Original Scream star Matthew Lillard recently explained what he believes is the problem with the original 1996 film. The original Scream is considered to be a horror classic for many, especially in the slasher genre. It was directed by Wes Craven, a horror legend who directed the following three sequels. He also created the A Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise in the 1980s.
Scream became iconic not only for being an incredibly entertaining thriller but also for the way it references other horror films. The film stars Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, a high school teenager who is being chased by a killer named Ghostface, who himself has an obsession with scary movies. Scream is littered with references to other slasher films while also mocking the many clichés seen in the genre.
Co-starring with Campbell in the film is Lillard, Skeet Ulrich, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, and Drew Barrymore. While Barrymore is included in the marketing for the film, she is only in the opening scene, arguably the most memorable scene in the movie.
The film opens with Barrymore home alone, preparing for a movie night. However, a mysterious phone call begins messing with her and it turns out to be the Ghostface killer. She and her boyfriend (Kevin Patrick Walls) are then killed by Ghostface and the mystery of the film begins. Audiences were shocked by this opening as Barrymore was a massive star at the time and nobody was expecting her to be killed off almost immediately.
Lillard says the opening is actually damaging to Scream
However, Lillard believes that this opening is actually problematic. In an interview with Vulture, Lillard says that the opening is “incredible,” but it makes the rest of Scream pale in comparison until the climax.
“It is not a perfect film! … I think the opening sequence is incredible. It sets the tone for everything else, and the middle of the movie sort of gets bogged down. Then the end sequence, the last 20 minutes, is incredible. You earn so much street cred in those first 20 minutes that the rest of the movie, it sort of tanks! And then it comes screaming up to finish strong.”
The finale itself is iconic as well. It contains a unique twist where it turns out that Ghostface was actually two killers. Ulrich’s Billy Loomis, who is initially Prescott’s boyfriend, wanted to get revenge against her after her mother had an affair with his father, causing a rift in their family. Lillard is just the eccentric best friend who decided to go along with it. The villains do get their just deserts but Ghostface continued to plague the town of Woodsboro.
The Scream franchise has remained alive for almost 30 years. The fifth entry, Scream, is in theaters now with the same Ghostface but a new mystery.
Could Stu have really survived his injuries at the end of wes Craven’s Scream? Actor Matthew Lillard certainly thinks it’s a possibility.
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