The slasher cycle had run its course by the 1990s, giving way to psychological shockers such as The Silence of the Lambs and Jacob’s Ladder. That soon changed with the arrival of Wes Craven’s Scream, which gave the genre a much needed revamp, reviving the industry and giving fans a fresh new focus.
Storming the box office in 1996, Scream revelled in its self-aware clichés by playing with standard slasher tropes and revealing them to the audience). The film followed the customary horror protocol of an unyielding killer terrorising teenagers in a small American town, whilst still managing to subvert a few expected traditions. For example, Drew Barrymore was plastered across all the posters and promotional material, suggesting her role as the main protagonist, only to shock spectators with her slaughter during the film’s first ten minutes.
Whilst applauded for its satirical spin on a tired genre, the movie inevitably hatched a series of sequels, much to the detriment of the original concept. Still, there was certainly much to enjoy and the film paved the way for several parodied hits, including the 2012 Cabin in the Woods, which traps its characters into a masterful horror movie simulation.