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A must-watch for spooky season. Image: Kai Holub/Fulcrum
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It’s October — let’s talk horror and Halloween

Scream (1996) is universal. Scream is a treasure for the young, old, wide-eyed, and highbrow alike. I believe this movie could unite a nation. It is, easily, a must on my Halloween watch list. I like to take this month as a chance to catch up on horror movies I haven’t seen yet. But, Scream always makes its way onto the list. In my mind, watching this movie is akin to lighting the Jack O’ Lantern: essential, uplifting, and timeless.

For those who haven’t yet had the glorious chance to watch it, Scream follows a group of teenage friends in 1990s California, as a masked killer slashes into their town. Our heroine, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), grieves the recent death of her mother while trying to ensure she doesn’t meet a similar fate. 

From the electrifying opening scene, Scream makes its personality clear. This movie is funny, subversive, and grounded in a way the horror genre had never seen before. To this day, there hasn’t been another film which balances its irony and horror so perfectly. You will laugh. You will roll your eyes. But, most importantly, you will also feel the fun anxiety that any respectable scary movie should induce.

Sidney Prescott is as inexperienced with outrunning killers as most of her fellow heroines. She puts her trust in the wrong places, time after time. Nonetheless, she is undeniably one of the greatest final girls of all time.

Sidney has experienced tragedy which shaped her even before the Ghostface killer steps onto the scene. She’s young, yet perceptive. She makes mistakes but, when the moment comes, she steps up to her attackers with authority. Sidney’s courage and combativeness make her so easy to root for — I would literally trust her with my life.

Ultimately, what I love most about Scream is the characters. I adore so many horror movies whose casts, especially side characters, are singularly uninteresting. Oftentimes, they don’t even need to have depth to be effective. But Scream goes the extra mile to make everyone entertaining. It’s incredibly well-written, which makes it delightful to watch even between the action scenes.

If you’re in need of a spooky movie this Halloween season, make Scream your first stop. I promise you won’t regret it.