Scream: five anecdotes from twenty-five years of hemoglobin


Released in 1996, Scream, a mixture of mise en abyme and black humour, amuses and terrifies cinemas around the world. The fifth part of the saga was released in theaters on Wednesday.

Twenty-five years later, Ghostface is back. In the fifth part of Scream , which was released on Wednesday, a masked killer returns to terrorize the fictional town of Woodsboro, California. Scream(1996) is a founding film of a sub-genre of horror film: the meta-slasher, that is to say a film whose heroes, all teenagers and themselves fans of horror films, are murdered by a serial killer who enjoys trapping them in their cinephilia. A look back at the small and the big story of a landmark saga in the history of cinema.

A real serial killer

Danny Rolling was not acting in mask, but his string of murders terrorized a small Florida town for months and earned him a death sentence. The American serial killer was executed in 2006 for a triple murder committed in his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana in the fall of 1989, then a series of five murders committed against female students in Gainesville, Florida, from August 24 to 27, 1990 .

Each time, the killer sneaks in on his victims and commits his crimes with knives. The Shreveport triple murder targets a family that is about to have dinner and end up massacred. The five murders on the Gainesville campus target four female students and one male student. The “Gainesville Ripper» as he is nicknamed in the American newspapers is finally arrested a few days later, on September 7, 1990. Arrested for a simple burglary, the killer is confused by recordings found at his home, in which he claims his crimes. Sentenced to capital punishment in 1994, he was executed by lethal injection in October 2006.

Three days locked up to write the script

This story is the subject of a documentary broadcast on the program Turning Point, March 9, 1994. That evening, a certain Kevin Williamson is in front of his television. At 29, he alternates between writing courses at the University of California and brief appearances in films and music videos. The story of Gainesville inspires him with an idea for a script. He locks himself up for three days to write a plot entitled Scary Movie, which will become that of the blockbuster that we know.

Bought for 400,000 dollars by Miramax, the production company of the Weinstein brothers, the script lands in the hands of Wes Craven, who directs the feature film. This slasher (sub-genre of horror film) tinged with comedy met with worldwide success and amassed $173 million at the box office. Williamson even won a Saturn Award for Best Screenplay in 1996. The Beginning of Glory.

The Fun World brand mask

Symbol of Scream, the mask worn by Ghostface has become a Halloween costume classic and a 90s pop culture relic. the film crew. Three weeks before the start of filming, nothing has yet been decided for the mask, Wes Craven and producer Bob Weinstein, preferring an original creation to identify the killer. Producer Marianne Maddalena stumbles upon these masks, marketed by the Fun World brand under the name of ghost with peanut eyes.

One day, we were scouting a house, (…) I was upstairs and there was a mask on a chair. Ghostface with a white shroud – what we now know as the mask of funworld. I ran downstairs with it to show the team and they didn’t share my excitement“said the producer a few years ago in an interview given to a fan site of the saga. “Two or three weeks later, we were still struggling to choose a mask, so I asked Bruce Miller, our production designer: “Can you call this woman [la costumière] and see if we can borrow this mask?” As you can imagine, it seemed so obvious to me to use it! So he went to this woman and, luckily, she still had it. The rest is history!The production then makes some changes to the mask, in particular by enlarging the eyes, to avoid prosecution from Fun World. Watching the first scene finally convinces Harvey Weinstein’s brother and the audience too.

Script leaks on the internet

Two after the success of the first part, the team meets again to follow up on Scream. The expectation is huge. Some fans scrutinize the preparation of the feature film a little too closely. Part of the script lands on the internet. We are in 1997 and more or less organized leaks are rare, but pushes the film team to take drastic measures. “For scream 2, the first 40 pages of the script appeared on the internet the night they were sent by Kevin and we had to do some flips to rewrite the openingWes Craven recalled in an interview given to Entertainment Weekly in 2010. Kevin Williamson was thus forced to rewrite part of the script when filming had already begun. The creator of the saga must rewrite the end, and change the identity of the killer, which has been leaked on the web.

This new version turns out to be a success. The sequel avoids the pitfall of a failed sequel and rakes in $172 million at the US box office. A leak that marked the team of Scream and pushed Wes Craven to extreme caution, especially during the preparation of the fourth installment. “We’ve played CIA trying to keep everything a secret and haven’t released any pages from the current version of the script except for the stuff we’ve already discarded“explained the filmmaker, who died in 2015.

The Stations of the Cross in the 2010s

More than ten years have passed since the last Scream. The last installment released in 2011 was first considered as the start of a new trilogy. The project carried by Harvey Weinstein flounders for years. During a conference given in Zurich in 2013, the producer put pressure on his brother Bob, also a film producer:I’m begging Bob to make the movie and get it over with. We’ve milked this cow enough (sic)“, as related then Allocinated .

After the revelations of sexual abuse and rape by Harvey Weinstein in 2017, the project was abandoned. The rights of Scream were finally acquired by Spyglass Media in November 2019 and variety announces in 2020 that the fifth Scream is officially launched by the production house and Paramount Pictures. Spyglass, created in 1998, notably participated in the creation of films such asInglorious Basterds, The Artist Where The speech of a king.

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