The Scream series has been one of the most successful horror franchises of all time, crushing at the box office in the 90's when there were no signs of life in the horror genre. Still Screaming is a documentary that describes all this and more about the conception and creation of the Scream series. Not many horror directors have given the fans multiple iconic slasher characters. However, Ghost Face and Freddy Krueger will live on in infamy for years to come thanks to the mind of Wes Craven, who many consider amongst “the greats” when it comes to horror directors.
The documentary took over a year to film before its completion. It covers the first 3 films in depth, yet only mentions the 4th a handful of times. I assume this is due to the 4th still being filmed at the time of this documentary. Within the film itself, the audience learns everything from the troubles of wanting to shoot at Santa Rosa High School to the inside joke of “I survived scene 118." Almost all of the cast give current interviews with the exception of Skeet Ulrich from the first Scream (old interviews from 1997 were utilized for his portion). Which, to be honest, was a disappointment for me in particular since Ulrich is the one cast member I wanted to hear from the most. After all, his character gave fans arguably the most memorable performance of the series. Nevertheless, the rest of the cast does a great job of being candid and talking about how well they all got along and become like family to each other. As you watch this documentary you realize that this relation is what created such great chemistry on screen with these characters.
The quick cut portion of the documentary is a very interesting technique which adds a wealth of background information about the films themselves. During the quick cut moments of the documentary, a graphic pops up onscreen providing a more in depth perspective to whatever topic is at hand. Most of these are less than a minute long, but it is a nice touch, as anything longer would impede the “flow” of the documentary. One of my favorite examples of this technique occurs when the film is covering Courtney Cox’s character punching Parker Posey’s character in Scream 3. The documentary starts by talking about Posey’s character and how she modeled herself after Courtney. Then, the quick cut pops up and we learn that Parker Posey was actually struck hard by Courtney Cox. The quick cut then ends with both actors laughing about the situation and returns to discussing Scream 3.
The only things I didn't particularly care for about this documentary were that the directors didn't really pull enough information from Kevin Williamson, who is the writer of the first 2 films. Most of his parts are from older interviews, as the documentary very sparsely shows any newer ones. Furthermore, I disagree with the film describing itself as the “The Ultimate Scream retrospective.” Scream 4 was being filmed close to the same time. Why not wait a year and give us more input about Scream 4, and then give your film that description in a more accurate setting? After all, it looks like 4 will be the last installment in the series. Nonetheless, even with these quirks, this is still a great viewing for anyone who even moderately enjoys the Scream franchise. You get some inside jokes while simultaneously learning more about the characters and the development of the series. And, as a fan, I believe most will be satisfied with the final product.
It doesn't seem that this documentary is available for individual purchase as it is only included in the Scream Bluray box set with the first 3 films and an additional documentary of “Scream, The Inside Story” (which is also good). However, if you are interested you can pick the set up for less than $20; so it is a great deal if for nothing else but to get the documentaries. At the end of the day, for anyone who enjoyed the films and would enjoy knowing more about the movies themselves, this is a must buy.