Scream is a 1996 American slasher film directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. The film stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy, and Drew Barrymore. Released on December 20, it follows high school student Sidney Prescott (Campbell) and her group of friends in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, who become the targets of a mysterious killer in a Halloween costume known as Ghostface. The film satirizes the clichés of the slasher genre popularized in films such as Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980) and Craven's own A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). 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.


High school student Casey Becker is home alone when she receives a phone call from an unknown person, during which they discuss horror films. The caller turns sadistic, refusing to leave Casey alone and threatening her life. He reveals that her boyfriend Steve is bound and gagged outside on her patio and demands she answer questions about horror films if she wants him to live. After Casey answers a question about Friday the 13th incorrectly, Steve is murdered in front of her. Refusing to answer more questions, Casey attempts to escape, but is cornered by someone wearing a "Ghostface" costume, who kills her before her parents arrive home to find her disemboweled corpse hanging from a tree.