Horror Franchise – Scream (1996) Revisited



Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson (Screenplay)

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Drew Barrymore


Plot: A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Tagline – I’ll Be Right Back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Perfect Modern Slasher


Story: Scream starts when Casey Becker (Barrymore) who is getting ready to settle down to watch a scary movie, when she gets a phone call which soon turns nasty when a psychopath starts trying to test her horror movie knowledge and we get the first look at the killer for the film, Ghostface who claims his first victims.

The next day the talk of the school is the murder, Sidney (Campbell) is still holding Billy (Ulrich) from sex, Tatum (McGowan), Stuart (Lillard) and Randy (Kennedy) go through the reactions of losing a classmate, which is the worst crime in the town since the murder of Sidney’s mother.

It isn’t long before Ghostface starts staking the friends targeting Sidney, Deputy Dewey (Arquette) tries to help stop the killer, while ambitious reporter Gail Weathers (Cox) is trying to put her name on the map by getting the big break reporting the story. the question is who is Ghostface and what are their motives?


Thoughts on Scream


Characters – Sidney Prescott is our strong teenage lead, she is still recovering emotionally from her mother’s rape and murder one year ago. She has close friends, a boyfriend in Billy and knows how to handle herself in a tight corner. Sidney does fill the final girl traits while being the main target for the killer. Tatum is the best friend, she is the one that is more sexually active of the two girls not being afraid to drink and show affection in public. Billy is the boyfriend of Sidney, he is becoming frustrated being with her and not getting sex, he soon becomes a suspect because of his strange behaviour around the group of friends. Stuart is the loose cannon practical joker of the group he always goes too far with his jokes and plays on that. Deputy Dewey is the rookie cop and brother of Tatum, he seems to be the only one keeping an eye of the girls during the time the killer is on the loose. Gail Weathers is the ambitious reporter looking for her next big story after reporting on the murder the year before, she doesn’t give us any reason to like her as the film unfolds and treats her cameraman even worse.

PerformancesNeve Campbell taking the lead role is great, she fits the final girl perfectly with her innocence while showing the strength required. David Arquette in the cop role works very well because he gets to play on the idea that he might not be ready to deal with a killer. Courteney Cox breaks her nice character in Friends to be one of the characters you simply don’t like through the film. with Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard working as the boyfriends on edge who shine in the important moments in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a group high school students who have become the target of a deranged killer in a Ghostface mask. The slasher genre has been reborn with this idea because we get to see the rules of horror explained and of course we get references from horror films left right and centre. The story manages to almost parody the horror genre while remaining serious with how everything is told, it gets to poke fun at genre as only the audience could. We are kept guessing to who the killer is which is everything we want in the film with the big plus coming from the fact we are not dealing with supernatural forces.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film focuses on the idea of the slasher genre with a killer picking people off when they break the horror rules. The mystery is the highlight of the film because we are left guessing to who the killer is going to be.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the small-town setting with most of the horror taking place in a home or around a school. It brings everything back home for the victims giving it a personal feeling.

Special EffectsThe effects are good showing real body injuries through film over going full CGI like most do.

Scene of the Movie –
Referencing the horror movies so smoothly.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact the school kids are celebrating after a death of a classmate.

Final ThoughtsThis is the stand out horror of the 90’s it brings the slasher into the modern world accepting the idea that horror films exist, one that must be watched.


Overall: Must Watch Horror.




The Wedding Singer (1999)

Director: Frank Coraci

Writer: Tim Herlihy (Screenplay)

Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor, Allen Covert, Matthew Glave, Ellen Albertini Dow


Plot: Robbie, a singer, and Julia, a waitress, are both engaged, but to the wrong people. Fortune intervenes to help them discover each other.

Tagline – Before the internet, Before cell phones, Before roller-blades, There was a time… 1985. Don’t pretend you don’t remember.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Rom Com


Story: The Wedding Singer starts when positive popular wedding singer Robbie Hart (Sandler) is left at the alter by his fiancée, Julia Sullivan (Barrymore) is working at a waitress at weddings who has been trying to get her fiancée to set a date.

When Robbie returns to his wedding singer, he isn’t the same, but Julia puts him back on the right path as he continues to help the outcasts get their moment. Robbie helps Julia with her wedding arrangements as her fiancée is too busy and she is new to town, as time goes by the two become friends.


Thoughts on The Wedding Singer


Characters – Robbie Hart is the best wedding singer in town, his life is in place with his wedding happening soon, his life crashes when he gets left at the alter, but a new friendship with Julia brings a new light to his life. Julia is the waitress working weddings, waiting for her fiancée to get a date set up, when it gets arranged not knowing many people, she befriends Robbie to help arrange the details. Holly is the sister of Julia that helped get her the job, the wilder of the two. Sammy is the best friend of Robbie, a limo driver that has been working with Robbie for years.

PerformancesAdam Sandler is an actor that has been getting slammed left, right and centre in the modern times, but many people remember in the 90’s he knew how to make quality rom coms where he can give us his style of comedy and make it funny without it being over the top, this is one of his best comedy performances. Drew Barrymore is great in this role too because she had the girl next door around her which comes through in her performance. The supporting characters are all good too, they give enough laughs without taking the scene away from the leads.

