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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 71:17)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson
  • Featurette - Behind the Scream
  • Animated menus
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Interviews - Drew Barrymore, Wes Craven, Neve Campbell, Matthew Lillard, Skeet Ulrich, Rose McGowan
  • Outtakes

Scream: CE

Magna/Magna . R4 . COLOR . 106 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Don’t answer the phone
Don’t open the door
Don’t try to hide
But must of all don’t scream...

Wes Craven is the mastermind of horror and suspense. In 1996 he delivered Scream to the world's audiences and opened up a new breed of filmic terror. The next year he teamed up with Kevin Williamson (writer) again for Scream 2, however this failed at the box office after the ending was revealed on the Internet, not to mention involvement of the usual sequel issues. In 2000 Wes Craven matched up with writer Ehren Krueger to release Scream 3, the concluding chapter of this terrifying parody-trilogy of itself.

On face value, this trilogy is just your usual popcorn horror flick, but if you know your horror films you'll also know that this has a dark and satirically funny poke at itself, and it shows that Wes Craven can take the piss out of himself. This can be seen from a line regarding the quality of the Nightmare on Elm Street series said by Drew Barrymore in the opening sequence as well as Wes Craven’s cameo appearance as Freddy Krueger. Not only can he make fun of his own films, but also use extensive links to other horror films. Part of this is due to Williamson’s wit on paper, but also due to Craven’s influence during production. The stick is poked into The Exorcist with Linda Blair’s cameo, as well as a severe hard-on for Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter’s Halloween series.

So with this black humour aside, the popcorn horror flick still shines through with excruciating pain and violence. The MPAA kept requesting re-cuts of the film to try to tone down the intensity to receive an R (the rough equivalent to MA) and avoid an NC-17 (the equivalent of an Australian R rating). Yet scenes towards the end of the film did boost the film up to an NC-17 rating in the US, while with some of the controversial scenes left in the film they somehow managed to keep it at R. So yeah, this film is violent. It's full of stabbing, screaming, running, bleeding, dying and more bleeding - there's lots and lots of blood. So keep an eye out for the littlies grabbing this disc, but for the more mature audiences this film can now be enjoyed with full 5.1 surround sound and the original widescreen format. So there is absolutely no excuse not to invite your mates around, cuddle up, turn off the lights and watch the trilogy. Scream easily takes the cake as the definitive horror film of Generation X, and luckily has now been given the Collector’s Edition treatment on DVD.

Sidney Prescott (a young Neve Campbell, The Craft, the Scream trilogy, Three to Tango, Wild Things) is a troubled teenager with the usual problems – a horny boyfriend, a busy father and a hectic life, plus she's living with the fact that her mother was murdered a year ago. Just when she seems to be getting her life back together, more murders start happening in the sleepy town of Woodsboro. But this time, someone is taking their love of scary movies one step too far, and Sidney is next on the list...

  Video
Contract

Scream is presented in its original widescreen aspect of 2.35:1, and is 16:9 enhanced. This is definitely a big step up from Magna’s earlier release with a "lovely" full-frame pan and scan version.

Colours are rich and marvellous, with some graphically gory crimsons and stunningly saturated reds. Skin tones are realistically lifelike, and really contrast against the blood. Blacks are solid, with no low level noise, and shadows are evilly cast with an excellent definition – which is of the utmost importance for this genre of film. The odd film artefact or blemish swishes past, with some quite large, but nothing too dirty, only one here or there. Film grain is not an issue at all, and compression-related artefacts are restricted to the odd occurrence of aliasing. The detail of the image is quite nice, yet the picture isn’t as sharp as it could have been. Still, the soft beauty is stunning to watch.

This dual-layered disc has a layer change at 71:17, noticeable only by a slight pause in the audio. Unfortunately there are no subtitles for the hearing impaired, but due to the audio quality, these are not actually required. But more on that shortly...

And what is the downside? Well there's a digital tape dropout at 84:25, where some white, purple and black squares enter the screen for one frame. So close to perfect...

  Audio
Contract

Four audio tracks have been included on this disc, three English film languages with Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1, as well as a DTS 5.1 track. The fourth track is a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio commentary.

The two 5.1 tracks are equally stunning to listen to. As to which one is better for the film, personally the Dolby Digital track is a little bit ahead as it holds a richer bass level the front and rear speakers compared to the DTS track which sounds a bit more hollow and tinny. For most of the film the soundstage is built towards the front, with the front left and right providing effects and the centre sharing these effects and dialogue. The rear channels provide effectual ambience, generally with subtlety, but occasionally rip-roaring into the soundstage at appropriately intense moments. Dialogue is crisp throughout, with some slight ADR lip synch issues throughout the film. However these are issues with the actual film, not the transfer.

  Extras
Contract

Finally, Scream has been presented on a beautiful DVD with a lovely Collector’s Edition title – a disc worthy of the title. However, Magna just need to proofread their slicks a tad closer... The menus are simply quite repulsive as they are fairly graphic to look at. Make sure you have fully digested your dinner before settling down to see the menus on this baby.

Audio Commentary by director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson
This commentary confirms Wes Craven’s talent for commentaries after a great performance with Scream 3, with the pair giving out many secrets about the making of the film, including trivia about the cast and crew and the censorship of the film in the United States, as well as the technical tricks behind the film, including camera shots and boom shadows. During the climax to the film, some gaps appear as they (assumingly) get swept up with the action onscreen.

Theatrical Trailer
The full frame theatrical trailer does a great job at telling the premise of the film, without giving anything away. Some of the poor ADR can be seen in this trailer, especially with such a higher resolution (compared to an Internet trailer). This runs for 1:02, and introduces the characters and the story – perfect advertising material.

Production Featurette
This featurette runs for 9:47, featuring on-set footage, showing rehearsals and filming footage. This sort of featurette is great to see the ways that films are made, however simplistic, but shows the equipment and crew behind the scenes.

Behind the Scream
This featurette runs for 28:40, and was made after the release of Scream 3. The full frame image is great, and features interviews from the writer, director, producers, cast and crew, with some of the cast interviews filmed during Scream 3 which can be seen by the costumes. It tells the story of how Scream was lifted up and how the trilogy made it to the screen.

Q&A With Cast and Crew
Brief interviews with the key cast have been included, and are vaguely informative without going into any terribly deep detail. The interviews are divided into chapters, which have brief blank screens where questions should appear, but the audience doesn’t actually have any idea of the questions, just the answers. It feels a little like Jeopardy! Interviews include Drew Barrymore (1:25), Matthew Lillard (0:30), Rose McGowan (0:57), Skeet Urlich (1:05) and Neve Campbell (0:46). Just a note on navigation, from the 'Interviews' page you have to go to the 'Main Menu' and then back to the 'Extras' page, as there is no link directly back to the 'Extras' page from here.

Director’s Comments
The 3:03 discussion with the director, Wes Craven, is a brief, yet informative talk about the film, horror movies, gore and similar subject matter. This interview could easily be placed on the Q&A page as it is the same format as those.

Outtakes
The 4:12 outtakes are the same as used on the Scream 3 DVD and are featured in the 2.35:1 aspect, with the low resolution film editing system used on a few of the Village discs from the early 2000s.

  Overall  
Contract

Quite simply, buy this disc, close the curtains, dim the lights, crank up the sound and don’t forget to scream.

And remember, what’s your favourite scary movie?


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  •  DVD NET Gold Review List 
      And I quote...
    "The definitive horror film of Generation X has now been given the Collector’s Edition treatment..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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