Scream for Feminism!

Image Source: Tilt

With the new release of Scream VI hitting theaters this past week, my roommate discovered a desire to rewatch the original Scream from 1996. As I had never seen the film before, she invited me to watch it with her. Now, I am not usually a fan of horror movies, even the satirical ones. If I can be honest with you for a moment, reader, I am quite the wimp when it comes to horror and gore. To this day I still look away from the library ghost in the original Ghostbusters movie as it gives me quite a fright. However, with my roommate beside me to give warnings of when to look away from the more gruesome scenes, I found myself quite enjoying Scream.

While many horror movies fall into less than favorable tropes–such as demonizing sexuality and killing off queer people and people of color first–Scream actually addresses these overdone plotlines with surprising hilarity. With a horror movie aficionado as the supporting character, and a cast of characters who all seem to be scary movie buffs, the film allows for critical commentary on the ways in which horror movies fall short. This additionally gives rise to the opportunity to subvert and overcome these tropes.

It is usually expected that the girl in any given horror movie will die, whether it is right after she has sex for the first time or by backing herself into a corner, but Scream gives the hunted characters a chance to fight back. The murderer–or should I say murderers–prove to be quite incapable, creating humor even in the wake of bloodshed by how terribly ungraceful they behave. Furthermore, the women show up to be smarter, more enduring, and overall triumphant when it comes to their male counterparts. Sydney, the main character, is able to outsmart and kill her attempted murderer, claiming “her story” to be different than what was expected of her. Though many are still killed, Scream belongs to Sydney–no one else–and it is because she took back her narrative from the men who caused her so much grief.