The Horror Honeys: The Rules of Logic Don't Apply... OR Why I Hate 'Scream'

The Rules of Logic Don't Apply... OR Why I Hate 'Scream'

The Dressing Down of a Series by Revenge Honey Linnie

While I DO have many shameful horror secrets, and perhaps one day I'll share all of them with you, I've never really hidden the fact that I have zero use for Wes Craven's Scream series. I think that Sidney Prescott is potentially the worst final girl in horror history; simpering, stupid until she has no choice but to react (usually because she's about to die), and whiney as hell. From a revenge standpoint, I believe the entire series is predicated on the WORST excuse for revenge in the history of slasher films: a beloved child wasn't killed via neglect, no one was set on fire during a cruel prank gone wrong. Nope; a teenage boy was maaaad because daddy had an affair, and mommy left. Waaaaaaaaahhhh!

But the wraparound story? The wraparound story involves just what a "slut" Maureen Prescott was because she was raped as a teenager when she was trying to be an actress in Hollywood. As a result of that night, she goes around sleeping with everyone and ruining marriages and basically being a big old whore, Every killer in every Scream film (except maybe the fourth, which was more about celebrity culture than the other films) blamed Maureen for their lot in life, even though she was a victim first, and only exercising her gods-given right to get in on, second.

But rather than talk about all the myriad of vague reasons why the Scream series makes me rage, I decided to go through each movie and explain specifically why I dislike it... With a final rating to reflect just how specifically full of rage the film leaves me.

Settle in... it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Scream (1996)Dir: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy, Matthew Lillard, Skeet Ulrich, & Drew Barrymore

In 1996, I was a 13-year-old horror fan anxious for a film that would define horror for my generation. Up until then, I had been relying heavily on movies from the 80s and earlier, reveling in the camp nonsense and gothic beauty of horror made before I was born. And then, there was Scream. Everyone my age was losing their collective shit over Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson's ode to a generation of fans who lived and breathed their favorite horror movies. But me? All I discovered was that my tolerance for meta is really fucking low.

Scream is where we were supposed to meet a final girl for the Nirvana generation, and for me, Sidney Prescott was NOT that girl. If she hadn't been surrounded by a group of friends FAR smarter than her (including her Johnny Depp-ripoff of a boyfriend), she never would have survived her first attack. All she did was whine and cry and make me long for Elsa Lanchester or Jamie Lee Curtis or Sigourney Weaver. And as this was the first film, this was where the mythology that would piss me off for the rest of the series was established.

Billy Loomis and his angsty teenage bullshit did nothing but leave me cold; if this was meant to be some kind of commentary on the malaise of the post-ME-generation teenager, in my opinion, it fell flat. Billy and Stu weren't bullied and they weren't abused. Billy was just pissed that his dad cheated on his mom, and decided that HIS selfish idiocy needed a body count. I've heard every argument for why I'm wrong, but guess what? I disagree and defend my right to do so.

Add on to that the fact that I think screenwriters use meta as free license to hide the faults and failings of their film behind genre conventions, and Scream did absolutely nothing for me. It should be no surprise that it just gets worse from here out.

Revenge Honey Rage Rating of Scream: 3 Rage Babies out of 5

Scream 2 (1997)Dir: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Elise Neal, Liev Schreiber, Timothy Olyphant, Jamie Kennedy, Jerry O'Connell, and a whole mess of *wink wink nudge nudge* cameos

I know that among Scream fans, Scream 2 is the Godfather II of horror sequels, but for me, this entry just highlighted everything I couldn't stand about Sidney. First, we get to see the actual fallout caused by her finger-pointing when she falsely accused Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) of killing her mother. Outside of Maureen Prescott, Cotton is the only other true victim of the Scream movies.

SERIOUSLY PEOPLE! How am I supposed to sympathize with a woman who just goes around randomly blaming people for murder and getting them IMPRISONED with zero evidence? And then, she has the NERVE to act as if she did nothing wrong? Sidney not only has zero likability as a strong final girl, but she's actually a borderline sociopath, as evidenced by her lack of any guilt over what she did to Cotton. WHY AM I THE ONLY PERSON WHO IS BOTHERED BY THIS?


So no, I didn't enjoy Scream 2. I thought the opening scene was idiotic (NO movie theater is going to hand out fake knives at a premiere! THAT'S INSANE!), and every cameo, from Luke Wilson to Tori Motherfucking Spelling felt forced, as if included with the intention of making horror fans point and shout, "OH HEYYY! I KNOW THAT PERSON!" 

