad."

Oh, Tatum! Way to walk directly into the elephant in the room!

Intro, Scene 1 Scene 2

Friday, June 25, 2010

What I Thought Of When I Saw This Inception Poster

Here is one of the new posters for Christopher Nolan's Inception.

Generally it is quite good, much like the entire campaign has been. Although I haven't been quite on board with the marketing of Inception as others has been (residual Dark Knight love will do that to people, I suppose), but I couldn't quite quit the feeling that I'd seen this poster before. I was racking my brain trying to think of what it reminded me of and then it struck me. It reminds me of this poster for PJ Hogan's 2003 retelling of Peter Pan!

Of course, if your movie poster accidentally looks like that of another then Peter Pan is understandable since nobody seems to truly remember that wonderful movie. Such is life, I'm afraid.

Inception is out on 22 July and I while the poster here may look like Peter Pan, the trailer makes the film out to be a bigger budget version of Alex Proyas' Dark City. Since Dark City is one of the five best movies of the 1990s - yes, it is - I just hope the film can live inside my mind without that earlier film harming my perception of it. We shall see soon enough, won't we?

Review: Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3
Dir. Lee Unkrich
Year: 2010
Aus Rating: G
Running Time: 103mins

In the 15 years since Pixar Studios presented Toy Story to audiences for the first time, cinema has changed. Computer-generated animation is no longer a novelty, it is fact of life. Animation is no longer a genre simply for young audiences and it is now given the respect that it deserves as an art form all of its own. With Toy Story 3 Pixar, animation and audiences come full circle, right back to where it all began and, quite frankly, it’s a wonderful feeling.

Read the rest at Trespass Mag

Toy Story 3 is out today. I'd like to stress that I did not cry during this movie. I am not an easy cryer at the movies, but at least Toy Story 3 earns the tears of anybody who does cry, unlike Up, which threw a bunch of manipulation at the audience in the first five minutes and just expected people to cry (they did, apparently - did they cry when they watch the news every night?) The scene where everyone seems to be welling up, well, I did get a big ol' lump in my throat and felt the tears coming on, but I didn't. Is there something wrong with me or is the issue with those who seem to cry at the drop of a hat?

Black & White Friday: Psycho '98

I've gone mental, true, but ever since I started this series I have wanted to do the deed (so to speak) on Gus Van Sant's Psycho. From black and white to colour and back again. This'll be either an interesting experiment or a dismal failure (much like Van Sant's movie itself, actually). Bear in mind that I have not watched Hitchcock's Psycho in a year or so and I am deliberately not comparing the two here. I mean, I will compare, but not in a side by side sort of way. I am more intrigued in how this movie would have looked if Van Sant went and did his whole mad experiment in black and white like the original.

I was actually trying to get a shot of Viggo's glorious very un-1960 arse, but instead captured these two moments that I think are quite stunning compositions.

I find it interesting that this shot - and others that I have taken - still look so modern. This definitely doesn't look like a screengrab of Hitchcock's film. Perhaps it's the presence of such a recognisable face as Anne Heche, I'm not entirely sure. I do know this though, I could look at Anne Heche's face all day. As you can tell from this entry, I'm sure, since over half of the images are from the first half of the film.

This looks closer to the spirit of an old black and white horror movie with its Gothic imagery, although - yet again - something about the actors' face (this time Vince Vaughn) just comes across as very modern and I can't tell whether its because I'm just so used to seeing his face in the sort of movies he makes, Wedding Crashers and the like, that it's hard to separate it.

An obvious shot, but a good one. One that truly does recall Alfred Hitchcock's original. Would I instantly know it was the remake? I'm not so sure.

I seriously could have done a frame by frame look at this scene, but I think this six shot collage is enough. One of the things I think Gus Van Sant's remake does better than the original is - no, not the shower scene - something incredibly banal and ridiculous, and yet it still matters: The shower curtain. The diamond pattern helps play with distortion and perception, don't you think?

We can also see here why Hitchcock used chocolate sauce for blood because whatever it is Van Sant used sure does look weak.

This shot reminds me of Frankenstein.

One of things I can never quite figure out about Psycho '98 is why Lila becomes such a lesbian. It's quite strange, really. I do love it though. Charging through while listening to her rock music on her walkman. Right down to the way she acts almost disgusted at the thought of pretending to be in a relationship with Viggo Mortensen's Sam Loomis later on.

Love this shot in black and white. Shadows are like that.

Oh, Gus! You rascal, you!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Horror Aware

By the way, I am aware this blog seems to have become some sort of horror-only place this past week or so, but I promise it won't always be like this. It's just a temporary thing, okay. Whenever Hollywood wants to make another musical I'll be right on board!

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 2 of Scream (0:12:46-0:16:49)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Heavy spoilers and gore throughout!