StoryThe story follows two people that believe they are in love and about to marry the person they love, only after they spend time together they learn they should be together, but both are the type of person not to take that chance. With an 80s setting we get to see how the love story between the two unfolds and just whether they will end up together or not.

Comedy/Romance/MusicThe comedy comes for small action in the film, most are funny, though we do get early signs of the weaker humour Sandler brings us now. The romance shows us just how you could meet anyone at the wrong time in life and they could be the person you were meant to be with. The music is filled with 80s classics that we all know the words too.

SettingsThe film give us the 80s setting throughout which does help with certain parts of the film not going down the modern usage of technology which would have helped along the way.

Scene of the Movie –
The singing side of the film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We get glimpses of the bad side of Sandler.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best of Sandler when it comes to comedy, it has the right laughs for the most part and does keep the idea of falling in love simple.


Overall: Sandler when he was at his best.




Halloween Kingathon – Cat’s Eye (1985)

Banner-1logoDirector: Lewis Teague

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King, Kenneth McMillan, Robert Hays, Candy Clark, James Naughton

Plot: A stray cat is the linking element of three tales of suspense and horror.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Suspenseful Trilogy of Terror

Story: Cat’s Eye starts with a cat running from a rabies infested dog Cujo going past a car called Christine before escaping and hearing a girl Amanda (Barrymore) crying for help, before getting caught and locked away.

Time to meet Dick Morrison (Woods) who is trying his hardest to quit smoking and he heads to the a clinic with different methods with Dr Vinny Donatti (King). The methods of quitting smoking involve Dick getting watched every minute of every day and if he should smoke one of his loved one will pay with ever increasing methods, he has four strikes or he is out.

With that story finished our cat ends up in Atlanta where it runs into gamblers Cressner (McMillan) who is dealing with his cheating wife’s new boyfriend Johnny Norris (Hays). Cressner gives Johnny a one time bet, walk around the ledge of his building and he can take his wife, money and freedom but otherwise he will end up dying trying or be framed for a crime.

The final tale of terror is about a family Sally Ann (Clark) husband Hugh (Naughton) and daughter Amanda (Barrymore) who the cat comes to but Amanda is being traumatised by a troll like creature while the cat just wants to protect her.

Cat’s Eye brings us three perfectly balanced tales of terror that keep you on edge from start to finish of all of them. Each chapter has a slight twist on what it used to focus on, with one being paranoia based, one all suspense and the final one almost a creature features. I like how each story takes advantage of its about 30 minute run time to get the most out of ideas and loved how the cat ends up walking into each story too. If you love a trilogy of horror films this will work for you. (7/10)

Actor Review

Drew Barrymore: Amanda is the young girl from the final chapter of the story who is having bad dreams but wants to adopt the cat after it comes to her family’s home. She is also the girl calling the cat on its adventures. Drew does a good job in this role even if the cat and troll seem to be the main characters. (7/10)

James Woods: Dick Morrison is a business man who has a smoking problem, he wants to give up and turns to Dr Donatti who promises he will quit smoking even if he has to go to extreme measures. When the paranoia of being watched takes over will he be able to quit, that is the question. James does a good job in this role showing he can play this style of role perfectly. (7/10)

Alan King: Dr Vinny Donatti is the doctor running the clinic whose extreme methods push Dick to the edge of paranoia but he knows he can get the results required. Alan does a good job in this role filling it with terror throughout. (7/10)

Kenneth McMillan: Cressner is the gambler who will gamble on absolutely anything, but this time he wants to teach his wife’s lover a lesson while he tortures him into going around his building. Kenneth makes for a good villainous character. (7/10)

Robert Hays: Johnny Norris is the victim of Cressner’s games who has to walk around the ledge of the building for his freedom. Robert has a good terror filled performance here. (7/10)

Support Cast: Cat’s Eye doesn’t really have too many supporting character but each one helps the main character in the story enough.

Director Review: Lewis Teague Lewis does a good job balancing the three stories and gives us different types of horror in each one. (7/10)

Horror: Cat’s Eye gives us three different styles of horror and each one ends up getting pulled to the limits. (8/10)

Thriller: Cat’s Eye will keep you on the edge of your seat through each different story. (8/10)

Settings: Cat’s Eye uses different settings for each story which works to help the horror happen. (8/10)
Special Effects: Cat’s Eye has good effects for the most part but has a couple that don’t always look as good now. (7/10)

Suggestion: Cat’s Eye is one for all the horror trilogy fans will enjoy because you can easily skip on if you don’t like to sound of it. (Horror Trilogy Fans Watch)

Best Part: Middle Story.

Worst Part: I would like to have seen more from the first story.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Creepshow

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $9 Million

Budget: $7 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline:  Through the eye of the cat, a twisted tail of macabre suspense from the author of CARRIE, The SHINING and THE DEAD ZONE.

Overall: Good series of horror films from a horror master.

