I grew up watching a lot of movies I probably shouldn’t have. Movies like Halloween. Nightmare on Elm Street. Urban Legend. I Know What You Did Last Summer (which, for me, is filled with an odd amount of nostalgia). I could go on, but I won’t. That is except for one.
If you notice anything about the movies listed above, it’s probably that they’re all basically slashers. Now, I grew up in the late 90s, and if you think about slashers in the late 90s, you may notice I’m missing one. Yep, the king of ‘em all – Scream. Excuse me, Scream (1996).
While commenting on the horror genre in its impressively meta style, Scream has gone on to become an institution (or franchise if you will) that spans nearly three decades, all while maintaining a relatively consistent cast of loveable characters. Scream, in my book, is required viewing for horror fans.
Now, I’m not going to say a lot about Scream other than I love it, and it’s one of my all-time favorite films. No, since this is part of my Growing Up with Horror series, I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about what it meant to me growing up.
I don’t remember the first time I watched Scream. I know I was way too young though (probably less than five years old). At the time, I couldn’t tell you the plot or probably name any of the characters or anything like that. But what I could tell you is that the guy in the mask was scary as hell, and he was probably gonna get me.
We actually had two pretty legit Ghostface masks when I was growing up. One normal/traditional white mask and the other neon pink. Where they came from or where they went to, I have no idea. But these masks were the embodiment of terror for me (plus, they smelled like awful musty plastic).
But it wasn’t just the masks that freaked me out. In my own little head, I had constructed a very plausible scenario involving the masks that scared me to death.
You see, we had a little rectangular window in the living room of the house I grew up in. Just a normal, thin and tall window. Well, for me, that was anything but normal. At night, I would purposefully stay away from that window. I was terrified I would pass by it and lurking on the other side of the glass would be Ghostface ready to get me. Luckily, that never happened (I think), but I could still feel Ghostface’s presence every time I went by that window. To this day, this window haunts me and the image of Ghostface standing there is burned into my brain.
That’s the power Scream had over me growing up. It made me scared that someone (my siblings, my cousins, even my own mother) would try to scare me with a Ghostface mask. Because, as the series has proven time and time again, Ghostface can be anyone. He/she/they can be your best friend, a parent, a love interest, anyone. No one is above suspicion in a Scream movie. And the place where you feel safest (which for me was the living room watching cartoons) is never the safest place to be. Ghostface is always right there, just about to get you.
I’m a Scream fan through and through, so I’ll close with this: Long live Ghostface. Long live Scream. But more importantly, long live Sidney Prescott (don’t you dare mess with her).
I may regret this one day, but:
6. Scream 3
5. Scream (2022)
4. Scream 6
3. Scream 4
2. Scream 2
1. Scream (1996)