Length: 4mins 3secs
Primary Characters: Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) and Mr Prescott (Lawrence Hecht)
Pop Culture References:
  • The Exorcist (it's on TV at Billy's house)
  • Psycho/Halloween (Billy "Loomis")
  • MPAA rating system ("Settle for a PG-13?)
  • Indigo Girls (Sidney has a poster on her wall)

It's probably way to early to go about admitting this, but whenever I watch Scream I tend to skip this scene. Not that it's not well done - in fact, quite the contrary, there is a lot going on - it's just that what is going on is a lot of little moments that set up plot points later on.

The key moments are:

a) Sidney's Virginity
Yes, in case you're unaware Sidney Prescott is a V-I-R-G-I-N! There's an obvious reason for the film blatantly spelling this out and it's Randy's rule of "if you have sex, you die". The Jamie Lee Curtis rule. She was always the innocent virgin, which is why she never died. Meanwhile, how funny is Billy's expression in the third image here?

b) Billy's penchant for riding around at night and sneaking in bedroom windows
This one speaks for itself. By the conclusion of the movie it becomes quite obvious where Billy has just been and you kinda just have to slap yourself on the forehead when you realise you ever doubted it was him.

"You sleep in that?"
"Yes I sleep in this!"

c) Sidney's Father
In just a few tiny snippets of dialogue we learn everything we need to about this man before shipping him off and never hearing from him again until the climax of the movie. Sets him up as a beaut suspect if for no other reason than why would he leave his only daughter home alone on the one year anniversary of her mother's (and his wife's) death? SUSPICIOUS!

d) Art Direction
I mentioned how I liked the way they laid out the blueprint of Casey's house using tracking shots and focusing on the corridors and big glass windows. Well, another key moment of art direction is the interesting way they give Sidney's room a sort of protective lock in the form of this poorly designed, but oh so useful, crazy door jamming thingamajig. Whoever designed this was clearly an idiot, but boy does it come in handy later on and this moment allows us to identify it. That way, later on during Sidney's chase scene, we don't sit there wondering what the hell just happened with the doors. You see?

And lastly

e) "Scream Speak"
Throughout the entire film character talk in "Scream Speak". It's very much like Tarantino dialogue in that it references movies and pop culture idiot, but it's a little less obscure. Even the most non-obsessive film fan will pick up the references to movies such as The Exorcist. My favourite is the exchange about Sidney and Billy's relationship once being headed for NC-17 and now it's like they're edited for TV, to which Sidney replies:

"Hey, Billy, would you settle for a PG-13 relationship?"
"What's that?"

"You're just a tease."

It's Juno-esque dialogue long before Juno.

Intro, Scene 1

Why I Adore... Gus Van Sant's Psycho

One of the best new blogs to show up lately has been Why I Adore, a new project from Mr Paul Anthony Nelson that aims to be a negativity free zone and to allow writers to express true feelings of adoration about movies, actors or anything related to film and TV that they love without threat or worry of Internet trolls whose sole mission it is to criticise people for their opinions.

This week, the sixth edition, was my turn and I decided to discuss my adoration for one of the most maligned films I could think of from the last 20 years, Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. A movie so fascinating that I've watched it many times - not as many as the 1960 original, but it's probably closer than you think - and consider it a stroke of experimental brilliance.

A good 38 years had gone by between Hitchcock’s original and Van Sant’s take, and I think this remake acts as the most glowing and praiseworthy critical assessment of Hitchcock’s film that has, can and will ever be. People have spent decades studying this film and yet no piece of film criticism can come quite to the level of outright lust for Psycho that this remake presents. Gus Van Sant loves Psycho. There is a reason he remade it "shot for shot" and it’s because he thought it couldn’t be improved upon. Van Sant even set the movie in the modern times to prove how timeless Hitchcock’s Psycho is. ... The remake is love

I considered using one of Norman Bates' famous quotes, "We all go a little mad sometimes" to describe it, but then I realised that was being a self-loathing. I don't think there's anything mad at all about liking Psycho '98. And, hey, if it's good enough for Nick Davis then at least I know I am in good company.

You can read the entire thing by clicking over to Why I Adore and if you would like to leave a comment please do so, but know that all comments are moderated and anything negative gets promptly deleted. That blog is a negative free zone! What do you think though? Do you think I'm mad like Norman or rational like... umm... are there any rational characters in that movie? None of them seem to think clearly at all, do they? Hmmm.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 1 of Scream (0:00:00-0:12:46)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Click here to find out why. Please be advised that, quite obviously, this is as far from a spoiler free zone as you can get and there are spoilers for all three films from the get go. Also, please note that there will be gore throughout the series. That's a given.

Scene 1
Length: 12mins 46secs
Primary Characters: Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore), Steven Orth (Kevin Patrick Walls), Ghostface (voiced by Roger Jackson), Mr & Mrs Becker (David Booth and Carla Hatley)
Pop Culture References:
  • Halloween (Casey's favourite horror movie, first trivia question, "Drive down to the McKenzie's")
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street ("Is that the one where the guy had knives for fingers?")
  • Friday the 13th (Second trivia question)

Notice up the top there in the title bar? It states the opening scene of Wes Craven's seminal Scream is only 12 minutes and 46 seconds long. For a scene that is, by all counts, relatively short, it sure has had a lot of impact. Much like the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, it is a scene of shocking violence that changed the way horror movies were made.

