Intelligent, scary, funny, Scream was just what Horror needed in the 90s. It breaks all conventions while also breaking the 4th wall by addressing its predecessors and rules of the Slasher genre. This was also the first film to introduce a teen-star cast, which became sickeningly cliche in the years to follow. The film retains many of the key Slasher elements while offering an original storyline where a group of high school students are tormented by a masked killer that is obsessed with Horror movies, basing his threats and murders on the films. With intricately designed twists and smartly written characters, Scream transcends the surface-level Slashers of the late 80s and early 90s by identifying with the modern audience (particularly the genre fans) and delivering sharp, clever dialogue that is relevant and relatable. It is also very frightening and suspenseful, with perfectly timed scares and a sleek and familiar costume design that makes the killer accessible and grounded in reality. Scream is a staple in the genre that is best appreciated after seeing all of the films that came before it and placing it in the context and time in which it was made.
The unfortunate side effect of being good: seen this film way too many times, and I fear it is slowly losing effect..