Rating 70

Halloween Kingathon – Firestarter (1984)

Banner-2logoDirector: Mark L Lester

Writer: Stanley Mann (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: David Keith, Drew Barrymore, Freddie Jones, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen, George C Scott, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher, Moses Gunn

Plot: A couple who participated in a potent medical experiment gain telekinetic ability and then have a child who is pyrokinetic.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Nicely Paced Horror Thriller

Story: Firestarter starts Andy McGee (Keith) trying to take his daughter Charlie (Barrymore) away from a group of authority figures. We flash back to the experiment being performed on ten people, five get water the other five get a special treatment where Andy took place in and met Vicky (Locklear). We see how the two learn they have telekinetic powers the rest of the experiment went horribly wrong.

We jump back to the present and the father, daughter escape where we learn that Charlie has the ability to start a fire and control an attack on someone. We continue to flash between what happened to put Andy and Charlie on the run and Doctor Joseph Wanless (Jones) working with Captain Hollister (Sheen) who are trying to bring them in before Charlie becomes to dangerous, but to do so he has to turn to the unorthodoxy John Rainbird (Scott) to get through to Charlie.

Firestarter is a classic horror film that is perfectly paced to show how difficult it will be for our young girl as she deals with these new powers. We see how three different sides of the battle are trying to either help or hinder her. We get too see the usual military side of the story who wants to have a new weapon while we also get to see how a father will do anything for his child. While this does explore the normal ideas of dealing with powers this ends up being very engaging as you want to know where and how powerful Charlie could become. (8/10)

Actor Review

David Keith: Andrew McGee is the father of Charlie who has telekinetic powers, he is on the run with Charlie from the government, he will do anything to protect her from being part of any experiment, but his abilities to stop her getting out of control are growing weak. David does a good job as the concerned protective father. (7/10)

Drew Barrymore: Charlene McGee is the daughter of Andy and Vicky, born with the power to start fires, she is being taught how to control her powers but this is becoming ever increasingly difficult as the government close in on her. Drew showed she was a star in the making with this performance. (8/10)

Martin Sheen: Captain Hollister is the military man who is tracking Andy and Charlie down so he could use Charlie as a weapon against the advice of Wanless. Martin showed us that he was always going to make both a good villain and military figure. (7/10)

Support Cast: Firestarter has a supporting cast that includes Heather Locklear as the mother of Charlie, George C Scott as the man who gets things done.

Director Review: Mark L Lester Mark does a great job with this film pacing the story perfectly and giving us a slow build to learn how powerful Charlie really is. (8/10)

Horror: Firestarter shows how dangerous messing with powers you can’t control could be for people who don’t understand them. (8/10)

Thriller: Firestarter keeps you guessing to what will happen to the characters as the story unfolds. (8/10)

Settings: Firestarter brings us the traditional locations for people on the run mixed with the area where the government would conduct experiments. (8/10)
Special Effects: Firestarter uses practical effects to create the fire that Charlie causes. (9/10)

Suggestion: Firestarter is one for all the horror fans to watch and will be enjoyed by all. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Farm firestarter.

Worst Part: I feel we needed a little bit more from the backstory.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $15.1 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Charlie McGee is a happy, healthy eight-year-old little girl. Normal in every way but one. She has the power to set objects afire with just one glance. It’s a power she does not want. It’s a power she can’t control. And, each night, Charlie prays to be just like every other child. But there are those who will do everything in their power to find her… or destroy her.

Overall: A burning bright horror film.

Rating 80

Scream (1996)

Director: Wes Craven
Starring: Neve Campbell, Drew Barrymore, Skeet Ulrich, Courteney Cox, W. Earl Brown, Rose McGowen, David Arquette, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy, Liev Schreiber,

Starting with Casey (Drew Barrymore) home with her boyfriend Steve, Thinking their are alone Casey starts making popcorn when she gets a phone call. The voices on the other end starts asking film related questions being told if she is wrong she will die. She got the question wrong and Ghost Face starts trying to chase and kill her after already disposing of Steve.

The Next day we meet out heroine Sidney (Neve Campbell) a school friend of Casey and her group of friends. The friends are her sex deprived boyfriend Billy (Skeet Ulrich) best friend Tatum (Rose McGowen) and her boyfriend Stuart (Matthew Lillard) and horror fan Randy (Jamie Kennedy). The group learn about the murders the night before and as Sidney is home alone she arranges for Tatum to stay with her.

While waiting for Tatum Sidney gets her first visit from Ghost Face escaping once Billy sneaks in her window and drops a phone. Sidney thinks Billy is the killer and runs into the Ghost Face mask being held by Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) who is also Tatum brother.

Add into the mix a hungry report who already cashed in on the death of Sidney’s mother a year early. Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and her cameraman Kenny (W.Earl Brown) try to keep onto of all which is going on and defending the man found guilty of Sidney’s mother murder Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber). We are now left to figure out who the killer is?

This is Wes Cravens version of a tongue in cheek look at horror slasher movies. Never taking itself too serious but keeping tension high through out the story. With endless movie references from Friday the 13Th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and many other horror movies.

The story has twists keeping you guessing on who the killer is giving very few clues to who is actually is and question every characters motives. this is a must watch for any fans of the slasher genre giving a fresh take on what we have seen before.

My rating 83%