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January 09, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-09

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 9, 1997

* jw*

Horror film makes audiences scream
New Wes Craven thriller dishes out an exhilarating ride

By Julia Shih
Daily Arts Writer
When you're trapped in a dark room,
surrounded by strangers and witnessing
endless scenes of chilling carnage,
sometimes the only thing you can do is
scream. And scream you do, as the lat-
est thriller by horror-
king Wes Craven
erupts before your R
disbelieving eyes.0
Powered by pure
"Scream" can be
likened to a horse
with a blazing rock-
et shoved up its rear - it's loud and
explosive, flailing wildly and reckless-
ly while scaring the bejesus out of
everyone nearby. The film delivers all
the blood and violence expected of a
horror thriller with a freshness that
hasn't been seen before the endless
stream of boring "Friday the 13th"
sequels emerged.
The movie is set up by a frightening
and suspenseful opening prologue, as
Drew Barrymore is endlessly taunted
by a sadistic killer. Soon, the masked
murderer turns his sights onto pretty
high school student Sidney Prescott
(Neve Campbell), whose mother had
been brutally murdered one year ago
and whose father is now conveniently

As the killer stalks Sidney, while
leaving a trail of bodies behind, the
town is gripped with fear, knowing that
the murderer could be just about any-

"Scream" keeps
At Showcase

people guessing:
Everyone is a sus-
pect, but there
don't seem to be
many motives.
But then again, as
one of the charac-
ters puts it, "it's
much scarier
when there's no

As the bodies pile up, the numerous
red herrings get laid out and the pro-
duction crew begins to run out of fake
blood, the carnage grows a little tire-
some and pointless. The audience will
soon wish that Craven would get to the
point and let it know who the heck the
killer is. The final surprise and dynam-
ic ending, however, are well worth the
long wait.
"Scream" serves as Wes Craven's
tribute to the great horror movies of
yesteryear, including "Halloween"
(1978) and "Prom Night" (1980).
Craven satirizes the components that
made horror movies such a kick for
teen-age audiences in the past decades,

such as themes of the beautiful yet
helpless teen-age girl alone at home,
the knife-wielding killer lurking in the
closet and the inability of the police to
do anything. These amusing jabs at the
horror formula create a film that is not
only a macabre slasher movie, but also
a delightfully dark comedy.
Even the media falls prey to Craven's
satirical style. Trash television reporter
Gale Weathers, played by Courteney
Cox ("Friends"), parodies tabloid jour-
nalists who aggressively fight, cheat
and seduce their way to the heart of a
story at the first whiff of scandal.
Craven's partner in crime, first-time
screenplay writer Kevin Williamson, is
impressive, coming up with fresh dia-
logue that cuts like a knife and inventive
new ways for people to be killed (one
girl meets her maker by way of an auto-
matic garage door).
Almost every scene creates a deli-
cious feeling of nervous tension, with
the incredible camera work and scary
background music playing a big part.
For example, during a scene involving
two teen-agers harmlessly fooling
around, a creepy version of The Blue
Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper"
floats in the background, giving the
audience a feeling of apprehensive
The cast is led by Neve Campbell

and Skeet Ulrich who last teamed up
in "The Craft," and Rose McGowan as
the fearless sidekick of Campbell's
character. Campbell and McGowan
make an entertaining duo, but Ulrich
(looking a lot like Bush's Gavin
Rossdale) continues to show a lack of
depth as an actor. His expressionless,
indifferent delivery makes people
wonder if he would be better off as a
department store mannequin, instead
of a big-screen actor.
Courteney Cox's portrayal of an
ambitious journalist is believable, and
Drew Barrymore's performance in the
opening sequence is short, but never-
theless, memorable. Even the ex-Fonz,
Henry Winkler, makes an out-of-char-
acter appearance as a tyrannical high
school principal.
"Scream" probably won't win any
Oscars this year, but it is one of those
rare horror movies that is actually pret-
ty darn scary.
It's an exhilarating ride that gets your
heart pumping and your blood running
cold, as you become just about as
scared as the on-screen characters pre-
tend to be.
So sit down, secure your soda, make
sure you're wearing your extra-thick
Depends and get ready to cling for dear
life to the person sitting next to you.
And be prepared to scream.

Courteney Cox gets tough in Wes Craven's "Scream."


747-9400 1220 S. University
Above McDonalds, Kinko's

'Real World,''Road Rules' send readers on visual trip *


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Various Authors
MTV's The Real World Diaries
MTV Books
Genevive Field
MTV's Road Rules Road Trips
MTV Books
The press release for "MTV's The
Real World Diaries" proudly announces
that the book "coughs up what readers

want to know"If its a big, wet glob of
voyeuristic pleasure that readers desire,
then this book certainly delivers. "The
Real World Diaries" is the sequel to last
year's "The Real Real World," which
sold an astounding 200,000 copies. I
guess the producers of the show decided
that the previous book wasn't sufficient-
ly real, leading them to gift eager fans
with yet another revealing vol-
As if that weren't
enough reality to'
go around, "Real
World" produc- x
ers Mary-Ellis -
Bunim and Jon'
Murray have
released "MTV-
Road Rules Road
Trips" for those of us who
want to relive the first two seasons of
the "Road Rules" show in painstaking
detail. "Road Rules Road Trips" bills
itself as a "guide to planning the perfect
road trip," giving readers rare insights
into the caring and feeding of a

Winnebago, as well as route information
from each cast's orgy of travel. There are
disturbing similarities between both
books, although "Road Rules Road
Trips" manages to distinguish itself
from "The Real World Diaries" by fea-
turing much bigger pictures.
Seriously, though, there's a sickening
and funny aspect to these books that
attracts the inquiring mind:
"Road Rules Road Trips"
and "The Real World
Diaries" are noth-
ing more than the
MTV equivalent
of pornography
- they promote
an unnatural
interest in others'
private parts.
Less meditative minds
will want to read "The Real World
Diaries" and "Road Rules Road Trips"
for the shameless and hilarious ways the
cast members rip on one another. I
couldn't possibly insult the cast mem-
bers as well as they do themselves. My

personal favorite came from would-be
shock-rocker Neil, of fourth-seaso-r
fame: "I thought Sharon was a useless
human being. I'll amend that: I think
currently she is useless, but she may yet
serve some purpose to somebody." In
"Road Rules II," Timmy describes spas
tic Effie: "People sometimes th'
there's an attraction between Effie
me, but it just wouldn't work - lm
Catholic, she's schizophrenic. fIm
American, she's annoying."
All in all, MTV has done a good job
of transferring the format of "The Real
World" and "Road Rules" into book
form. "Road Rules Road Trips" and
"The Real World Diaries" are made for
those with short attention spans and the
need for lots of visual stimulation. Die-
hard fans will love the candid phQ@'
and snippets of personal information
the books provide. People who are
inclined to take the show less seriously
should read them for the laughs. This is
not great literature, folks, but then, it
was never meant to be.
- Mary Trombley

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S- -mon.-thurs.: 9:00a-10:00p
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