Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Spencer H. Abbott
    100
    Wes Craven continues to explore (and blur) the lines between reelity and reality with his latest, and perhaps best, cinematic slice of horror.
  2. A deft, funny, shrewdly unsettling tribute to such slasher-exploitation thrillers as "Terror Train," "New Year's Evil," and Craven's own "A Nightmare on Elm Street."
  3. 90
    A meta-horror film that hilariously parodies the genre's clichés with smarts to spare. It's also the scariest fucking movie Craven has made since the first "A Nightmare on Elm Street."
  4. 90
    Finely crafted, tense, scary thriller from start to finish.
  5. 90
    Craven's other accomplishment here, besides resuscitating the genre, is the way he keeps things scary even when they're at their funniest. The grand finale, while thoroughly bloody and tense, has some genuinely hilarious shtick.
  6. It's sensational in both senses of the word: a bravura, provocative sendup of horror pictures that's also scary and gruesome yet too swift-moving to lapse into morbidity.
  7. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    80
    Craven creates his savviest and most frightening movie since the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street" by spoofing the horror cliches and simultaneously reinventing them to scare you all over again.
  8. Reviewed by: Richard Harrington
    80
    Deftly mixes irony, self-reference and wry social commentary with chills and blood spills.
  9. 78
    Craven is obviously having a ball here, and it's impossible not to sit back and go grinning into this dark, gory ride.
  10. 75
    What did I think about this movie? As a film critic, I liked it. I liked the in-jokes and the self-aware characters. At the same time, I was aware of the incredible level of gore in this film. It is really violent.
  11. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    75
    Builds to a splattering finale that should leave genre fans highly satisfied.
  12. 75
    Scream is a rarity: a horror movie spoof that succeeds almost as well at provoking scares as laughs.
  13. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    70
    Compared with most of what passes for scary movies these days, this is golden: It's not stupid, it's not wussy and it pulls off a couple of pretty nasty jolts.
  14. 63
    Pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. [20 December 1996, Friday, p.J]
  15. 63
    While Scream has its frights, it feels more like one of those solve-the-mystery jigsaw puzzles than a real movie.
  16. May not be the most scary or the grossest horror film you've ever seen, but it has one distinct feature: it actually talks up to the audience. By the conclusion, you won't be shaking in your seat, but you may enjoy the status of someone who has earned a Master's in Slashology.
  17. Wicked fun with flickers of intelligence.
  18. 50
    Just another basketcase with a blade.
  19. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    50
    Doesn't know when to stop with the jokes about other horror movies and settle down to tell a coherent story.
  20. Wes Craven (of the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' films) is in the mood for parody.
  21. Reviewed by: Leonard Klady
    50
    Though the material is more intelligent than the norm and has an unusual third-act twist, it also employs some very clunky stereotypes.
  22. 50
    Tiresome, blood-filled comedy.
  23. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    40
    An idiot-savant movie, knowing but not smart.
  24. Reviewed by: Bob Stephens
    25
    An artificial and hypocritical effort to escape the artistic limitations of teenage slasher flicks.
  25. 25
    Indeed, Scream is better than the average slasher film, as its advertisers insist. And, indeed, it is probably Wes Craven's best film, as they also insist. But that is a little like saying the pimple on the left side of your nose is "better" than the pimple on the right side.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 169 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 54
  2. Negative: 2 out of 54
  1. Sep 24, 2011
    8
    The godfather movie of teenage horror movies, directed by Wes Craven. Simply a enjoyable gore thriller accompanied with popcorn and cola.
  2. Mar 2, 2012
    10
    An excellent film. The story of Scream is really good, with much scare moments, because is not the tipic slasher film of an assassin that kill all, is a great story. Scream is incredible. Full Review »
  3. Dec 23, 2011
    8
    Scream makes you scream, it makes you laugh, and it keeps your eyes on the screen. And it has an amazing beginning scene. I give this movie 80%. Yeah Wes Craven great job. Full Review »