Scream (Trilogy Box Set)

By now, most everyone has already seen the entire Scream trilogy. For those that have been on extended vacation in the Arctic, the three-movie story line is simple.

By now, most everyone has already seen the entire Scream trilogy. For those that have been on extended vacation in the Arctic, the three-movie story line is simple. Syd (Neve Cambell) is a typical teenage girl. She has a boyfriend, attends high school and confides in her best friend. Her mother was murdered a year ago as the first film begins. Soon, brutal murders start occurring around Syd. After the murders are discovered and a hit book and film are made from the experience, murder and mayhem follow Syd through her early adult years. The Scream (Trilogy Box Set) is almost flawless in continuity. The surviving characters grow from their experiences, new characters are added and pieces of the puzzle reveled only in the end of the last film are put together. The Scream (Trilogy Box Set) work not only as a now classic part of the horror genre but also as an amazing satire of the genre itself. All too many horror films take themselves far too seriously, none of the Scream films are guilty of this trespass.

Neve Campbell plays the typical horror flick victim rather well. Her acting ability does grow between the films and it shows in her successive performances. She seems to try to portray a girl with inner strength although often it comes across as a bit forced. Still, whether she likes it or not these roles will define the main focus of her resume for a long time to come. Courtney Cox plays the intrepid TV reporter Gail Weathers. Always pushy and obnoxious but capable of some real emotion. Cox-Arquette, as she is known in the last film after her marriage to co-star David Arquette, provides a perfect foil to the character of Syd. In each film the writers have provided a nice little catfight to add a touch of ‘drama’ to the series. David Arquette plays Deputy Dewy to the hilt. His ‘Barney Fife’ law enforcement abilities even are written into the jokes in the last two films. The producers of the Scream (Trilogy Box Set) were set on having many up coming and established young guest stars in all three films. Drew Barrymore plays the first victim in the initial film., TV’s Buffy, Sara Michelle Geller and Jada Pickett are killed off in the second and so on. While certain to add draw to the teenaged target audience the appearances of these young stars to add a certain level to the often ignored small roles in this type of film.

The director, Wes Craven, is one of the giants in the genre of horror. Responsible for one of the most successful franchises ever, Nightmare on Elm Street, he knows what scares you. He also has an incredible sense of humor that extends quite well to himself. Craven uses the Scream trilogy to take a poke not only at the horror genre but gets in a number of jabs at himself. In the first Scream there is a janitor in the high school wearing the same red and green stripped sweater used in the Nightmare series. In the final Scream there is a cameo from the master of the B movie and mentor to he most powerful people in Hollywood, Roger Corman. Corman has a line about his disdain for violence in films. This is an insider laugh when you realize that Corman routinely used violence to pad his own films. Craven is also an excellent director by most standards. He frames each shot to highlight the various clues the propel the story line forward. He controls the details well to promote a realistic mood necessary to draw the viewer into the terror of the film.

The Scream (Trilogy Box Set) is unfortunately a bit uneven. The first movie is non-anamorphic and the quality of the transfer was not quite up to current DVD standards. The audio mix of the first film also leaves the rear channels a bit quiet. The next two films are anamorphic and much clearer. By the last film the rear speakers get more of a workout. The extras are nothing special. Only the first film contains a commentary, which is more interesting than many out there. The extras disc is the forth DVD and is in the format of DVD ROM. Unfortunately, it uses PC-Friendly, which is a complete misnomer. When I tried to install this on a Windows ’98 system the installation would not continue stating that files were missing or not able to be found. I have yet to see a PC-Friendly DVD ROM that worked properly. If you are going to try this feature make sure you have a full binary backup of your system or a good un-installer around to correct the mistakes this software will cause. All in all, Scream (Trilogy Box Set) is a good buy and will provide fun and entertainment.

Review by Doug MacLean of

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