Scre4m Video Game (2011)

In 2011, Scream 4 was released in theaters and all sorts of Scream merchandise was released to promote the film. The Scream trilogy was finally released on blu-ray, two new retrospectives were made, and all sorts of new Ghostface masks and Halloween costumes featuring the Scream 4 branding were sold everywhere from Dollar General to Party City. Also released (and sadly forgotten) was Scre4m, a Android/iOS video game.

The game was released on June 6th, 2011, a couple months after the Scream 4 movie was released. Scre4m was developed by The Weinstein Company (TWC) Games, Beefy Media and Codeglue using the Unity engine.

The game was pretty simple. You played as Ghostface and you attempted to kill off teenagers without being spotted. If you were spotted, the police get called, and you get arrested. The game was played by swiping your finger across the screen and guiding Ghostface to the kill.

Scre4m featured three levels: high school, frat party, and gym and seemed to channel the spirit of the movies well. I remember playing it on iOS and enjoying it quite a bit. It wasn't a perfect game, but it was a fun way to spend a few minutes doing something horror related on your phone.

Scre4m unfortunately is no longer available on the App Store or Google Play, but I did managed to snag a clean .apk online. There is a complete walkthrough of the game on YouTube that I've posted below the following pictures.








Jeepers Creepers Review (2001)


My History With the Film:
I remember Jeeper Creepers coming out in 2001, but it just never appealed to me. From the trailers that I saw it looked like it was full of CGI and that didn't interest me any. I remember it renting well at Blockbuster, but I that still didn't change my mind about watching it. It wasn't until 2018 that I finally sat down and watched the first film and I was both surprised and disappointed with what I saw.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A brother and sister duo encounter a people eating demon while traveling through a rural town.

What I Liked About It:
-The first twenty minutes of this film are flat out amazing. There is a believability factor in dealing with two siblings on this long trip home that is very relatable. The out of control truck and the dumping of the bodies create a nightmare situation that seems like it could happen to anyone. In fact, someone has linked together how these opening scenes re-create an episode of Unsolved Mysteries that actually happened.

-The design of The Creeper is something to truly admire. It's half man/half demon and I absolutely love the way it looks. I was not as impressed with how it moved.

-I loved the two leads and I thought Justin Long and Gina Phillips did an incredible job convincing us they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Also, kudos to the writers for not going with the easy romantic pairing and instead allowing us to experience a different type of relationship in a horror movie.

-The car was an excellent character in this film and felt unique. It was a classic, but run down, and even with a sock holding the trunk closed it still felt special.

What I Didn't Like About It:
-After that first fifteen or twenty minutes, our main characters start making such stupid decisions that it's hard to ignore. My suspension of disbelief is just not that strong. For example: ::SPOILERS:: going back to the location where you think bodies are being dumped and then hanging out and leaving your car in full view of where the psycho you just saw dumping bodies can easily find you.

-I thought the church setting was incredible and was sad to see us move on so quickly. The small town vibe worked well at the diner, but then the setting continued to change every fifteen minutes and what I loved about the beginning of the movie was replaced with less inspiring set design.

-I think between the set changes and the reincarnation of The Creeper, I felt this movie lost it's steam by the second half. It was a chore to get through and what started off so promising ended in disappointment.

Additional Notes:
-The Creeper had a single line of dialogue, but it was ultimately cut from the film.

-Writer/Director Victor Salva intentionally wrote the main characters as brother and sister to avoid any sexual tension and allow for them to focus on escaping The Creeper.

-Like many horror films, the actors/actresses were not allowed to see The Creeper before hand so the filmmaker could get a true response. Same thing went with the old truck from the opening scene.

-The Creeper's truck is a 1941 Chevrolet Heavy-Duty COE (Cab Over Engine). 

-The film was shot in Dunnellon, Florida. At nighttime the insects were so loud that the filmmakers had to fire a gun in order to silence the bugs long enough to get a take.

Rating:
When I first started Jeepers Creepers I thought the film was going to go into my top twenty favorite horror films. By the time it ended, I was ready for it to be over and realized that it was not nearly as impressive as I thought it would be. The movie does a great job at building some tension and has some truly shocking moments, but despite having a runtime of ninety minutes it felt twenty minutes too long.

