PopCult Podcast – Close/Saint Omer

Europe is producing some fantastic films these days and today we spotlight two of them. In one film, a young boy finds his friendship with another boy questioned by their peers leading to a fatal outcome. In the other, a writer attends the court trial of a woman accused of infanticide and in turn discovers truths about her own relationship with her mother.

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PopCult Podcast – Scream 6/How To Blow Up a Pipeline

Young people these days get up to all sorts of crazy things. Some kids in NYC are going to school & trying to avoid attacks from a serial killer. Then you have these kids in Texas blowing up a damn oil pipeline. Zoomers, amirite?

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Movie Review – Scream (2022)

Scream (2022)
Written by James Vanderbilt & Guy Busick
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett

Eleven years after Scream 4, yet another sequel was released. However, unlike the previous films, this was the first entry that Wes Craven did not direct, as he passed away in 2015. This would cause an attempt to jumpstart a new trilogy to be helmed by new creators. As Scream is a continuous meta-commentary not just on horror but the nature of sequels and franchises now, this puts it in the same place as Star Wars, whose sequel trilogy was helmed by an entirely new creative team. As you would expect, this is a fact hinted at in the film. There’s even a pivot from a focus on the franchise’s original heroes to a younger generation and the death of one of our longtime players that serve as motivation for the hero to stop Ghostface. But does it live up to the original movie while expanding it into new places and ideas? 

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Movie Review – Scream 4

Scream 4 (2011)
Written by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Wes Craven

Scream 3 seemed to put the lid on this horror franchise, and that was the case for eleven years. In 2008, The Weinstein Company announced Scream 4 was in pre-production. Wes Craven would be returning at age 71 to direct. This would be his final film. In 2010, Kevin Williamson confirmed he would return to the series after having too much on his plate for 2000’s Scream 3. As part of the backstory to the world, Craven shared that Ghostface murders had gone completely extinct in the eleven years between these movies. The Stab film franchise in-universe kept making movies, but Sidney Prescott was able to move on with her life. It seemed like a new chapter was beginning for all the familiar characters as new ones were introduced to take their places.

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Movie Review – Scream 3

Scream 3 (2000)
Written by Ehren Kruger
Directed by Wes Craven

The success of the first two Scream movies made it inevitable that a third would be coming down the pipeline, and sure enough, it dropped with the new millennium. With his original script, writer Kevin Williamson provided treatments for two potential sequels. By the time production on the third film rolled around, Williamson had garnered a full plate of work and was unavailable to pen the script. He was writing & directing the short-lived tv series Wasteland and his feature film debut, Teaching Mrs. Tingle. Miramax decided to move on without Williamson. Then Columbine happened, and suddenly Hollywood executives started wondering if they should make films that were playful with murder & violence. The result was a mandate that Scream 3 lean more into the satirical elements than the murderous parts resulting in a tonally strange entry into the series.

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Movie Review – Scream 2

Scream 2 (1997)
Written by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Wes Craven

Since the 1980s, there haven’t been too many long-lasting horror franchises. Paranormal Activity is probably the most recent series to have legs for a while, but it seemed to have burnt out just before the pandemic hit. Scream is the only other one I can think of, and it represents the end of the 1980s slasher obsession. In my brain, I often associated Scream with grunge as they both were subgenres that deconstructed what had come before. Grunge was a response to 1980s metal and its overproduction, while Scream serves to comment on the movies that inspired it. Kevin Williamson, the screenwriter, decided he wanted to make this a franchise from the start and sold a five-page treatment for Scream 2 with the original film’s script. This is also one of the first films altered by the internet as the screenplay leaked online during production revealing four killers. Rewrites were made, and actors weren’t given the final pages until a few days before the scenes were shot. It was a hit then, but is Scream 2 as good as the original?

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