Mario’s Movies: My First Horror Movie

By Mario Ricciardi

Hey there, loyal readers making your way all the way to the double-digit pages; I’m back! That’s right; for those of you keeping track, this is year five. That’s me, Mario’s Movies, the voice of a fifth-year senior. 

Pretty scary, right? Oh, look at that. Here I am writing for the Jambar’s Halloween issue, and I’ve segued myself into talking about something scary. How fitting. Well, you’re probably sticking around for a horror movie review or something, so let’s get to it.

Did I ever tell you about the first 15 years of my life when I didn’t have internet in my house? What a time to be alive.

It’s much scarier in retrospect, but seriously think about it. Not knowing anything faster than seven-day shipping, having to ride a horse to school, churning our own butter — what kind of backwoods, “Children of the Corn” life was I living? 

There was hope, though: a 3-by-3 square of hope in my driveway that I could resort to when I needed a hit of that sweet internet dopamine. My neighbor’s Wi-Fi network was unsecure, so I would stand outside in that square where the signal was strongest and download movies to my iPod Touch to watch later.

I would sometimes spend three times as long as the movie itself downloading it from the driveway, occasionally unattended. If someone ever tried to break into our house by looking for keys under rocks, they wouldn’t have found keys, but they definitely would have found an iPod.

I was never really into horror films, but I had seen a lot about the “Scream” franchise in Entertainment Weekly. Production for “Scream 4” was just starting up, so there was a whole cover story on its legacy. 

Thanks to quasi-tabloid magazines and the power of public relations, I became really intrigued.

The funny thing was, up until that point, I don’t think I had ever seen a legitimate horror film. The closest I had gotten was probably the “Goosebumps” TV show and that jump scare in “Spider-Man” when Willem Dafoe is talking to himself in a mirror. 

So, exactly four and a half hours later, “Scream” was downloaded and I was in my bedroom watching it. 

Lights off, home alone, mid-October, I remember being genuinely excited. By the end, I was a fan. 

“Scream” is a funny, scary and sharp meta-deconstruction of the horror genre. If you pay attention, the beginning of the film tells you who the killer is, and it will still surprise first-time viewers by the end. 

“Scream” outlines how film, and ultimately we the viewers, anticipate life through a relatively well-established set of rules. But even knowing those rules and being so familiar with the human condition doesn’t prevent things from sneaking up on us pretty hard.

Maybe I went too far with all that. 

What you should take away is that “Scream” is a really great movie on multiple levels, and I recommend it. You can find all four “Scream” movies on Netflix. The first two are definitely worth your time. If you’re looking for something to watch this Halloween weekend, check them out. Hopefully we’re all in a place where we can be in a house comfortably, letting a 0.3 second buffer time make that happen for us.

???? (4/5 Penguins)