Jeepers Creepers is a six out of ten for me and one that I'd watch the beginning of and then turn it off.

Phantoms Review (1998)


My History With the Film:
I've always been a Ben Affleck fan. Okay, lemme rephrase that, I was a huge Kevin Smith fan in the 90's and early 2000's, and because of his casting of Ben Affleck in Chasing Amy and Dogma, I became a big Ben Affleck fan. Now, I'm sorta neutral on Affleck, but back in the early 2000's, I watched anything the man did. This included Phantoms, based on a Dean Koontz novel of the same name.

I rented Phantoms while working at Blockbuster and I went in with very low expectations. It had Liev Schreiber and Rose McGowan (both from Scream) joining Affleck. I recall really enjoying the film, although it was flawed. After rewatching it in early 2018, I have to agree with my memory. This is a film that can be broken into two parts: the first half which is awesome and the second half that is pretty terrible.

What the Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
Two sisters arrive in a small town in Colorado where one hundred and a fifty residents are dead and another three hundred are missing.

What I Liked About It:
-The first half of this movie is great. The characters interacting in this amazing town that is abandoned out of the blue works so well. It’s terrifying, but sadly, the film goes a little off the rails after that. I don’t want to ruin what happens, but others characters get involved and slowly the plot goes from creepy horror to strange sci-fi. I would have loved another thirty or forty minutes of exploration in the quaint abandoned town.

-Live Schreiber turns it up to eleven and steals the show.

-The plot mentions moments in history where large groups of people went missing such as Roanoke and I felt like this gave the threat real credibility. The movie instantly went from insane to plausible in just one short conversation.

-The special effects are pretty good and there is one very intense scene early on that is especially impressive.

What I Didn't Like About It:
-The tonal shift in the movie ruins it. I'm not sure how the book progresses but the first thirty minutes are truly a horror film, but then the film begins to shift into a conspiracy film and then finally into a science fiction film. In a way, you want to think it's inspired by The Thing, but John Carpenter showed us how to properly do a science fiction/horror film and in Phantoms the  script writer and filmmaker had no idea how to walk that line. It was either horror or sci-fi and the film was unable to walk that fine line and still be entertaining.

-The ending is horrible. I won't even go into it, but it's just horrible.

Additional Notes:
-Phantoms was in pre-production in the late 80's/early 90's, but New World Pictures filed for bankruptcy and the project was shelved.

-The beginning of this film inspired the original Silent Hill video game.

Rating:
If I were to rate the film based on the first thirty minutes, it's a solid eight out of ten. Unfortunately, the movie continues and turns into a convoluted mess and while I won't go as far as to say it's unwatchable, it's frustrating to see what becomes of the film. There is just so much potential wasted it's truly tragic.

Phantoms is a four out of ten and is easily skipped.

The Craft Review (1996)


My History With the Film:
The Craft was so cool. It came out the year following Clueless and was sort of the anti-Clueless. It featured four goth girls being bad, dabbling in witchcraft, and torturing the type of girls who’d hang out with Cher and her other clueless pals. It was marketed with a great trailer and a killer soundtrack, which set the stage for a great film.

Luckily, the film was as good as its marketing and I remember buying it on VHS as soon as it was released. The film made me fall in love with Fairuza Balk and also made it hard for me to buy Neve Campbell as the hero in Scream released six months later.

I’ve revisited The Craft maybe six or seven times of the years, and I always find it enjoyable.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A young woman moves to Los Angeles where she meets a trio of witches who help her realize her true power while enforcing their own.

What I Liked About It:
-The casting is perfect in this film. Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True, Skeet Ulrich, Christine Taylor, and Breckin Meyer all do amazing jobs in their roles. I never appreciated Neve Campbell’s performance until this most recent rewatch and was enthralled with her evolution from shy class freak to arrogant hottie. Skeet Ulrich also does an amazing job going from nice guy to dirtbag to love obsessed psycho.

-The film does a great job at building sympathy for the witches by showing all of the issues they deal with (being poor, being a minority, being scarred). This helps rationalize why they desired the power to do spells and make their lives better. It also makes it understandable when they go too far.

