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Steven West

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325277

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325277.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

Characters, Conventions and ‘The Rules’: Creating Scream’s Thieving, Whoring Ensemble

Characters, Conventions and ‘The Rules’: Creating Scream’s Thieving, Whoring Ensemble

(p.55) 4 Characters, Conventions and ‘The Rules’: Creating Scream’s Thieving, Whoring Ensemble

Steven West

Liverpool University Press

This chapter reviews the scene from Wes Craven's Scream that establishes the heroine, Sidney, and her unconsummated relationship with boyfriend Billy Loomis. It recounts the traumatic backstory of the murder of Sidney's mother and her inability to sacrifice her virginity that reflect the film's reverential tone and provide the first hint of Billy's psychotic detachment from reality. It also talks about the immediate positioning of Sidney as a sensitive virgin with a tragic backstory that conveys to the audience that she will be the 'final girl' or heroine. The chapter discusses how Scream is about knowledge of the movies, in which the characters have seen so many horror films that they know what to do and what not to do. It points out how casting and characterisation played a major part in Scream's marketing and success in a way that performers and characters of a typical 1980s slasher film did not.

Keywords:   Wes Craven, Scream, Sidney, Billy Loomis, psychotic detachment, final girl, horror films, marketing

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