Run The Series: The Scream series revitalized horror—then left no lasting mark on the genre

With Run The Series, The A.V. Club examines film franchises, studying how they change and evolve with each new installment.

The cultural noise Scream made at its moment of impact has faded; in large part, the film’s left no lasting legacy. Its all-encompassing sarcasm revitalized horror, a genre slumping toward direct-to-video doldrums after sucking the life out of Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, etc., but it was a short reign. Screenwriter Kevin Williamson had a brief run of success with inferior work in a similarly self-aware vein (I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty, Teaching Mrs. Tingle), but his moment quickly passed, as he moved on to Dawson’s Creek and a wave of torture porn (yes, that’s a contested term) picked up the slack. After that and the subsequent reflowering of low-budget horror via Blumhouse Productions (The Conjuring et al.), Scream seems like …

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