The first shot in Scream is of a ringing telephone, which is only apt since the audience has to get used to them. This being 1996 the use "cellular" phones (oh American lingo, you amuse me!) hadn't quite reached the level of ubiquity that we see later on in Scream 3. There's something so quaint about the use of a landline phone, isn't there? It sort of just makes the helplessness even stronger since the character of Casey is so tied down.

The sight of former child star turned drugged up disgraced turned respectable actress must have been a fascinating one to see. I find it amusing that a 12-minute cameo in a quote-unquote slasher movie is seen as a defining turn in her career, but it's a refreshing one (is Lindsay Lohan paying attention? It could be quite easy!) Being an original movie audiences really had no idea what to expect so it was a stroke of genius to not only cast Barrymore - who would expect her to meet such a grisly end in such a short amount of time? - but also to make the voice of "Ghostface" so nonthreatening with this back-and-forth of almost "make cute" banter. If this were a romantic comedy you would expect them to realise they're made for each other.

This moment is particularly good since Craven is quite obviously allowing audiences to get a feel for the location with those big french doors looking out onto nothing.

And here is, I think, one of the most interesting parts of the entire movie. At this moment Casey has begun to feel a bit creeped out by this mysterious caller and yet here she is just seconds later having a relaxed chat about horror movies. What I find interesting about it is that horror movies are designed to test audiences. We allow ourselves to be placed into a false sense of security so that when a cat jumps out from a box we feel that security threatened (obviously more so when the threat is a knife-wielding maniac and not a feline who enjoys coiling up in a box). So audiences let themselves feel complacent in a horror movie because when we get frightened it gives us that adrenalin that is what makes a horror movie so effective.

So here is poor Casey Becker and she herself is being lulled into a false sense of security when she really ought to freaking the fuck out and all because of horror movies. The killer here uses horror movies as a way to pull his (in this movie, "his" is appropriate) prey into a secure trap, let them think they have the upper hand (see the scene later on with Neve Campbell's immortal "stupid girls with big breasts" speech) before unleashing that menacing...

"You never told me your name."
"Why do you wanna know my name?"
"Because I wanna know who I'm looking at."

Bear in mind that we're not even three minutes into this movie and already so much as gone on. It's why this sequence is a classic. So much legwork is being done for the entire film, too.

"Listen asshole-"

"No you listen you little bitch, you hang up on me again and I'll gut you like a fish, understand? Hah. Can you handle that, Blondie?


Of course, what follows is a defining moment of the entire franchise. The willful acknowledgment of horror movie cliches - "You should never say 'who's there?' Don't you watch scary movies? It's a death wish. You might as well just come out here to investigate a strange noise or something!" - as well as the admitted knowledge of horror movie franchises, which is something that carries on through the entire trilogy.

The scene's trivia moment is a truly terrifying moment, isn't it? Can all of us - movie aficionados all - say we'd be able to keep our calm during such a moment and be able to answer the question "Name the killer in Friday the 13th" without hesitation? Would you, too, scream "JASON! JASON! JASON!"?

From here on out the final five minutes of the scene is a good ol' fashioned chase scene (oh and a gutting or two) that really is thrilling. It's here that the legwork of those opening few minutes really comes in handy. We've seen the layout of the house through those glorious early tracking shots, but curiously we haven't seen the upstairs. This is actually quite amusing because we see Ghostface immediately run to the staircase because, again as Neve Campbell's Sidney later tells us, stupid horror movie victims always run up the stairs when they should be going out the front door. Allowing Casey to make a run for it before... well, this.

Who exactly is the Ghostface in this scene? Obviously both Billy and Stu were involved, but the killer here seems almost too smart to be Stu.

Michelle Pfeiffer once said that she used this scene as a reference point for her own performance in What Lies Beneath, saying "I thought about Drew Barrymore in the first Scream - I mean, ultimately that movie was more funny than scary, but the opening sequence was quite terrifying, and she portrayed terror in a way I'd never seen an actress do." If that's not high enough praise for you then I don't know what is. Of course, we all know what happens at the very end here. Casey's parents arrive home to discover...

Not pretty, most assuredly, but as a purely eye-opening shocking moment to kick start your movie with it sure does pack a punch. "Ripped open from end to end" as one character calls it, which is an apt description. And such brings an end to all brief love affair with cutey pie horror loving bob haircut-having beige sweater-wearing Casey Becker. We barely knew you and then you had to go and get the question about Friday the 13th wrong. She has nobody to blame but herself, really.

One thing I do have an issue with about this scene is the moment where Casey states her favourite scary movie as "Halloween. You know, the one with the guy in the white mask who walks around and stalks babysitters." I have an issue because that is not the plot of Halloween. While, yes, Jamie Lee Curtis does play a babysitter, Michael Myers is hardly a slasher movie killer only targeting babysitters. In fact, as far as I can remember, it's only numbers one and four of the Halloween franchise that even has a babysitter character (and in the fourth, The Curse of Michael Myers, it is the child, not the babysitter, being stalked). /gripe.