3.5 Stars
Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 102 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:

KEVIN WILLIAMSON, nervous screenwriter, is seated. BOB WEINSTEIN enters
from behind.
BOB: Kevin! “Scream 2″ did great business, but we need a new film to exploit the teen market for next Christmas.
KEVIN: I’m kind of busy with “Dawson’s Creek”…
BOB: Who cares about your little teen smut show? We need a movie!
KEVIN: Um, how about “Scream 3″?
BOB: NO, Neve Campbell wants to be taken more seriously in a couple of other movies first. (Edit. Note: “Wild Things” and “54”. Now do you take her more seriously?)
CUT TO: CLOSE-UP of KEVIN. He’s sweating.
KEVIN: Uhhhhhhhhhh…
KEVIN: How about… “Pretty in Pink” meets… “Dangerous Liasons”?
BOB: It’s being done. (Edit. Note: “Cruel Intentions” starring TV’s Sarah Michelle Gellar, coming this spring!)
KEVIN: “Pretty in Pink” meets “My Fair Lady”?
BOB: It’s being done. (“She’s All That” with “I Know What You Did Last Summer”‘s Freddie Prinze Jr.! This spring!)
KEVIN: “Sixteen Candles” meets “Say Anything”?
BOB: That’s “Can’t Hardly Wait”.
KEVIN: “Night of the Hunter” meets “Massacre at Central High”?
BOB: That’s “Heathers”.
KEVIN: “Dennis the Menace” meets the “Omega Man”?
BOB: That would be “Home Alone”.
KEVIN: Ummmm… [Pause]
BOB: I’m waiting.
KEVIN: Ummmm…
KEVIN: Ummmm… “The Breakfast Club” meets… [pause] “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”?
BOB: DING!!!!!!! I LOVE IT! Let’s make a movie.
Actually, it’s more “John Carpenter’s The Thing” than anything else. Also in his video library: “Invaders from Mars”, “Sixteen Candles”, “Blue Velvet”, “Teachers”, and episodes of his little teen smut show.
The premise: The jock (Shawn Hatosy), the princess (Jordana Brewster), the dweeb (Elijah Wood), the bad kid (Josh Hartnett), and the weird art girl (Clea Duvall) all notice the faculty acting strangely out of character, followed by the students. They determine alien forces are at work, and only by banding together can they save their Ohio town.
Give a hand for director Robert Rodriguez, he may not have vision, but he can keep things moving. Williamson, on the other hand, needs to get out and meet people more often. He’s running out of ’80’s movies to reference. Now that he’s hit the paranoia films, he may have to really mine the 1970’s and if he does, Tarantino will kick his ass. This is entertaining and all, but can’t we have something new? This post-modern thing is getting old. It looks like Williamson threw five old scripts in the air and Rodriguez shot the first 90 pages he picked up. I’d like a little more meat on my burger because all I can taste is the cheese.

Posted on December 28, 1998 in Reviews by

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