Monday, October 4, 2010

“Please Don’t Kill Me, Mr. Ghostface! I Want to Be in the Sequel!”

Alas, Tatum didn’t survive for Scream 2, but her death scene in the now fourteen-year-old slasher flick still fascinates me. I like that she uses brains to fight the killer off — and damn nearly succeeds, unlike so many ill-fated blondes in such films — but is ultimately done in by the trait that perhaps most identifies her as a horror movie bimbo: her boobs. If only she had rocked B-cups, she would have likely fit through the kitty door in the garage instead of getting stuck, having it rise (rather implausibly, but I’m not complaining) and getting crushed to death. There’s something Freudian in that both her one chance at escape but and her death come as a result of the kitty door. And don’t think that I’m being too pervy for calling it a “kitty door.” It’s generally called a doggie door, yes, but in this movie we see a cat run through the door only moments before it kills Tatum.

Over at Stale Popcorn, the author is proceeding through the Scream trilogy, scene by scene. And though I’ve been enjoying the posts, I’ve been waiting all this while to see what he’d make of Tatum’s big scene. He picked out one screen grab of when Tatum first comes face-to-mask with the killer. It’s noted that the way the killer towers over Tatum adds to the sadness and unrealness of the shot in a way that’s not so apparent when the film is in motion, and I agree. Really, with a shot like this, it’s clear already that Tatum wouldn’t be leaving the garage alive. As if the blonde girl ever stood a chance.

Aside from dispatching one of the few horror movie victims I’ve ever cared a bit about, the scene is also notably because the victim names the killer. Tatum, thinking it’s Randy playing a joke, fake-pleads, “Please don’t kill me, Mr. Ghostface. I want to be in the sequel!” in the breathy voice of a bad actress. That name, Mr. Ghostface, is the closest the series ever came to naming the Scream costume, and it’s that name that still appears on the Halloween versions to this day.

Way to make a legacy for yourself, Tatum, even if you won’t be around to see your old friend terrorize the likes of Emma Roberts, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell and Hayden Panettiere. I’m still not sold on Scream 4, but I have to admit: It’s an interesting cast they’ve jumbled together.

Scream, previously:

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