With the latest horror film The ABC’s of Death in theaters tomorrow, let’s revisit the opening scene to Scream, which has been listed as one of the scariest moments in film in many publications including Moviefone. They place it at #7 in their list of 20 Iconic Horror Movie Scenes of All Time. Watch clips from the first few minutes.
Moviefone talks about why it’s iconic.
Not only did this scene introduce fans to Ghostface, a figure who would go on to become an icon as instantly recognizable as the Holy Trinity of Bogeymen (Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger), but it introduced a self-aware breed of horror movies. [Wes] Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson set out to deconstruct the films of the ’80s that the current generation had been scared by growing up. Their goal was to create a sort of post-modern slasher where there were discernible rules to live by and that breaking the rules meant certain death. And it all begins with Casey’s conversation with Ghostface, the robed enforcer of said rules.
I just read the script one night at my house and I just said, “Oh my God, there hasn’t been anything like this for so long.” I loved that it actually got tongue and cheeky but it was still scary and it was this great game that sort of described genres and revived them at the same time and redefined them all in one script. I went bananas…The first scene was really reminiscent to me of When A Stranger Calls and it was absolutely my favorite part, but I loved the whole thing.
Craven wanted to make sure he aptly portrayed the tone of the film by opening with the scary scene and shot it in sequence to heighten the drama, which helped Barrymore’s performance.
I was like, “I never want fake tears, I will come up with a mechanism with which to really make me cry. I will run around until I’m hyperventilating.” He [Craven] and I had this secret story. We would just talk about it every time cause it just made me cry every time I thought about it. That worked for tears — it didn’t work for hyperventilating. I would still have to run around a lot…I just thought, “How could I make it real?” I’m sure it’s everybody’s worst f—ing nightmare.
Buy the Scream Five-Film Set which includes Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3, a 90-minute “Still Screaming” documentary with 4 hours of extra footage and 120-minute “Scream: The Inside Story” documentary.