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Scream 1996

Critics score:
78 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

John Petrakis, Chicago Tribune: Scream may be a cut above the gore fests that line the dimly lit back wall at your video store, but it is a far cry from genre classics like Halloween or Craven's own Nightmare On Elm Street. Read more

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times: A bravura, provocative sendup of horror pictures that's also scary and gruesome yet too swift-moving to lapse into morbidity. Read more

Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer: By the time Scream arrives at its final twist, Craven has done too many contortions of his own to give the finale much shock value. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: The picture is so full of cross-references, self-mockery and movies within movies (including a stalking that's recorded on video) that it can't help turning into a precious two-hour in-joke. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: Not even horror fans who can answer all this film's knowing trivia questions may be fully comfortable with such an exploitative mix. Read more

Bill Stamets, Chicago Reader: Craven has expressed a desire to get out of the horror business. Maybe that's why he's set out to make more than a horror movie. He's contributing to a long tradition of reflexive films, going back as far as the turn of the century. Read more

Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader: The assumption that there's something inherently clever about a slasher movie making reference to both its genre and the filmmaking process is a fundamental flaw of this tiresome, blood-filled comedy. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Poised on the knife edge between parody and homage, Wes Craven's Scream is a deft, funny, shrewdly unsettling tribute to such slasher-exploitation thrillers as Terror Train, New Year's Evil, and Craven's own A Nightmare on Elm Street. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Turns slasher flicks into slapstick. Read more

Dave Kehr, New York Daily News: Scream builds to a splattering finale that should leave genre fans highly satisfied. Here's one of the year's better thrillers. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Scream is a rarity: a horror movie spoof that succeeds almost as well at provoking scares as laughs. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I liked it. I liked the in-jokes and the self-aware characters. At the same time, I was aware of the incredible level of gore in this film. Read more

Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle: The film plays lively games with the macabre. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: If the people who made Scream were half as clever as they seem to think they are, this would be a much smarter movie. Read more

Tom Charity, Time Out: At last, a horror movie to shout about! Read more

Leonard Klady, Variety: The pic's chills are top-notch, but its underlying mockish tone won't please die-hard fans. Read more

Richard Harrington, Washington Post: The best fright fest of the '90s. Read more