10 classic films referenced in Scream
at Wes Craven Scream works wonderfully as a slasher movie that incorporates elements of a thriller, but it also goes further with a self-aware subversive edge. Its villains are inspired by iconic horror villains and its protagonists are fully aware of the genre of movie they find themselves in, making Scream the ultimate satire of horror movies.
In order to satirically criticize the genre that made it such a household name, Craven has included references to countless horror classics (and a few classics from other genres) throughout. Scream.
ten When a Stranger Calls (1979)
Fred Walton’s mysterious and tense thriller When a stranger calls is best known for its terrifying 20-minute opening, in which a babysitter is harassed by a mysterious caller whom police identify as being inside the house.
The whole opening scene of Scream, with Drew Barrymore as a home alone teenager answering the phone to a playful killer, is a clear tribute to When a stranger calls – minus the murdered children.
9 Halloween (1978)
There had been slashers before that, but the movie that featured the model of the subgenre that Scream and inspired a generation of low budget horror filmmakers to attempt their own 1978 John Carpenter masterpiece Halloween. In Scream, Jamie Kennedy watches Carpenter’s movie at the house party.
There’s a delightfully meta moment where the Ghostface killer walks up to him from behind as he watches Michael Myers approach from behind an equally unconscious Jamie Lee Curtis and he yells, “Turn around, Jamie.” ! Jamie, look behind you!
8 Psychosis (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece of 1960 thriller psychopath is initially conceived as a film noir about Marion Crane embezzling money from her boss, but it becomes a slash-’em-up horror flick halfway through when Marion is slaughtered in the shower by Norman Bates. psychopath is widely regarded as the very first slasher, so it is fitting that Scream includes a nod to the Hitchcockian gem.
Billy Loomis quotes the movie, “We all get a little bit crazy sometimes”, before attributing the line: “Anthony Perkins, psychopath. As a bonus, the name ‘Loomis’ refers to the psychopath character Sam Loomis (who was also the namesake of Dr. Loomis in Halloween).
7 Without Idea (1995)
Wes Craven didn’t just include references to horror movies in Scream. He also included a nod to Distraught, Amy Heckerling’s teen comedy reimagining Jane Austen Emma which had just been released in theaters and captured the spirit of the times a year earlier.
Stuart says the line “As if!” to Randy. That’s the iconic slogan of Cher Horowitz, the popular and self-centered high school student played by Alicia Silverstone in Distraught.
6 Friday the 13th (1980)
A die Halloween the imitators who set the ’80s slasher trend were Friday 13, in which a group of teenagers go to hang out in an abandoned summer camp and are shot down one by one by an invisible murderer.
When the Ghostface killer calls out unsuspecting Casey in the opening scene of Scream, he asks her a bunch of trivial questions about classic horror movies. He surprises her when he asks the name of the killer Friday 13 and she says, “Jason.” Jason is the killer in all Friday 13 sequels, but it’s actually his vengeful mother Pamela in the first. This crucial mistake cost Casey his life.
5 Serpico (1973)
Sidney lumet Serpico is a realistic crime thriller about an undercover cop tackling corruption in the NYPD. Al Pacino gives one of the finest performances of his career in the eccentric title role.
The phrase “I’ve always had a thing for you, Sid” is uttered by Al Pacino at the end of Serpico and by Matthew Lillard at the end of Scream. The line in Serpico refers to Police Chief Sidney Green, played by John Randolph, but he aligned well with the protagonist of Scream was called Sidney Prescott.
4 The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
that of Jonathan Demme Thesilenceofthelambs is, to date, the only horror film to win the Best Picture at the Oscars. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster’s powerful acting helped raise the film above its gruesome genre traps.
In Scream, Billy tells Sidney that his personal issues – especially grief over losing his mother – are similar to Foster’s character, Clarice Starling in Thesilenceofthelambs. Foster won the Best Actress award for her poignant turn as an FBI recruit in a male-dominated workplace reeling from various childhood traumas.
3 Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Released after the untimely death of its star James Dean, in 1955 Rebel without cause is Nicholas Ray’s seminal coming-of-age drama about suburban life and the generation gap.
The line “There is no one here except us chickens!” “From Scream is taken from Rebel without cause. Both films are about rebellious teenagers, but the bloody rebellion in Scream is very different from that of the James Dean hit.
2 Carrie (1976)
Brian De Palma’s adaptation of Stephen King’s debut novel Carrie is one of the most acclaimed horror films ever made. The film is notable for its prom sequence, in which popular kids team up to throw a bucket of pig’s blood on Carrie’s head.
When ScreamThe latest twist reveals that Billy and Stu have always been two Ghostface killers, Billy tells Sidney he used corn syrup as blood to fake his death and mentions it’s the same prop De Palma used for the fake blood in Carrie.
1 A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Most of the movie references in Scream are nods to films by other directors, but Wes Craven has included a particularly meta return to his own slasher classic, Freddy.
The high school janitor is called Fred and wears the same red and green striped sweater as Freddy Krueger from Nightmare movies. Fred is even played by Craven himself.
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