-The sleepover scene is particularly well done and it truly feels like you are just an observer inside a high school sleepover. The way the girls joke, interact, and talk just feels naturally, even leading up to the light as a feather stiff as a board scene, which is well done and filmed beautifully. 

-There is a horrifying scene towards the end where Sarah (Robin Tunney) goes into her house and finds it full of all sorts of bugs, snakes, and creatures. Real snakes were used and from my perspective, real bugs. It’s impressive how many creatures they actually got all in one spot.

-CGI is used, but sparingly. Lots of the practical effects are very well done. The skull cap that Christine Taylor wears to show her losing hair is haunting. The scar tissue on Neve Campbell’s body is well done and I particularly enjoyed the scene where the scar tissue begins to come off.

-The music! Man does this film have a great soundtrack.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-This comes up commonly with these reviews, but the CG in some spots is really bad, especially in the final act.

-Nancy’s (Fairuza Balk) scene following her invoking the spirit scene really should have been cut. I think they wanted to show that she had some sort of power in her, but her overacting and insane antics just doesn’t go over well, especially when she starts rubbing on a dead shark.

-Robin Tunney’s wig is all over the place. Some scenes it looks fine and in others it’s horrible. 

Additional Notes:
-The film was planned to be a PG-13 release, but because of the plot involving teenagers and witchcraft the film was rated R.

-Love Spit Love’s cover of The Smith’s “How Soon is Now” found on The Craft’s soundtrack was used as the theme song for Charmed, a show about three sisters who are witches.

-Fairuza Balk is actually a Wiccan.

-Both Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich star in The Craft as well as Scream, both released in 1996.

-In Fangoria 153, Rachel True discussed how the film undertook to some major changes following a test screening. "They put in a lot more special effects, revamped the ending and made the final conflict in the movie a little more heightened. Now you get a bigger sense of the struggle between good and evil. The evil is so strong in the film that they had to tone it down a bit to let humanity know that good can trump in the end."


-Fangoria also mentions that there was a "old, wised witch" Lupe Ontiveros (Tony Gardner in makeup) that helped the girls right all their wrongs, but this character was cut out and all her important lines were given to Lirio (the shopkeeper).

-A couple of the cast members had roles in other notable horror films:
  • Robin Tunney (End of Days, The Zodiac)
  • Christine Taylor (Night of the Demons 2, Campfire Tales)
Rating:
The Craft holds up well as a very enjoyable witchcraft movie. It’s not scary and I struggle to call it horror, but I think it’s a worthy (although neutered) addition to the genre. The performances alongside the awesome soundtrack make for a very 90’s experience that has substance. I enjoyed The Craft on my most recent rewatch possibly more than ever and feel like the movie is a very solid 7.5 out of 10 and is a worthy rental.

Scream 2 VHS, DVD, Blu ray, and Laser Disc Releases

Scream 2 didn't have near the convoluted release history that the first Scream film did, but after completing that list I knew I'd have to tackle the sequels.


Scream 2 Demo/Screener VHS (1998)
 
Screener tapes were often sent to video stores as a marketing tool. The studios would send out a copy of the movie while it was still in theaters (or just leaving theaters) to convince video store owners to buy copies of the film. The screeners were often shared with video store employees in order to get them excited about what was to come soon in hopes that their passion and excitement would rub off onto the customers.


Scream 2 VHS (1998)

Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-Promotional Featurette (7 Minutes)


Scream 2 DVD (1998)

Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-Theatrical Trailer


Scream 2 Collector's Series DVD (2001)


Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Two Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Promotional Featurette (7 Minutes)
-Outtakes
-Music Videos: Master P's "Scream" and The Kottonmouth Kings "Suburban Life"
-Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots


Ultimate Scream Edition DVD (2000)
Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-Behind the Scream Documentary
-Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Two Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Promotional Featurette (7 Minutes)
-Outtakes
-Music Videos: Master P's "Scream" and The Kottonmouth Kings "Suburban Life"
-Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots

This is a four disc set that combines the 1998 Collector's Series discs for all three Scream films along with a fourth disc that is full of bonus features mostly relating to the first film. The only additional feature that discusses Scream 2 is the Behind the Scream documentary, which takes a quick overview of all three films in the franchise (up to that point).


