Scream was taken on by Wes Craven in 1996. It spawned two sequels and began a new era of post-modernist horror.
Scream, the film that gave birth to the franchise, employed old school scare tactics while simultaneously calling attention to genre tropes. A ghost-faced killer is terrorizing a suburban high school, gutting the students and terrifying a quiet community. As the anniversary of a gruesome murder approaches and the accused is freed, the target appears to be the victim's daughter, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). The film also starred Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Henry Winkler and Drew Barrymore.
The success of the first film led to the theatrical release of a sequel in 1997. Campbell was back as Sidney, as were her surviving co-stars. Sidney is trying to start anew in college when the mysterious phone calls that plagued her during the first blood-spree return and a copycat killer paints the campus red. The script was not as tight as the first but it followed the same horror rules as well as the rules of a sequel.
In 2000 came the third instalment of the trilogy and the surviving cast members were back for one last stab. Sidney is hiding from the world at a remote cabin when actors in a movie based on her story begin to die. Furthermore, to draw Sidney out, the killer is leaving mysterious images of Sidney's mother at the scenes of the crimes. As in most trilogies, the past has come back to bite them.
The Scream films revitalized the horror genre and named Campbell this generation's scream queen (even though she never did another horror flick). It also launched the career of Jamie Kennedy and initiated the union of Cox and Arquette.
With these films being the phenom they were, it is unfortunate they are being treated to such a lacklustre release. The three films are on two-discs and completely free of any bells or whistles, i.e. special features. Craven calls it a "good trilogy;" doesn't that count for something?