On December 20th, Wes Craven’s classic slasher film Scream turns 20 years old. Many of you know how I feel about Scream. I’ve made my love for it and its sequels (yes, even Scream 3) apparent in the past, but the original really was a landmark film that redefined the horror genre. You have to remember that by 1996, horror was essentially dead. Scream renewed critical and audience interest in a genre that many thought would never be taken seriously again.
Of course, Scream isn’t for everyone. Some people look back on it and see a pedestrian slasher that thought it was more clever than it actually was (those people are wrong, but hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion). Even Matthew Lillard, one of the film’s stars, thinks the film is “rather pedestrian.” You know what though? All classic films have their detractors. People find them overrated. People hate them. Such is life. Those of us
While some people may not think that the film has aged very well (it has), you can’t deny that it was the film to see at the tail end of 1996 and the beginning of 1997. It won critics’ and audience’s hearts alike. Of course it is not the type of film that will ever see recognition at the Academy Awards (horror films rarely are), but it did garner the attention of everyone who voted for the very prestigious MTV Movie Awards in 1997. While Neve Campbell lost the award for “Best Female Performance” to Romeo + Juliet’s Claire Danes (though she would win in that same category the following year for Scream 2), Scream managed to win “Best Movie” at the 1997 awards show, beating Independence Day, Jerry Maguire, The Rock and Romeo + Juliet.
Watch the clip below, which sees the cast and crew of Scream be presented with the award by none other than Samuel L. Jackson and Mira Sorvino (who was fresh off her greatest performance ever in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion).
Talk about nostalgia, huh? It may bring a tear to your eye to see the late Wes Craven accepting the award as well, but then you’ll laugh when he hilariously forgets to thank Jamie Kennedy when thanking all of the members of the cast (Neve Campbell thankfully reminds him about Kennedy).
Look, I’m not saying the MTV Movie Awards are the most reputable awards ceremony in existence (that bit about them being prestigious was a joke), but the above video is still a pretty cool time capsule into the popular culture of 1997. And at least Scream got some form of awards recognition (it also won the Saturn Award for “Best Horror Film” that same year). That win wasn’t the only treat for Scream fans at the MTV Movie Awards. If you’re feeling curious, give this next video a watch. It’s the parody the MTV Movie Awards did at the show that same year. I should warn you though: it’s not funny.