Scream DVD Triple Pack (2009)
 

Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Two Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Promotional Featurette (7 Minutes)
-Outtakes
-Music Videos: Master P's "Scream" and The Kottonmouth Kings "Suburban Life"
-Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots

This includes the 1998 Collector’s Series bundled alongside the Scream 2 and 3 Collector's Series. There are no additional features or extras.



Scream DVD Triple Feature (2011)

Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Two Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Promotional Featurette (7 Minutes)
-Outtakes
-Music Videos: Master P's "Scream" and The Kottonmouth Kings "Suburban Life"
-Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
 
The Scream DVD Triple Feature from 2011 is identical to the 2009 Triple Pack. It uses the same 1998 Collector's Series DVD with the same extras. The only major difference is the packaging which this time combines all three movies into one standard size amaray case.

 
Scream 1-4 DVD Pack (2018)

Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-Probably the same as the Collector's Edition, but I'm not 100% sure.
 
The Scream 1-4 Pack is the latest in Scream DVD releases having been released in January 2018. It's the only release in the United States to include all four Scream films in one collection. No extra features are listed on the back of the box and I haven't been able to confirm exactly what discs are in this particular set, but I'd assume its still the same Collector's Edition disc that was used in all the other releases. I don't see anyone going out of their way to make a new Scream DVD in 2018 for a budget set.

 
Scream 2 Blu-Ray (2018)

Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Two Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Promotional Featurette (7 Minutes)
-Outtakes
-Music Videos: Master P's "Scream" and The Kottonmouth Kings "Suburban Life"
-Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots

Nothing new here, we get the same exactly SD extras found on the Collector's Series DVD.


Scream 5 Film Set Blu Ray (2011)
 
Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Two Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary with Wes Craven, Marianna Maddalena, and Patrick Lussier
-Promotional Featurette (7 Minutes)
-Outtakes
-Music Videos: Master P's "Scream" and The Kottonmouth Kings "Suburban Life"
-Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
-Documentary: Still Screaming (90 minutes)
-Documentary: Scream: The Inside Story (90 minutes)

This Blu ray set includes the same disc included in the Scream 2 Blu ray. Also included are Scream and Scream 3, and two documentaries found on separate discs (thus the Five Film set title.) Scream 4 is not included and I'm sure this poorly worded title has fooled people into thinking they were buying all four films.

The two documentaries (Still Screaming and Scream: The Inside Story) are not found on any other release outside of this package and barely discuss Scream 2 at all. It's worth noting that this is the only other content of any sort that looks at Scream 2 in anyway.

Missing is the thirty minute documentary from the "Ultimate Scream Edition."


 Scream 2 Laserdisc (1998)

Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-None

 
Scream 2 DTS Laserdisc (1998)

Theatrical R-Rated Version
Extras:
-None

Still Screaming Documentary Review (2011)


My History With the Film:
Last year, I picked up the Scream Blu-Ray set and was excited to see two new documentaries covering the franchise: Still Screaming and Scream: The Inside Story. I decided to start with Still Screaming mainly because MasiMedia was behind the documentary, and they had previously done Halloween 25 Years of Terror and His Name was Jason, two enjoyable documentaries. I figured they knew how to make a good horror movie retrospective, so I'd start there.

What The Is Film About:
Still Screaming is a ninety minute look at how the film Scream was created and it's sequels.

What I Liked About It:
-The documentary talks to pretty much anyone associated with the production outside of Drew Barrymore, Courtney Cox, Skeet Ulrich, and Kevin Williamson. Most of the interviews are small affairs and looked like they were shot in locations following fan conventions. It's not to say that it's amateurish, but you can tell these interviews weren't all performed in a nice office in a centralized location. It was great to hear from so many different voices with Wes Craven getting a large majority of the interview time.

-The documentary was honest. The cast and crew didn't shy away from Scream 3's short comings which was a relief to hear.

-It was nice hearing stories from Matthew Lillard, Elise Neal, Jerry O'Connell, Laurie Metcalf, and W. Earl Brown. They came to the documentary to have fun and tell stories unlike some of the cast (::cough:: Neve Campbell) who approached the documentary like it was a press junket.

-The filmmakers managed to interview the folks at Fun-World who created the iconic Ghostface mask. It was nice hearing how they came to be involved in the series and how much they take advantage of it now for their business.

