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The "Postmodern" Trash of Scream
What makes it a bad film series
I’m wasting my time writing this, that’s for sure.
What makes this article so special is that the advertising companies have been making the rounds into psychological warfare recently. No, it’s not about Baby Yoda and how there is this new and cool meme culture around it. More obscure.
Here’s a screenshot on Twitter:
“Ghostface” is not a real person. It’s an actor, an advertisement campaign, to promote the new movie, Scream VI. Oh great, another fucking horror film, another roller coaster ride. What else is new? It’s cool for a second to admire the comic book creation of these movies and the sheer stupid fun of watching these cartoons. But why Scream? I didn’t think much of these films until I had to watch the first one and I started to realize, that the Scream franchise is about celebrating the joys of irony, “postmodernism,” and American liberalism. The reason why I put the word postmodernism in parentheses is because it is an ideological statement rather than an objective, historical truth. For clarity, “postmodernism” must mean “after modernism,” which in turn could only mean that the values of modernism continue, but itself has not died.
First, read about my commentary on modernism before I further write about so-called postmodernity. It’s simple to understand.
According to the Wikipedia article on Scream, it writes, “Scream was considered unique at the time of its release for featuring characters aware of real-world horror films who openly discussed the clichés that the film attempted to subvert.”
“Scream marked a change in the genre as it cast already-established and successful actors, which was considered to have helped it find a wider audience, including a significant female viewership. …Scream was credited with revitalizing the slasher genre in the 1990s, which was considered to be almost dead following an influx of direct-to-video titles and numerous sequels to established horror franchises of the 1970s and 1980s.”
So why are the words “aware,” “female viewership,” and “revitalizing” so important in understanding postmodernism and its effect on Scream? Another cringe word is “meta,” which is, by the way, used by an evil corporation that rules over us. And this isn’t about metaphysics, that’s for sure. This is about the bullshit concept of “meta-narratives,” which follows the same cringe line of “post-truth politics,” advocated by the American liberal regime to justify their propaganda. If “meta” means to “go beyond,” the prefix term “post,” means “after.” What exactly are we going “beyond,” and what is after all of this? Well, whatever those in power want it to be!
What we are “aware” of is the genre of horror films. All of those sincere and good films, like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street are reduced to commodities. We become aware of the cliches, plots, and importantly, ideology in these films. But what if the movie was aware of the same old formulas, and told the audience that a movie could be real, and could relate to the individual watching the film? What is happening now, is that subculture and mimesis become the center of attention rather than of true sincerity. This leads to the assumption that horror films are a dead genre, to begin with, and only nostalgia and a celebration of tradition is the last motivator of originality. Nostalgia is linked with consumer products and memory.
And what does “female viewership” have to do with anything? This assumes that women never liked or admired horror films and that the genre was always likely dominated by evil straight white men. If female viewership has increased because of Scream, that means certain values were catering to the weakness of female decadence, negating male intellect. This implies that awareness is linked to female demands, thus ruining the intellect of the horror genre further. What we are witnessing is women entering the space of the traumatic male, and enforcing “anti-male gazing” upon the subject. She demands that it’s about her and her struggle against evil men.
So what is being “revitalized” here? Did no one like horror movies to begin with? Did Scream magically come along and tell the smart, daring, and innovative public that horror movies are aware, of everyone, and celebrate postmodern intellectualism? This sounds a lot like the egalitarian mindset, or, the stubborn values of modernism and liberalism. Two of which the American empire sees as its traits to justify global capitalism are rainbow flags, and George Floyd statues being erected in Tokyo.
Is Scream “subverting” anything? We laugh at the meme-friendly nature of Ghostface's Twitter, yet nothing special is being said. As if Ghostface is like any other ironic user posting jokes about simply knowing things. (Max Weber once argued that “bureaucratic authority” is what keeps the elite in power and the rest under ignorance and slavery. Pandering to supposedly know who the cool avant-garde artists in power, but could care less about who they are, is how the upper-middle class gets by in New York City or Los Angeles.)
Scream was supposed to be called “Scary Movie,” to convince the audience to be aware that horror can be all too real. And the in-universe horror film is called “Stab.” The audience is watching a film about a film that becomes real. The pettiness and pretentious nature that the modernist represents one of many of the egalitarian masses sickens me. This is American liberalism dressed up in fancy rhetoric.
This was the 1990s, and the Boomers and coming-to-age Gen-Xers were celebrating the effects that “Hauntology” brought upon against sincere forms of communism and fascism. Only neoliberal capitalism reigns supreme and everyone can race mix without worry because everyone is the same. It’s almost a cliché in itself that America believes their citizens are fucking “meta” about everything during this time. This is nothing more than irony, a destructive trait against sincere forms of art. America celebrates irony to confuse its culture and to attack opponents of global capitalism. Scream is celebrating the fact that art is worthless. There is no innovation here. It’s caught up in the cultural propaganda of the time and undermines sincere forms of art as obsolete, similar to its obsession against 1950s white America.
Do I need to say more?
A simple Google Search can compile all the praise on how wonderful Scream is. But a lot of this pseudo-intellectual garbage only appeals to Gen-X professors living off tenure in another no-name state school. Who cares if another gullible student writes another paper acknowledging what Scream is about, and never criticizing how harmful it truly is? Another paper on “Scream and postmodernism” is a cottage industry itself.
Here are some titles that will casually pop up about the so-called genius of Scream:
Scream and Scream Again: The Postmodern Musings of "Scream"
The Rules of Reviving a Genre: ‘Scream’ and Postmodern Cinema
The Scream Trilogy, "Hyperpostmodernism," and the Late-Nineties Teen Slasher Film
The Postmodernism of Wes Craven's Scream
Reframing Parody and Intertextuality in Scream
“How Meta Can You Get?” Postmodernism and the Scream Franchise
Scream: A Postmodern Horror
Is Scream a Parody, Pastiche, or Post Modern Thriller?
…And so on. It just won’t fucking end.
Scream VI is not about the other Screams. It’s another cash grab. It’s the same consumer good as buying a Funko Pop doll or buying vinyl records in 2023. Obsolete and without meaning. This is “consoomerism.”
I’m getting sick over another pretentious article with Jean Baudrillard cited as the opening quote. I do believe there is something mentally wrong with white people. There is nothing more prosperous than the movie watcher pretending the movie is an intellectually engaging novel, or Shakespearian play, that can enlighten the dumb masses. It’s like trying to learn about Alain Badiou through the music of Tupac Shakur. Simply knowing about ideology, subculture, fashion, and politics is not enough for them. This is the true arrogance of the liberal.