Old Lady Movie Night Old Lady Movie Night: "Scream" Anne T. Donahue

WELL we’re into the big leagues now, friends. This is not a drill. But before you’re all, “ANNE! Scream is terrifying! Why on EARTH are we watching Scream?” let me shed some light on this situation:

1) I don’t own ANY Halloween movies. Not Monsters Inc., not Nightmare Before Christmas, not Casper, NOTHING. And I’m too cheap to actually BUY anything, so it’s all Netflix, all the time. I’m sorry, and I love you.

2) I don’t know you guys, it’s Scream! EVERYONE LOVES SCREAM. It’s a classic. Didn’t you see Dawson’s Creek? Wasn’t it in Dawson’s Creek at some point? Am I making things up? Probably. But if Dawson Leery were real, he would TOTALLY love Scream.

3) But that being said, I’ve never seen Scream. I’ve seen the third one (in grade 11) and the fourth (in theatres), but the first?  Nope. I wasn’t allowed to see it when it came out, and by the time I could watch what I wanted, there were about 259258158525 different movies available and I wasn’t about to rent Scream alone at my house. Instead, I will write about Scream alone in my house. But it’s daytime, and I’ve got tea, so worst case scenario, you will all help me through an emotional collapse.

Kidding! (About the emotional collapse.) This will be fun. Let’s watch Scream! It’s daytime. Thank goodness it’s daytime.

1) Oh my goodness, 1996?!

This was made in 1996?! That’s what Netflix says, but I SWEAR it was in grade eight everyone was making the “do you like scary movies?” jokes. For the record, I DO like scary movies. But only when I know they’re not real and only when they’re not about ghosts. OHH THE MOVIE IS STARTING, SHHH.

2) Why is Drew Barrymore staying on the phone with this weirdo?

I can tell you right now something I would not be entertaining: this situation. This guy keeps calling and she’s NOT cursing and hanging up the phone and calling the police?! I don’t understand. OH SHE IS GETTING READY TO WATCH A “VIDEO.” (#LOL) But seriously, how is this a thing that’s happening? Imagine you got prank called by some strange dude who kept trying to talk to you about scary movies? And then you asked him if he was going to ask you out? NOPE. Any of you reading this, if you did this, I would come right over there and give you a lecture on how to handle terrifying situations. Here, I’ll give it to you now:

Step 1: Call the police

Step 2: Repeat step 1

3) JUST LEAVE

This is another fun activity I recommend: JUST LEAVE THE HOUSE. Why aren’t you leaving the house?! LEAVE. THE. HOUSE. Also, it’s the mid-90s. Where is this guy calling from? Does he have a cell phone? Isn’t it 1996? IS HE CALLING FROM A CAR PHONE? (“The phone call is coming from inside the car!”)

Sidenote: how strong is this guy?! And how fast?! He managed to kill her boyfriend without her seeing him despite her being RIGHT THERE? Is the killer a wizard? Seriously, I haven’t seen it: is he? Or are there two?

4) But seriously Drew Barrymore rules

I remember this being a big “comeback” for Drew Barrymore, according to what I heard the cooler kids talking about in line at school, and well, DUH, she rules. I wouldn’t recommend she rock that haircut again, but you know what? I had one very similar around that time, so I think we were all making choices that don’t accurately reflect who we are. Drew, if you’re reading this, you go, girl. (But I think everyone made a huge mistake by — SPOILER ALERT — killing her off in the first ten minutes.) She and Neve Campbell PROBABLY should have just played best friends.

5) What is WITH the ’90s and people crawling in and out of windows?

See, I SWEAR this was made in 1998. But fine, whatever. Though this brings me to my next point: WHY DOES NO ONE IN THE ’90S HAVE SCREENS? First Dawson’s Creek, then another example that I can’t recall, and now Scream where Sidney’s boyfriend just crawls through her window with no rhyme or reason. What about the bugs? WHAT ABOUT MOSQUITOS? Now THAT’S a horror film.

