When it comes to slasher movies, no decade did it better than the 90s

When it comes to slasher movies, no decade did it better than the 90s. With the likes of Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend churning out innovative and vastly entertaining ways to kill off teenagers in ever-escalating bloodbaths in a frequently humorous and self-referential style.

Scream is clearly the movie of choice when it comes to selecting the one horror movie that represents the 90s as a decade. Known for its cutting wit and parody of the whole slasher genre, Scream somehow managed to combine both a comedic examination of slasher films and genuine horror into a successful vehicle that both amused and terrified. There’s no arguing that Scream didn’t succeed in striking fear in the hearts of many that went to see it, but it also turned the tables on itself in a strikingly postmodern self-analysis, made most notable in the scene where movie geek Randy explains the «rules» of how to survive a horror movie. According to the passionate Randy, if a person wishes to survive a horror movie they must remain virginal, abstinent to substances such as drugs or alcohol, never tell a room full of people they will «be right back» — because they won’t. Scream then makes the most of subverting these rules. One of the characters Stu dramatically tells the room he will be right back and proves the rule to be both incorrect and correct. Similarly, protagonist Sidney Prescott loses her virginity yet keeps her life. The drinking rule, however, is kept as Tatum, Sidney’s best friend, meets with an untimely end as she goes to get more beer from the basement.

The self-mockery continued in Scream 2, a film which maintained its edge of terror but also went down a more comedic route. However, the film was applauded for its cutting satire and character development, deemed a general success — more so than the third in the series, Scream 3.

Now that the 90s are over, the announcement of Scream 4 has left fans of the franchise sceptical, but the promise of new rules to match a new decade — a decade where so-called «torture porns» like Saw and Hostel have taken the stage — has piqued interest.

No promise of revivals of other 90s slashers like I Know What You Did Last Summer or Urban Legend — both of which were trilogies too — has yet arisen, but slasher fans have grown to expect that, as Randy once said, the killer is never dead, even if you think they are. Get Sky Movies or a similar package to catch the Scream films and more in the build up to the release of the fourth instalment — because it’s never too late to brush up on your survival tips.

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