Remember when mom & dad has to sign the back of a ticket stub to allow you to enter a Rated-R movie? Those were the days. When theaters didn't allow that, we all purchased tickets to a PG-13 comedy and discreetly maneuvered our way into the scary, classic teen thrillers like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, Scream 2 & Urban Legend.
Whether or not you're a fan of the horror genre, it's no argument that the teen screams of the late 90's were revolutionary, killed it at the box office and still remain some of the most laughable, entertaining and suspenseful horror movies of our generation. Of course, the Screams and I Know What You Did's of the 90's are no Psycho, When a Stranger Calls or Silence of the Lambs, but they never tried to be. Wes Craven, Kevin Williamson and other creative minds blended comedy, cheap thrills and shocking plots to reel in an entire new audience that ultimately led to over 500 million at the box office between Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillipe, Jennifer Love Hewitt & Freddie Prince Jr. starred in the Lois Duncan imagination of I Know What You Did Last Summer. The story focused on the lives of four teenagers who on The Fourth of July hit a man on a bicycle on a dark road off the coast of North Carolina. The secret comes back to haunt them the following summer as they unite to rekindle old friendships and stay alive in this who done it mystery. The movie wasn't well received by critics, but the movie went on to make over 120 million at the box office and was the #1 movie at the box office three straight weeks in a row. The acting is pretty awful, with the exception of Anne Heche and Sarah Michelle Gellar's struggle for survival, but it was fun, scary and entertaining. It was one of those movies everyone talked about and saw over and over to experience the thrills and out loud screaming with strangers in an auditorium.
Urban Legend, starring Jared Leto, Robert Englund and Rebecca Gayheart wasn't the most successful of the bunch, but was definitely worth a viewing. The ending is hilarious and spooky at the same time; you never would have guessed the killer in this demonstration of urban legends. Again, the acting is ridiculous, but any person between the ages of 25-30 years old today can't say how much fun they had watching this movie and could still get a kick out of it today.
Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox & David Arquette starred in Scream, the ultimate classic 90's teen horror movie that was made to spoof the silliness horror movies in the 80's. Brilliantly written and directed, Scream was a sleeper hit at the box office. Released around Christmas day in 1996, people did not flock to see Scream. After word of mouth spread about how awesome Scream was, the movie continued to slay box office records and put other releases to shame. This is the movie that started it all.
Whether or not you're a fan of these teen thrillers of the late 90's, they will always remain an important part of our pop culture and a reference to all the spoofs like the Scary Movie's of the world that were made to spoof them. When other directors and writers are mimicking something you created, it's obviously a sign you have struck gold and created a phenomenon that will always be remembered.
Which one was your favorite scary movie?