6) Ugh, her boyfriend’s such a jag

Ew. He’s trying to get in her pants by saying he won’t “break the underwear rule,” and is trying to pressure her to go further than she’s comfortable with? And he’s only “half serious” about respecting her choice not to have sex? He wants an MC-AA rating? I hate this guy! What’s his problem? AND NOW HE’S BLAMING HER? “See what you do to me?” he says. OH BOY. Well. Nope. We’re all supposed to hate him, right? Because now he just called her a tease. I know I don’t have to tell you guys this, but if a dude ever says anything like that to you, you dump him immediately and just show him this sentence: YOU ARE THE WORST. (I’ve got your back, you guys!)

7) How is no one sad about Drew Barrymore?

Why is nobody sad? Sidney says she sat next to her in English, but no one is crying? I feel like two grisly murders would warrant tears from at least one other person who isn’t related to either victim? And these guys! What the eff! Going on about the murder like one isn’t DREW BARRYMORE’S (not her character’s name) EX BOYFRIEND? Where is David Arquette. BRING ON DAVID ARQUETTE.

They don’t even care.

8) Oh boy this is dark

Basically Sidney has had the worst life and it only gets worse thanks to being chased down four times by some psychopath! THIS POOR GIRL. Am I old because I’m thinking about how this would effect her as an adult? I feel like an overprotective parent. I’m all, “BUT HOW WILL THIS EFFECT HER MENTALLY? HOW WAS SHE ABLE TO MOVE ON?” At least Scream 4 exists and we know she’s fine. Also that she’s a fictional character and maybe I should relax.

9) “Original, isn’t it”

THE ’90s!! #The90s So the killer is a-calling, and Sidney is all, “How are you calling me from the front porch?” And the killer’s like, “Original, isn’t it?” And it’s like, MAYBE IN 1996 IT WAS (or 1998 who can be sure), OLD MAN (not you, Wes Craven, I think you’re great). But I do love that this is a novelty. Because I bet when this movie came out reviewers were like, “VERY cellphone-heavy film with a huge focus on technology.” (I say, as Sidney’s boyfriend’s enormous Zack Morris phone falls to the ground.) Also, remember when Sidney calls 911 FROM HER COMPUTER? Is that a thing? Was that a dial-up thing? I don’t know how to do that, and it’s 2012. Should I know how to do that? Is this DOS-looking program a thing I should have today? Also, was she seriously going to type “Help someone is in my house?” I hope so. Because they didn’t have short forms back then, in 1996. So the operator was NOT just going to write back “K.”

10) UGHHHH HER BOYFRIEND’S THE WORST

So he climbs into her room, Dawson’s Creek style AGAIN (get screens dot com), and instead of being, “Oh my GOD, Sidney, really? The serial killer is here? Let’s leave! And call the police!” he HUGS her and says, “Shhh… it’s okay.” AHHHHHHHHHHHH. Not that I condone violence, but I would ABSOLUTELY have to punch him in the chest by this point.

Can I be real? I think he’s the killer. OR … the guy who works at the video store. ONE OR THE OTHER.

11) I think I would move

I really would. If I lived in this town, I would just move away until it was all solved. Is that the coward’s way out? Probably. But I would. I would pack a bag, and I would stay in a hotel somewhere else until this whole nightmare was finished. I don’t care how much money I’d have to spend, I would NOT hang out in this terrible place. And then the guy keeps calling?! No. Noooope. He would NOT follow me to Giant City, USA and/or Canada, where I would go.

12) “What are you DOING with a cellular telephone, sir?”

#THE90S!!!!

Also, they have to call Verizon to get the history of the cellphone and get all the numbers dialed. Imagine? Imagine they had to do that now? “GET THOSE PHONE RECORDS” he just said. I imagine them being printed out on that kind of paper that was attached and had those sides you had to take off. Is anyone else on the same page as me? My Dad always brought me paper like that from work (it had already been used RELAX I wasn’t stealing). And it was pretty, pretty, pretty great.

