The combination of horror and comedy slasher made the 1996 film “Scream” a real hit, thanks to the late director Wes Craven, an expert in the genre.
The movie is a mix of horror clichés, humor, and satire, and Craven was called the “master of horror”. The plot of “Scream” follows high school student Sidney Prescott, who is being chased by a mysterious killer in a Halloween costume.
The original name was “Scary Movie,” but production house owners Bob Weinstein and his brother Harvey, who was recently charged with sexual assault, changed it just before the end of filming. The brothers were listening to a song from Michael Jackson in the car, and they had the idea to rename the horror that way.
The 1990 Florida student murders partly inspired screenwriter Kevin Williamson. He also based the screenplay on John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic “Halloween,” which was his favorite film. As many as five movie theaters competed for his screenplay, and Williamson eventually agreed to a $ 400,000 offer from the Weinstein brothers.
Craven was not the first choice for the director of “Scream” as two before him turned down the job.
Drew Barrymore was supposed to play the lead role of Sidney, not Neve Campbell, but she changed her mind five months before filming. She suggested embodying Casey Becker, a teenager who is terrorized by the killer at the beginning of the film so she could shatter audience expectations that a star like her must survive. Barrymore thus recorded all her scenes in just five days and quickly left the set.
Campbell was not even the second choice for the role. Actresses Alicia Witt, the late Brittany Murphy, and Hollywood sweetheart Reese Witherspoon were previously considered.
Interestingly, the director did not plan to use in the film the now-legendary white killer mask. Craven and other production members found her in the house they were considering for the filming location. The mask was useless to Bob Weinstein, and he said it wasn’t scary enough for him, so he considered removing Wes from the position of director. But when he showed him the recorded opening scene, he quickly changed his mind.
Craven briefly appeared in the film as well. The director embodied a janitor with a hat and a Freedy Krueger vest. The final sequence in the movie, which lasts 42 minutes and takes place at Stu’s party, has given the film crew a lot of work. Namely, they filmed 21 nights in a row, and jokingly called it “the longest night in horror history”.
By the way, the film was initially banned from viewing for persons under the age of 17 due to creepiness, and Craven refused to cut out any of the scenes. However, the production company decided to make modifications, so the horror was given the R mark, which means that teenagers under the age of 17 were also allowed to watch it if their parents or guardians were with them.
“Scream” was a success in theaters given that it had a budget of $ 15 million and earned $ 173 million. The famous actress Courteney Cox, known for the series “Friends”, also starred in it. She embodied journalist and writer Gail. On set, she fell in love with colleague David Arquette, whom she married three years later, and had a daughter, Coco, with him.
Rose McGowan, who is one of the women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse, also starred in the horror. More than a hundred victims spoke out against the famous producer.