Thursday, June 24, 2010

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


Wings said...

You are right about the scene, it does basically serve as a set-up for much more. But it is just as important for that. Good stuff!

Joel said...

I would also add to the pop culture references that the song that plays during is a version of 'Dont Fear the Reaper' which is used in Halloween!

Glenn Dunks said...

Wings, most definitely. It's just that after having watched this movie so many times I kinda just skip past it all to get to the good stuff (aka Tatum in the very next scene).