13) Ohhh Sidney’s mom’s killer is TOTALLY played by Liev Schrieber!

Listen. I have a right to be stoked about certain things. This is one of those things. WHAT UP, LIEV (for three seconds).

14) WOW BUT THIS BOYFRIEND SERIOUSLY ARE YOU KIDDING ME

WOW. Okay, Sidney’s boyfriend, RELAX. “It’s been a year!” he says, of Sidney’s mother’s murder. “It’s about time you got over that!” he says. OH OKAY THANKS PAL; DIDN’T KNOW. What a terrible human being. And he’s STILL on about the sex thing! Are we supposed to pine for him? Is that the feeling people had in 1996? Like, “Oh the POOR GUY! He wants to have sex, but Sidney is TOO SAD.” Also, Sidney, you are better than him. He may be one of the “popular” guys in school, but he will grow up to work in the bowling alley above another bowling alley. And that would be fine, but he really wanted any other job aside from that. (And I know this because I wished it upon him. I WISH AN UNWANTED JOB ON SIDNEY’S BOYFRIEND.)

Even Sidney’s like, “I mean, COME ON, WES. His character’s the worst!”

15) And then Sidney hears these girls talking about her in the bathroom and they are also the worst?

What school does she go to? What city? WHO ARE THESE STUDENTS. Case in point: these girls, talking about Sidney and how her mom was a quote unquote “tramp” (WHO SAYS THAT ABOUT SOMEONE WHO WAS MURDERED), and how Sidney made up being attacked because she’s “psycho” and/or sad about her mom’s death. WOW. Honestly, you guys, I’ll admit it: high school was bad. But I don’t think anyone would have ever reacted that way about anything if people were literally being chased by murderers.

16) And speaking of murderers, how much time did this killer have to camp out in the women’s bathroom until Sidney came in?

SERIOUSLY. Was that his plan for the day? “Just going to wait in the bathroom and hope Sidney comes in.” What if she didn’t even USE the bathroom that day. What a colossal waste of time for him. Didn’t anybody wonder where he was? Here, I can tell you how to find the killer right now: match up anyone who was gone for an extended period of time and doesn’t have an alibi. You know where he was? The women’s bathroom. And now we have the killer. #BOOM #DROPSMIC #YOLO

17) And then these kids dress up like the killer?

What’s up with THAT? I mean, straight up: in what world would anyone dress up like the person who killed people they went to school with? WHAT IS UP WITH THIS SCHOOL AND THE PEOPLE INSIDE IT? And now everyone wants to go to a party…? Why isn’t everyone doing anything but leaving town? WHY IS NO ONE EMOTIONALLY TRAUMATIZED OR UPSET. Is this a robot town?

It might be a robot town.

18) This guy obsessed with movies remind me of people who use the word “film”

So this guy who works at the video store just had a colossal freakout at the video store, and he’s going on about how everyone is a suspect because THAT’S HOW MOVIES WORK. My GOD, man. I’m surprised he didn’t say “film” or something about “cinema.” Because the thing about people who say “film” and “cinema” is that they are not the kind of people I hang out with. Even my friends who have their MASTERS in film don’t say “films.” Even THEY say “movies.” So if they can say “movies” so can all of us. Or if you’re going to say “film” pronounce it “fil-im” so we all know it’s a fun joke and we’re all having fun.

Sidenote: Dewey and the police chief are enjoying ice cream. I would now like some ice cream.

Sidenote 2: Sidney and her friend are shopping at the variety store, and you can see the reflection of the killer in the background. You know why this is weird? Because either he is parading around town in his outfit ALL THE TIME, or he is CHANGING INTO HIS COSTUME in public places. One way or another, he has approximately zero amounts of shame.

