Thursday, August 26, 2010

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 19 of Scream (0:51:45-0:53:00)

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

Length: 1min 15secs
Primary Characters: Sidney Prescott and Tatum Riley
Pop Culture References:
  • Wes Craven and John Carpenter (Tatum references both)
  • Richard Gere (a joke at his expense)

I wish I had a two story house like this so I could place stereo speakers on the ceiling. Although, if that were me and it was 1996 like the film I would probably be blasting out Dance to the Max, Vol. 14, Luscious Jackson's Fever In Fever Out or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins and not "School's Out" by Alice Cooper. Speaking of "School's Out", the Alice Cooper version is indeed very good, but I also like the version by The Last Hard Men that features on the Scream soundtrack (which I own, of course). I wonder what the story behind that was.

I want that front garden. Seriously.

Another swooping crane shot to begin a scene, but I like how when get to hear Sidney and Tatum talking we're literally entering half way through their conversation. It always annoys me when characters sit down to chat and, say, order food and yet their conversations lasts 30 seconds. This at least feels a bit more natural.

If Nathaniel R @ The Film Experience did a "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" entry about Scream I actually think this shot would be right up there amongst the top three contenders as my favourite shot from the entire film. I love the framing and the colour and the unsettling angle, but also this idea that Sidney is now constantly being stalked and hounded. And I don't just mean by the killer, but by everyone. She's being followed by the press, surrounded by security and hounded by her own feelings that the idea she had in her head - her mother was innocent - is crumbling. In a way, it's a metaphor for the jail she feels she is locked into.

See how far I can delve into the simplest of things?

"It goes further back, Sid. There's been talk of other men."
"And you believe it?"
"Well, I mean you can only hear that Richard Gere gerbil story so many times that you have to start believing it."

I'm sure that whatever search engines were popular back in 1996 - Yahoo? ASK JEEVES? - got a rush of inquiries of "richard gere gerbil" from cinemagoers. In 2010, however, in the day and age of The Human Centipede a famous Hollywood actor sending gerbils up his arse is almost quaint.

Okay, so this is the definition of reading too much into too little. It's quite literally a "blink and you'll miss it" moment and it was hard to capture, but if you watch carefully you'll see a gesture made by Rose McGowan. After she apologises to Sidney for, essentially, calling her mother a slut Sidney walks down the other end of the veranda and starts mulling over the possibility of having wrongfully helped convict Cotton Weary. Before Sidney starts talking, however, Rose/Tatum does a head turn away from her and does a little hand flail and shoulder shrug. I take this one of two ways, either it's Tatum showing that she, too, is fed up with everything being about Sidney and Sidney always moping about etc etc, or it's Rose having forgotten her line or something that they didn't pick up in the editing suite.


"Don't go there Sid, you're starting to sound like some Wes Carpenter flick or something."

I used to think this line was greatest thing ever. It's obviously not, but it's still cool in a lame kinda way. I'm trying to remember if they made "Wes Carpenter" the director of Stab (the movie-within-a-movie-based-on-the-events-in-this-movie featured in Scream 2), but I can't recall.

"Let's boogie!"

I love Tatum.

This is the second scene in a row that ends with a silly shot. This time it's silly because... well, it's just silly. Ghostface lurking in the bushes? Really? I think the shot I discussed earlier in this entry gave the same sense of unease with the audience, but did so without hitting them over the head with a "SIDNEY IS BEING STALKED, OMG" mallet.

I do, however, think that Wes Craven himself didn't like this shot because in the Stab opening scene from Scream 2 where lightning flashes outside the house of "Casey" (played by Heather Graham in Stab, you following me?) and the killer is revealed as hiding on her glass ceiling. I like to take that as a "this horror movie cliche of the killer randomly appearing in strange places is quite silly." Do you agree?

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, Scene 18


Joel said...

Going by the poster of Stab (which is up on my wall), the director is listed as Cary Granat (who is an executive producer i think?)
I found out not long ago that a certain Robert Rodriguez actually directed the Stab scenes which is pretty awesome. Ive always wished they'd release Stab as its own film...

Wings said...

Good review, you pick up so many little things! I kinda like when a killer is in a weird, hidden place. Makes you wonder where else they could be?

Anthony said...

I never really thought of it that way -- (the Stab opening and the shot of the killer in the bushes comparison but it makes sense). I honestly feel like at the time, they were doing it for a little laugh. They couldn't have been serious about it "OH LETS PUT HIM IN THE BUSHES IT WILL BE SCARY AS HELL" Or "NO WE GOTTA PUT HIM IN THE GROCERY STORE TOO."