Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 18 of Scream (0:49:44-0:51:44)

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

Length: 2mins
Primary Characters: Principal Himbry and Ghostface
Pop Culture References:
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (the janitor, "Fred", wears Freddy Krueger's sweater)
  • Happy Days (Principal Himbry checks his hair just like The Fonz)

This is an interesting scene since it was actually never in Kevin Williamson's original screenplay, but the producers (that'd be the Weinstein brothers) thought - rightfully so - that the movie needed another murder before the big climax at Stu's house. The scene works in the way it eliminates a red herring, shows off the killers' new-found spontaneity (they had a very definite plan, but seem to divert from it - or Stu does) and desire to murder even those who have no connection to the central story, gives the superfluous characters a reason to leave towards the end of the movie and is a neat way keeping the rhythm going in these pre-finale scenes that could have become skippable in a "get us to the good stuff!" kind of way.

"Oh shit, they're gonna kill Fonzie?!?"

Yes. Yes they are!

This shot may not seem relevant, but it took my a lot of viewings to figure out what they did there.

This is a funny little moment in which Principal Himbry gets frightened by the sight of the Ghostface mask in his own hand. I like how he realises how silly he is, which ties into the idea of all these characters having watched horror movies before all this began. He knows he's just being paranoid. I like to imagine that the character knows that if this were all a movie then it would've been a fake scare and he's be embarrassed to have jumped at it.

I'm not sure if this moment was improvised or what, but it's amusing nonetheless. It really is like The Fonz ended up being the Principal at Californian high school!

He's getting his angry face on. I'm not quite sure how Billy/Stu (whichever one it is) managed to hide during this bit since he would have had to be wearing the chunky black boots and they'd make noise when having to run away fast, which is what he would've had to do since Himbry opens the door almost immediately. Bah! I think about this sorta stuff way too much.

That'd be Wes Craven as "Fred the Janitor" wearing the same costume as Freddy Krueger does in Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street. This was the first of three cameos that Craven had throughout the trilogy. The others we'll get to, but Fred will always be the best because it's just such a wonderful wink to audiences. Even if it wasn't Craven himself, it would still be fun seeing this old, wrinkly Freddy Krueger now being overtaken by the younger, hipper serial killers. Somebody should have told everyone involved with the terrible, terrible remake from earlier this year.

And now the blind is down.

It's Fonzie's jacket! Right there! To the left (to the left)! This is a scene that keeps on giving.

I couldn't capture it very well, but at this moment Himbry AGAIN frightens himself in the mirror. A nice little tension reliever before...

Oh dear.

As I was screencapping this moment I thought of the worst pun.

Are you ready?

"So this is what it sounds like, when The Fonz dies."


I'm not sure what Prince and the Revolution have to do with Scream, but whatevs.

The scene ends with this shot, which - I assume - is meant to be all "look at me!" but I find it kinda silly. I don't think it belongs in Scream and doesn't feel organic enough. In Scream 2 it would since that movie is far more polished, but here it comes off looking less like artistry and more like wank.

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, Scene 15, Scene 16, Scene 17


jakey said...

The first time I saw this movie, I cringed at the final shot of this scene as I thought it meant the knife was gonna go through his eyeball.

Personally, it doesn't annoy me at all, but later in the film there's a ridiculous one where the killer is seen stalking Sydney and Tatum at the grocery store.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Always loved the way Ghostface looks like a Bird of Prey swooping down on The Fonz. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

The shot of the door... I don't get it, what took you so long to figure out what they did there? Because I can't see anything, lol.

And I have to disagree with you at the shot at the end... love it.

Glenn Dunks said...

Anon, the blind is up throughout the scene, but once Himbry returns from investigating the knock on the door the blind is down so that we don't see the killer standing behind it. It's something I never noticed until many viewings later. Much like how he himself didn't notice it.

Jakey, as I'll say when we get to that bit I think there's the running idea that there are townspeople just walking around in these masks.

Vertigo said...

As you can see at the first screenshot, Himbry holds cheap, "flat" version of the mask. It's also at the beginning of the movie; The Killer is wearing original mask, but in one moment when he is running after Casey, there is this weird, flat version.

Wings said...

Wow - So much I didn't know about this scene! Missed the blind being up then down, missed the jacket in the closet... And I NEVER knew it was Craven himself as Fred the janitor!!! How cool.

Yes, a great scene indeed.

Anonymous said...

I like the last shot, it could be a homage to Hitchcock´s Strangers on a train where u see a murder reflected in a pair of fits since this scene is filled with references (as is the whole movie). But then again it could just be a bit of good old showing off.