Sidenote: This one bros is seriously TOO INTO MOVIES. Even if he doesn’t turn out to be the killer, he should probably go someplace else. Like to a different film. (“fil-im.”)

19) But seriously this movie is terrifying

And I am watching it in my house, with the lights on, as a grown-ass woman. IMAGINE SEEING THIS IN THE THEATRE? This movie was pretty state-of-the-art circa 1996, so this probably scared the living daylights out of EVERY HUMAN x about 25925285. Like, HELLO THE GARAGE DOOR SCENE! GROSS. (And how is nobody aware of the garage situation even a little bit?! Were people not going outside? I feel like everyone hung out in garages when I was a teenager.) But still. Scream, you guys. One HELL of a horror movie.

20) OH SNAP I THINK I KNOW WHO THE KILLER IS

It’s Skeet Ulrich, right?! AKA the boyfriend of the girl who Freddie Prinze Jr. dates in She’s All That! (WHO STARRED IN THE FICTIONAL REAL WORLD.) Do you guys feel like we’re watching this together now that I’m asking out loud who the killer is? And asking a million other questions? Is this a fun activity, me writing this while watching a movie for the first time? AHH COURTENEY COX JUST SAID “I NEED THE CELLULAR.” You really have no idea how much I wish she said “car phone.” But OH MY GOD she’s holding a Zack Morris telephone. A real one. Like, I exaggerated about Billy’s cell phone, but this one is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TRUTH.

21) Okay but REALLY seriously where do these people live?

EVERY SINGLE HOUSE IS IN THE COUNTRY. Yet I SAW suburbs. Just acres of land in this town! Just acres and acres of land! All of the land! AND OH MAN WAIT THEY JUST REVEALED THE KILLER…

22) SSSS!! MORE THAN ONE

WOAH. Okay, now WHO SAW SCREAM 4? BECAUSE SAME. Also, I would like to say I called it … ish! I CALLED IT SORT OF. Remember? When I said it was the boyfriend? And when I just said it was Skeet Ulrich? But seriously, Wes Craven if you’re reading this, these guys are WHACK. Like, this movie is d-a-r-k. And actually a lot better than I thought it would be (considering it came out in 1996)? And whats-his-name who looks like Johnny Depp is right! It IS scarier when there is no motive. Although I will argue that the main motive in this situation is that they are criminally insane. Also, why does everyone keep talking about Sharon Stone?

23) Oh wait there is a motive

Oh geez. And WHAT a motive. But … no, Billy, you freak. You too, Skeet Ulrich. Just the worst humans! And how old are they supposed to be? Like, 16? GOOD LORD. When you stand back and think about this, a) they absolutely don’t look a day over 24 and b) Dewey’s supposed to be 25?! I mean, “YIKES why are they playing teenagers.” That’s what I meant for the second point. (But I still do want to know whether anyone else thinks David Arquette looks perpetually the same age. Which is 32.)

Imagine he was just playing a grown-up version of Dewey from Malcolm In The Middle?

24) Why they’d leave Sidney alone in the kitchen, I’m not sure

Right?! Rookie move, terrible humans. Though quick thinking, Sidney! I loved how she was communicating with her father using her eyes. Wouldn’t it have been amazing if her dad was actually Liam Neeson? (“I have a very particular set of skills.”) #BOOM #ANOTHERMICDROP #YOLOAGAIN

25) Now imagine the parents of the house where all this went down at 

Remember how the reason this house party was happening was because so-and-so’s parents are out of town? (Skeet Ulrich’s parents, maybe?) IMAGINE COMING HOME TO THAT? Like, “We SAID no parties in the hous–OH MY GOD.” Just like, they’d been gone for a peaceful weekend and trusted their kid to keep things under control and they come home and not only are ALL OF THEIR ROOMS DESTROYED, but there is literally — as Courteney Cox said — a “blood bath.” Woah boy.

And this is how I know I’m getting old. I watch movies like this and I love them, but then I think “But seriously, imagine coming home to that? On top of being incredibly grief-stricken and horrified, I’d probably also be really, really mad.”

