Posts Tagged ‘Slasher’

A new feature in which I will watch a double feature every Friday.  The two features will be connected in some way- by director, actor, theme, setting, etc.  I will post something on the double feature I watch- movie connections and similarities, thoughts on each…sometimes it’ll be short, sometimes long, depending on motivation/time/level of sleep deprivation, etc

I’m kicking off this new feature with a double dose of 90’s horror.  Our features tonight will be Scream and The Craft, both starring Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich, and both from 1996.

The Craft (1996)

Directed by Andrew Fleming (Bad Dreams, Dick)

“Relax….It’s only magic….”

In The Craft, Sarah (Robin Tunney), has just moved, and is starting at a new high school.  She catches the attention of some wannabe witches, Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell), and Rochelle (Rachel True).  Each has an issue in school- Nancy is white trash, Bonnie has burns covering a large percentage of her body, and Rochelle is discriminated against by Laura Lizzie (Christine Taylor).  After her love interest Chris (Skeet Ulrich) spreads cruel rumors about  Sarah sleeping with him, she joins the witches coven.  These four invoke the power of Manon, and each ask for something- Rochelle asks to not hate those who hate her, Bonnie asks to be beautiful outside as well as within, Sarah asks to love herself more and to be loved more by others, and Nancy asks for all the powers of Manon.  Well of course this works, and things start happening to our now actual witches.  Not everything about the wishes ends up being so great though, and Sarah decides that she needs to stop her friends, especially Nancy.  What happens next?  Well, I don’t want to spoil it for you if you’ve never seen it.

Scream (1996)

Directed by Wes Craven (The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street)

“Someone’s taken their love of scary movies one step too far!”

Scream was released later the same year, and also stars Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich, thus our double feature.  With this self-aware slasher, Wes Craven is credited with reigniting the slasher/horror genres.  In short, this movie is about a serial killer who begins targeting (mostly) teenagers in the quiet town of Woodsboro, a year after the death of Maureen Prescott, Sidney Prescott’s (Neve Campbell) mother.  A strange man is calling up his victims, and terrorizing them on the telephone.  Sidney is one of the first would-be victims, but is able to stop her attacker.  She then accuses her boyfriend Billy (Skeet Ulrich) after he appears at her window during this attack.  He is released the next day after the phone records to Sidney’s house exonerate him.  After a few murders, a curfew is imposed, and Stu (Matthew Lillard) throws a party at his parent’s house.  More murders ensue.  This whodonit/slasher/comedy is a horror movie that points out the rules of the slasher, and gives shout outs to many horror films that came before it.

Thoughts on the double feature

Some SPOILERS follow

–        Although these two movies are different sub-genres of the horror film, there are some similarities.  Obviously I chose these two because they both star Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich, and they were also both released in 1996

–        Skeet Ulrich appears in all his greasy hair glory, although he is much less greasy in The Craft, I suppose it is because his hair is shorter, and in each he has issues getting girls to sleep with him, and he’s kind of a jerk about it when they don’t

–        Skeet Ulrich appears outside out main characters window late at night in both.  In The Craft he just sits outside the window on a ledge, and says that he can’t stop thinking about Sarah, and in Scream, he enters Sidney’s room, and says that he was watching TV (The Exorcist) and got to thinking about his and Sidney’s relationship

–        Both take place with characters in high school, and both include a scene where our main protagonist hides in a bathroom

–        In each, the protagonist has lost her mother- In The Craft, Sarah lost her mother when she dies giving birth to her, and in Scream, Sidney’s mother was murdered

–        In each, Neve Campbell’s character has gone through some sort of traumatic experience- In The Craft she suffered severe burns, and in Scream her mother has been murdered

–        In each, there is a huge house party thrown that our characters attend

–        In each, the main villain tries to pin a murder-suicide on our protagonist.  In The Craft, Nancy tries to make it look like Sarah has killed herself, and was the one who killed Chris.  In Scream, Billy and Stu want to make it seem that Sidney’s father was the murderer, and at the end of his murder spree kills himself and Sidney in a murder-suicide (obviously neither of these plans work out)

–        In each movie poor Skeet Ulrich dies

Other random thoughts

–        In The Craft, when Sarah is braiding Laura Lizzie’s hair into Rochelle’s hair for a spell, she makes a comment about Laura having split ends, and apparently this means that she does not have natural blond hair, but instead bleaches it….ummm, what?  I wasn’t aware that having split ends means you dye your hair- I have natural blond hair AND I have split ends, but yet I have never dyed my hair…..what am I doing wrong!!!????

–        Another movie connection- This is the second movie in a row in which Robin Tunney has tried to commit suicide, although in The Craft she says that she used a kitchen knife, unlike Empire Records where she uses a pink Bic plastic razor with daisies on it….Also, according to IMDb she had to wear a wig for this movie, due to the fact that she shaved her head for Empire Records