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  • June 23, 2023
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How Scream Perfected The Art Of The Cold Open

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Cult Critic How Scream Perfected The Art Of The Cold Open

How Scream Perfected the Art of the Cold Open

Written By Gaurav Dutta

The first Scream movie, released in 1996, is a legitimate horror classic that deftly mocks the genre as a whole while simultaneously fitting in. Scream, like the young characters it depicted, was a hot, new thing, completely unaware of the impact it would have 25 years later. This month marks the release of Scream's fifth incarnation. We look back at the bloody beginnings of the franchise in this section.

The very first scene of Scream begins with Drew Barrymore's young Casey Becker alone in the house at night. A feeling of unease follows the ringing of the phone. a phone call to the landline. erroneous number It occurs. The blonde girl is prepping to watch a scary movie while she cooks popcorn on the stove in a nondescript beige sweater We've seen this before, but the scene goes on subtly, as if the movie is aware of how common its own beginning is. Are you a fan of scary movies? The speaker asks. The calls continue, becoming increasingly aggressive and threatening the girl directly. As the woman locks all the doors and moves around the house, the popcorn packet heats up as it expands in the next room. We can't help but watch gleefully as the young woman secures the home and solves the riddles of this unknown voice on the line, forced to play his horror movie trivia game.

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Horror audiences can be sadistic voyeurists who enjoy the kill as much as a movie villain. We both dread the next phone ring and eagerly anticipate its answer. This is how fear and anticipation are combined in a horror film. The female character flawlessly maps out the space of her widescreen home for us in a "bottle episode," hinting at every corner where any kind of creep could jump out of the grisly unknown is hinted at by the camera's lingering focus on knives, shadows, patios, and windows.

Enjoying The Genre

The two intro characters verbally spar and lash out like two cracking whips thanks to Kevin Williamson's script's strong dialogue. The voice mocks Casey Becker's cliched attempts to protect herself, citing her film knowledge of horror; The caller responds, "You should never say 'who's there,'" when she checks the door to see who is there. Don't you like to watch scary movies? You might as well visit this location to look into a strange sound or something!"

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The girl is mocked by an unknown agitator as if she were a Scooby-Doo character or, more appropriately, any dumb teenager from any of the then-defunct horror franchises that came before Scream. The fact that Wes Craven, who previously directed Nightmare on Elm Street, is in charge makes it even more funny, sharp, and meta. In this opening, the viewer can identify with both the antagonist and the protagonist; wishing for her survival but also making fun of her for choosing to enter the spooky basement of horror tropes. The biggest name in the movie is then killed off, which is an unexpected development.

The cold opening of Scream would be copied by its sequels, which would each place a significant emphasis on their own opening sequences.A direct TV show based on the films, multiple copycat films like 1997's I Know What You Did Last Summer, wildly absurd parodies through the Scary Movie franchise, and the Saw series, with its "I Want To Play a Game" and "Let's Play a Game" taglines that are so reminiscent of Ghostface's catchphrase, would also imitate the opening sequence and subsequent film. This cold introduction to the story would be the greatest short film ever made if Scream hadn't been such a great movie in and of itself. The audience of Scream is captivated by the film's cunning charms in just under thirteen minutes, and they are anxiously awaiting the next experience. Are you a fan of scary movies? Scream brought us all back to the extent of our efforts.


Gaurav Dutta is a B.com graduate from Kolkata, schooling from St. Joseph’s College and having a passion for writing since childhood. On the other hand, he also excels in a career in accounting and finance. A writer by his own choice, and aims to make a mark in the gaming industry through his coding abilities. 

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