That being said, I REALLY LIKED SCREAM, YOU GUYS. It’s actually still awesome despite it being almost 20 years old! Absolutely a classic. PERFECT for Halloween. So Happy Halloween, my friends, and may you buy all the discounted chocolate your heart desires. AND THEN SOME.

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  1. About the creeping in the windows: Kevin Williamson, who created Dawson’s Creek, also wrote Scream. So dude has some serious window fantasy issues.

  2. Truly awesome to hear the thoughts of a person who is watching this movie “film” (winky face) for the first time. Scream is the balls. Also, Drew Barrymore was supposed to have Neve Campbell’s part but she thought it would be more fun and shocking if she were to die in the first 10 minutes. Also, will you be my best friend?

  3. Great post, very funny. I totally thought a lot of the same things when I saw the movie (whenever it was that it came out). Just a note, though. Skeet Ulrich played Billy (is he the Johnny Depp look alike you were referring to?). Matthew Lillard played the other guy, the one who was in the Real World in She’s All That :)

    • You got it! This is what happens when I only check IMDB once. BUT I TRIED. (You guys rule.)

      Anne T. Donahue | 10/25/2012 12:10 pm
  4. I <3 the Scream franchise… the only scary movies I own. Mostly because David Arquette is so awesomely awkward as Deputy Dewey and the tension between him and Courtney Cox in Scre4m is so thick you could cut it with a knife.

    love love love, thanks for posting

  5. I saw this in college and it scared the bejesus out of me. Also, for #20, I think you meant Matthew Lilliard. Skeet Ulrich is Sidney’s boyfriend. Matthew Lilliard is the actor you’re describing (the guy in She’s All That).

    • Thank you for pointing out the difference between Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard. I’m thankful I didn’t have to be the one to do that.

    • AH. YES! My friend actually read this and was like “HOW COULD YOU CONFUSE THEM?!” and I was all, “…I don’t know.”

      But seriously, yes, you’re right!

      Anne T. Donahue | 10/25/2012 12:10 pm
  6. Oh this made my day! This is my absolute favorite movie, and it was really fun to read along as someone watched it for the very first time :)
    Sidenote: Drew’s hair was a wig. Her real hair was jet black at the time & they wanted a more innocent look for her character.

  7. I saw this movie for the first time earlier this year. My boyfriend was utterly surprised that I had never seen anything from the franchise, and was certain that I would be taken aback by the originality of the thing.
    Problem is… I figured it out in the first fifteen mins. He was a little upset with me. Don’t know how I avoided seeing this movie for over ten years, but I did, and honestly I think I was better for having not seen it.

  8. The other 90s show with no screens and people climbing through windows was Clarissa Explains it All… I think….

    And this was such a funny read for what I thought of as such a scary movie when I was in middle school (or high school pending when it really came out)

  9. Oh my gosh I haven’t heard a guy being referred to as a ‘jag’ in a long time! Totally takes me back! This was the first horror movie I saw on Pay-Per-View when I was 13.

  10. omg i love this movie, and i love that you wrote about it. im also hoping you loved the sequels like i did. neve campbell ends up with the doctor from greys anatomy(who is yuck now but who was the best in scream 3)!

  11. These posts are my absolute favourite. But how have you never seen Sceram before?? And I tell myself that I don’t have a screen on my bedroom window incase Pacey Witter wants in (stay out Dawson!)… and not because I can’t put the screen back on after I took out my air conditioner.

    • Thank you so much! And truthfully, you have no idea how much I hated my screens growing up. Because otherwise, how WOULD Pacey get in?!

      Anne T. Donahue | 10/25/2012 12:10 pm
  12. I am so happy you share my love for Drew Barrymore. By the way, I only watched this movie until she dies because it made me so so sad and so terrified!! I CALLED MY MUM from my friend’s house. The end.

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