What I Didn't Like About It:
-The documentary begins with a Scream inspired opening scene that is atrocious. You can just see someone at the production company going, "Hey, this is the perfect time to make our own take on Scream and call it an homage." It's horrible. It's so campy, filled with bad acting, and almost plays like a spoof more than an homage. This should have been left on the cutting -room floor.

-Half of the film is dedicated to the first movie, while the second half is split between Scream 2 and 3. This means the sequels barely get any time dedicated to them, and Scream 4 is completely omitted since it had not been released yet. I think this documentary would have been better had it stuck solely on discussing the first film and left the sequels for a second documentary.

-Kevin Williamson is sorely missed from the interviews. He was so influential in the creation of this universe and changing the horror industry and not hearing from the man himself hurt the effectiveness of this documentary.

-Some interviewees were shot with a green screen behind them that then had a flashing/moving Ghostface. It's distracting and at times almost seemed like a trigger for a seizure.

Review:
Still Screaming is a perfectly adequate Scream documentary, but it never seems to crossover into being a good or great documentary. It feels rushed in production (no doubt to release it in time for Scream 4) and also in runtime. Ninety minutes to cover three movies is just not enough time, and the documentary doesn't feel complete since Scream 4 was not discussed.

I hold the Scream franchise is high regard and I think it deserves a high quality documentary like Crystal Lake Memories or Never Sleep Again, but this documentary is no where near that quality of those. I'd rate this film as a six out of ten and say watch it if you are a huge Scream fan, otherwise skip it.

The People Under the Stairs Review (1992)


My History With the Film:
My father married my stepmom in 1996. Following the wedding, my step-sister moved in with us and we never really got along, but we were able to bond some with our mutual interest in horror movies. I was able to expose her to IT and she showed me The People Under the Stairs.

I loved The People Under the Stairs and it immediately jumped up my list of favorite horror movies. I only watched it once, but for years it has been a positive memory for me.

I've come close several times to revisiting the film, but I always backed off at the last moment. A few weeks ago, I decided to finally bite the bullet and revisit one of my favorite horror films of my youth, and boy do I wish I would have left this one in the past.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A thief and a young boy are stuck in a house of nightmares along with a dozen other people held hostage in the basement.

Things I Liked:
-Ving Rhames is wonderful as the over-the-top thief Leroy, and Brandon Quintin Smith (The Sandlot, The Mighty Ducks) does a fantastic job as Fool. Unfortunately, that’s where my praise for the casting stops.

-The design of the house is amazing and its full of all sorts of cool rooms and tunnels. I remember thinking about how much I wanted to explore the house when I watched this film as a child, and even as an adult I think it would be a lot of fun to see all the crazy areas and steps that turn into a slide.

-I was surprised with the social commentary this film has, especially when it emerges towards the end of the film. It’s not the type of movie you’d expect to make a statement about inequality in America, but it does and it does so well.

Things I Didn’t Like:
-This films is hard to categorize. It’s a horror-comedy, but also a kid’s movie. It has the vibe of say, The Goonies, but then has some absurd comedy and some graphic horror elements. It’s weird and watching it as an adult feels even weirder. I really enjoyed this as a kid, but I don’t think it’s aged well.

-The movie isn’t really scary, but it does have one horrifying moment where Alice is shoved into a scalding hot bath tub in order to clean the blood off her dress. I was stunned by how horrific this scene was to watch and it really felt out of place in the film. It was some great horror though.

-Man (Everett McGill) and Woman (Wendy Robie) are beloved by Twin Peaks fans, but I was pretty unimpressed with their performances. Again, I think I struggled with the tone of this film and that’s what draws me to this conclusion.

Additional Notes:
-Wes Craven wrote The People Under the Stairs after seeing a news report about police who responded to a break in at a home and heard sounds behind locked doors where children were kept and not allowed to go outside.

-Wes Craven was developing a television version of The People Under the Stairs shortly before his passing for the SyFy Channel.

Rating:
Sometimes you run across a piece of media that is better left in the past. For me, The People Under the Stairs falls into this category. It's batshit crazy and way too long for my liking. I'd rate it as a four out of ten and say skip it, but know that this film does have a cult following and it might be worth watching if you are into something that is a black comedy version of an 80's children's flick.