The `slasher' film, i.e. a killer stalking a selection of dippy American teenagers, had kind of gone out of fashion in the late eighties. Therefore, the early nineties were a barren place for masked nutjobs wielding knives. Then Scream came along.
It's about a young girl, seemingly destined to spend the entire film being stalked by a masked killer who despatches her peers in many different knife-related ways. Nothing particularly unusual there, but don't let the basic nature of the plot put you off. There is definitely more to this than meets the eye.
It not only revitalised the `slasher genre' but it also was the first of such films to poke fun at the whole genre in itself. If you've ever found yourself yelling at the `dumb blonde' on the screen to run the right way and not straight back into the serial killer's clutches then this is the film for you. It uses the horror clichés to the max and takes great pleasure in, not only pointing them out, but dispelling them.
However, Scream wasn't just hugely successful because it poked fun at the genre. It was also a damn good mystery. With other similar films, the killer was normally quite obvious, i.e. the big disfigured bloke in a mask, wielding a chainsaw. But in Scream, pretty much every character is a suspect. The only time you can really rule them out is when they end up the wrong end of the killer's knife.
If you love horror then you've probably already seen it. If you haven't... watch it now. The only downside you might find is that it was so successful that there were almost an infinite number of (nowhere near as good) copies. However, Scream is the original and BEST. It's fun, gory, well-written with great characters. What more could you want if you like scary movies?