You are LITERALLY the only thing that stopped me from turning this movie off.
Zero patience for winky cameos, and less patience for meta at this point, which is why Scream 2 gets a:

Revenge Honey Rage Rating of Scream 2: 4 Rage Babies out of 5

Scream 3 (2000)Dir: Wes Craven (Did you sign a blood contract, man??)
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Parker Posey, Emily Mortimer, Jenny McCarthy, and an assload more completely pointless cameos (including Jay and Silent Fucking Bob)

I white-girl can't even with Scream 3. This third film in what was supposed to be a trilogy somehow managed to squeeze out everything awful about the first two movies, extract anything compelling, and then inject a heaping helping of Jenny McCarthy just to ensure it was as horrible as possible. Scream 3 is the perfect example of when meta goes terribly wrong: you don't get to claim the worst of your film is simply due to the fact that you're adhering to genre conventions, because then ANYONE can hide behind that excuse. And then we will literally NEVER be able to stop Michael Bay from making the crap he prides himself on. Because HEY! Action movies are SUPPOSED to be crappy!
But I digress. Scream 3 is set at the film studio that is shooting Stab 3 which is somehow still telling the story of the Woodsboro murders even though by the third Stab film, shouldn't they be linking up identically with the events of Scream 3 and not still telling the same story from the first Scream film ARRGHH JESUS H CHRIST THIS IS WHY I HATE POORLY THOUGHT OUT META!

Everything in Scream 3 is worse: the supporting cast is worse, the story is worse, and everyone is overacting like they were being paid based on how much scenery they chewed.

What are you... what? Awww, come on. You're better than this.
But of course, once again, we get a core revenge element in which Maureen Prescott is the true villain because she went and got herself raped by a silly old film director, then made the painful decision of giving up that child of rape up for adoption. WHAT A BITCH! Clearly she deserved to die, along with the daughter she had the nerve to give birth to later. The gender politics behind this film are so disgustingly old-fashioned, I am utterly shocked that Scream 3 doesn't make the list of worst anti-feminist horror films ever made. If you want a horror film example of victim-blaming, you need look no further than Scream 3.

Because I am so horrified by everything Scream 3 has to say about... everything... it gets:

Revenge Honey Rage Rating for Scream 3: ALL THE RAGE BABIES! ALL OF THEM!

Scream 4 (2011)Dir: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson (just when you got out, they pulled you back in, huh buddy?)
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Alison Brie, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Adam Brody, Marley Shelton, and Anthony Anderson

And you thought you were safe from a random, unnecessary fourth film in a series that rightfully should have died after the dumpster fire that was Scream 3? Well, you were wrong, and now you get even more meta bullshit with a hefty helping of Emma Roberts and her screeching awfulness! Everything that bugged me about the self-aware nonsense of the original films was ratcheted up for the Facebook generation. As someone who loathes the Facebook generation, this movie makes me want to light Wes Craven's front yard on fire.

Scream 4 holds the special honor of taking everything I hate about the Scream films (minus the slut-shaming, thank gods) and combining it with everything I hate about... America: a celebrity culture premised on people who don't do anything, entitled shit teenagers with no marketable skills, and an obsession with the morbid that serves no purpose other than pure schadenfreude. Factor in a ton of teen actors I can't stand (with the exception of Hayden Panettiere, who is weirdly likable here), and everything about Scream 4 is torture for me.

Maybe if SOMEONE had, we would have been spared the indignity of your "acting."
But for some strange reason, this line... this line bugs me more than everything else in the rest of the movie combined:

"Jill! Jill! How does it feel to be a hero?"

HOW IN ALL OF GOD'S GREEN GOODNESS IS THAT LITTLE TWAT A HERO? Even if you believe her version of events, EVERYONE DIED! Literally, EVERYBODY! She didn't manage to save a SINGLE person in the whole goddamned house! That is like going up to the sole survivor of a plane crash and asking them how it feels to be a hero, because they are the only person who managed NOT to die, but also didn't bother saving anyone else? AGAIN, AM I THE ONLY ONE BOTHERED BY THIS???

And explain this little plot hole to me; how the fuck is Screechy McBitchFace's plan supposed to hold up when she's beaten the shit out of and shot a bunch of people in a hospital? How does that fit into her grand scheme to be little Miss Media Murder Darling? NOTHING ABOUT THIS MOVIE MAKES ANY SENSE! NOTHING!! ARRRRGHHH!!!

If it isn't obvious, Scream 4 gets a special rating distinction:

Revenge Honey Rage Rating for Scream 4: All the dead rage babies. So much rage... they just up and died.

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