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"Scream" is a 1996 American slasher film directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. The movie is known for its self-referential humor, clever writing, and innovative approach to the horror genre.

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The "Scream" franchise, a collection of American horror films, has had a profound cultural impact since the release of its first installment in 1996. Directed by horror maestro Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, the "Scream" series redefined the slasher genre by integrating self-awareness and meta-commentary into its narrative, effectively rejuvenating a genre that had become saturated with predictable tropes and clichés.

"Scream" follows the story of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), a young woman who becomes the target of a succession of killers who adopt the guise of Ghostface, a fictional persona inspired by the Edvard Munch painting "The Scream". What set "Scream" apart from its contemporaries was its self-referential nature. Characters in the film were aware of the clichés of the horror genre, often discussing them openly and sometimes subverting them. This not only served to create suspense and humor but also allowed the franchise to critique the genre itself, adding a layer of depth rarely seen in horror films.

Culturally, "Scream" has had a significant influence. It sparked a resurgence in the horror genre in the late 1990s and early 2000s, inspiring a wave of self-aware horror films. Its iconic Ghostface mask has become a staple of Halloween costumes and pop culture iconography, symbolizing the series' lasting impact. Furthermore, the franchise's blending of horror and comedy, its commentary on the genre's conventions, and its strong, resourceful female protagonist have all contributed to its enduring legacy. In many ways, "Scream" didn't just reflect the culture of its time; it helped shape it, leaving a mark on the genre that is still felt in contemporary horror cinema.