Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 15 of Scream (0:44:04-0:46:47)

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

Length: 2mins 43secs
Primary Characters: Sidney Prescott, Ghostface, Cheerleader in Bathroom (Leonora Scelfo) and Girl in Bathroom (Nancy Ann Ridder)
Pop Culture References:
  • Ricki Lake

One thing that doing this series has shown is how fast-paced it is. Scenes are generally very short, very punchy and are over with quickly so we can move on the next. Another thing that has really become evident even more than I was aware is just how much I truly do love this movie. Take this scene for instance, just listening to the rhythm of the dialogue from the two girls and it reminds me of something as classic as Heathers ("suicide is out this year" certainly helps in that regard) and the way it seems to satirise all teen movies, not just horror ones. I definitely see Valley Girl and Clueless in this scene.

Oh Sidney, always looking so virginal.

I gotta admit, I kinda love this chick. She is so high school slasher movie cliché, but she's great value nonetheless and I wish there was more of her. She is played by Leonora Scelfo and was Matt Lillard's Skeet Ulrich's girlfriend at the time. I also kind of like in retrospect how she looks like Jenny McCarthy who is an actress we'll meet when we look at Scream 3. Scream is one of only three roles Scelfo has done, which a shame because she has an immediate presence and even in this tiny role she sums up so much.

I'm just screencapping this for the fun of it.

And again.

Haha, seriously! She's amazing.

I really like this upcoming dialogue exchange for reasons I already said. Kevin Williamson sure did have a knack for this sorta stuff, didn't he? And, just as an aside, I don't think it's a coincidence that Buffy the Vampire Slayer started but a mere one year after this movie, which really popularised this sort of stylised teen dialogue even more.

"Maybe she's a slut just like her mother. Please, it's a common fact. Her mother was a tramp. ... Think about it; her mother's death leaves her stern but hostile in a cruel and inhumane world. She's delusional, "where's god?" et cetera. Completely suicidal, one day she snaps! She wants to kill herself, but she realises that teen suicide is out this and homicide is a much healthier, therapeutic expression."
"Where do you get this shit?"
"Ricki Lake!"
"You are pathetic"

Isn't that kinda amazing? It helps that Scelfo's delivery is so spot on. I particularly enjoy the way she says "cruel and inhumane world" and I have been known to use that line from time to time (or, I did 'back in the day'). How come I get the feeling that, looking at this still, I'm watching a Ke$ha video?

And what about our favourite cheerleader's friend over there, otherwise known as "Girl in Bathroom"?

Played by Nancy Anne Ridder in her first ever role (only Todd Solondz' Storytelling is of any worth in the rest of her limited filmography), Girl in Bathroom is an interesting side-character. Clearly a tag along friend for the cheerleader, merely there to make the cheerleader look hotter, but who has developed a vapid attitude to go alongside her teenage phase of wearing pants, mauve sweaters and cutesy green hairclips. She says things like "bubble-butt boyfriend", which is a term I thought that only gay porn websites used, and has Valley Girl-esque inflections in her voice. She's basically trying to be Cher from Clueless but with bad hair and without the Rodeo Drive-approved credit card (I'm sure).

If Scream were a lesser movie then these two would probably be killed at some point by Ghostface simply to up the gore and the body count, but the film plays hard to get and promptly dismisses them so they can spend the rest of their lives telling how they "knew Sidney Prescott" and how they "survived the Woodsboro massacre."

This is Sidney's upset face.

This is Sidney's did-i-just-hear-someone-whispering-my-name face.

Because the air conditioning system is one of the places you would expect a killer to hang around in in such a deserted, empty place like a high school.

This is Sidney's no-shit-i-really-did-hear-someone-whisper-my-name-or-perhaps-it-was-magic face.

I like how the cape just sorta drifts down over the legs as if by magic (I'm not sure what my sudden fascination with magic is, but let's roll with it for a second). It baffles me that Sidney doesn't immediately try to get the hell outta that bathroom, but whatever man. I like the story about how the filmmakers realised they had to make all the possible killers wear big black boots because that would give away the killer's identity. Even Tatum wears them. That's using your noggin!

Is this the real Ghostface or just another high school student impostor? I think it's fair to say that it certainly isn't Billy, but could it be Stu? I'm not too sure. We established in the comments of this entry that Stu has the tendency to go a bit off the rails and flaunt his status as the killer in ways that could easily get him found out, so attacking Sidney at the school would make sense... but we all know Stu is whipped by Billy and he would not be happy if he wasn't involved in the Sidney slaughter.

The scene ends with this shot, which I think is really great. The way the camera remains flat and still for the first few seconds and then does its little angular spin as Sidney runs down the stairs. Just another tiny, almost unnoticeable, thing that helps set it apart from so many others like it.

Intro, Scene 1 Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6, Scene 7, Scene 8, Scene 9, Scene 10, Scene 11, Scene 12, Scene 13, Scene 14


Wings said...

Definitely a good use of the two girls to kind of "tell" Sid what all the kids are thinking, or what she at least thinks they are all thinking.

And yeah, I am guessing it was Stu. More to play killer and scare her than to actually KILL her and piss of Billy.

Wings said...

And this project is still quite awesome. Got me thinking of doing something similar with Halloween or Friday the 13th, the old school movies I grew up loving!

Anonymous said...

I always heard that the cheerleader was Skeet's girlfriend, not Matthew's.

Anonymous said...

Liking your Scream blogs alot. Just gotta say one thing though, Leonora Scelfo was dating Skeet not Matt.

Anthony said...

Fricken love this scene. Just when it gets too gushy and depressing, it gets SCARY.

Plus, you are completely right when you say the blonde cheerleader is awesome because she really is.

Nick said...

This is one scene that always annoyed me. She runs off leaving Stu behind with Tatum and runs into Billy. She then leaves Billy behind and goes into the bathroom. No one enters after she gets in there. So how did either of them end up in the cubicle of the girl's bathroom without her or anyone else noticing? There's only the one door from what I can see? It's either logic suspension or one of the school scaremongers.