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Scream$
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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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Watch A Few Movies, Make A Few Notes: Scream’s Layer Cake of References

Watch A Few Movies, Make A Few Notes: Scream’s Layer Cake of References

Chapter:
(p.91) 5 Watch A Few Movies, Make A Few Notes: Scream’s Layer Cake of References
Source:
Scream
Author(s):

Steven West

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781911325277.003.0006

This chapter describes how Halloween is referenced throughout Wes Craven's Scream as the definitive slasher text in its own time that was received by some critics as a genre-savvy confidence trick in its own right. It notes the numerous references to Halloween in Scream as an example of periods rewriting the past to create their own heritage, consequently imposing understandings from the present on to the past. It also emphasizes how it became common for 1980s American horror cinema to playfully incorporate references to past-genre films via excerpts, character names, or dialogue quotes. The chapter talks about how Scream is sceptical about the horror genre as a whole, openly highlighting the weaknesses of the Nightmare on Elm Street sequels and critiquing its exploitation of young actresses. It explores Halloween's main purpose in Scream's narrative that is climactically used to mirror the onscreen action in the film.

Keywords:   Wes Craven, Scream, slasher text, genre-savvy, confidence trick, American horror cinema, Halloween

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