Horror achieves self-actualization in this genre-bending — and, later, genre-defining — film from director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson. Troubled high school student Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) are among the townsfolk of Woodsboro, California being terrorized by a masked serial killer that seems to be basing his murders on the tropes of horror movies; soon, Sidney and her friends are turning to the likes of “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th” to figure out what not to do when a knife-wielding maniac is on your tail. Craven follows through on the meta-horror angle he explored two years earlier with “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” and delivers what’s essentially a slasher film about being a slasher film as the characters openly discuss the many genre cliches that their own movie is trying to subvert. Originally titled “Scary Movie,” though that went on to be used for the film series that made fun of “Scream” and its kin … which either adds yet another meta-layer to the proceedings or kind of completely misses the point (or, indeed, perhaps both at the same time). Followed by “Scream 2″ (1997), “Scream 3″ (2000) and “Scream 4″ (2011). – IFC Staff