Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper

Arts & Entertainment

The Successsion of the Scream Franchise

The original Scream produced in 1996 and its following saga have left a great mark on
the horror genre. Created by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven, the original Scream
film revolutionized the slasher genre by injecting wit, self-awareness, and plot twists into a
chilling tale of a masked killer terrorizing a small town. This movie brought a breath of fresh air
to the genre. The saga that followed maintained the franchise’s unique blend of horror and
humor, making it a beloved part of the genre.
The original Scream stands as a seminal work in the horror genre. It follows Sidney
Prescott (played by Neve Campbell) as she becomes the target of a masked killer known as
Ghostface in a town (Woodsboro), where he begins his reign of terror. What sets this film apart
from others in the genre is its clever deconstruction of horror movie conventions. In the film,
characters were aware of horror tropes, openly discussing them, and even using them to their
advantage. With this, Neve Campbell’s portrayal of Sidney Prescott as a resilient and intelligent
protagonist was a highlight. The cast, including Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers and David
Arquette as Dewey Riley, delivered memorable performances that added depth to their
characters that contributed to the film’s success. Also, Wes Craven’s direction blended
suspense and humor effectively. The iconic Ghostface mask became synonymous with the
franchise, and the film’s unique uses of it contributed to its success. This, along with creative
camera work that built suspense, created an atmosphere of uncertainty and dread that kept the
audience on the edge of their seats. Scream explored themes of identity, the consequences of
one’s actions, and the blurred lines between reality and fiction. It also delved into the concept
that horror movies can serve as both entertainment and a reflection of society’s fears.
The success of the first film spawned a series of sequels – Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3
(2000), and Scream 4 (2011). Each installment continued the story of Sidney Prescott while
introducing new characters and mysteries surrounding the Ghostface killer. While these
following films struggled to maintain the freshness of the original, they still managed to provide
engaging, self-aware horror experiences. The Scream saga remains relevant by adapting to
changes in society and technology, including the rise of social media and online surveillance. To
this day, the Ghostface mask is an iconic part of scary movies. The success of the first film is
still seen in modern day media which is why even newer films like Scream V (2022) and Scream
VI (2023) have received positive feedback. Both of these films follow completely new characters
and two new main characters known as Tara and Sam Carpenter and their experience with a
new killer – or possibly killers – behind the mask. This sense of mystery, ambiguity, and fear is
what captured me as a fan of these movies from the first film, and even now with this sixth
The Scream saga is a testament to the enduring appeal of a franchise that redefined the
horror genre. The original Scream remains a classic in its own right, while the films following
offer a mix of nostalgia, suspense, and self-aware humor. Together, each film created a legacy
that continues to captivate horror fans, making the Scream series an essential part of the horror
genre’s history. Enjoy the frightfest this October with Scream films 1-6!


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