By DYLAN GOWAN.

I was once an anxious little boy who was pretty much scared of everything. And let’s be honest here, I still am, but I try to squash those feelings deep down. I am a man after all.

I mean, I remember when The Ring 2 came out and they had these ads on TV that would play three or four times an ad break where you would see that evil, demonic little she-beast coming out of her lovely little hole of a home in the ground, creepily slurring ‘I will find you.’

‘Look, love, I don’t want to be found okay! You are probably a lovely gal but I’m not really interested in a committed relationship at the moment and just want to enjoy Mitre 10 Dream Home in peace,’ I may or may not have thought to myself.

One of the things I was most scared of, though, was good ol’ Ghostface – or Scream, as I called him. I don’t really know how I came to be aware of Ghostface – maybe it was a combination of seeing ads for Scary Movie (man, ads scared me a lot) and seeing Scream on DVD at the video store – but all I knew was that he was scary looking and chased people with a knife. That was enough for me.

Of course, now that I am a fully grown hunk of a man, Ghostface doesn’t particularity scare me anymore. So instead of wanting to avoid the Scream movies at all costs, I decided I wanted to watch them.

Which is exactly what I did.

Alone.

Late at night.

Four nights in a row.

Some might say this is a mistake, but it wasn’t. In fact I quite enjoyed myself.

Overall, the four movies that make up the Scream franchise are great viewing. With the exception of Scream 3, which, in spite of some redeeming qualities, is a bit of a trainwreck. That’s what happens when the guy who wrote the Transformers movies is hired instead of the person who actually came up with and wrote the first two Scream movies.

For those of you who don’t know, the Scream series follows Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) as she and those in her life are constantly hunted by crazies who decide to don the mask and take up the persona of Ghostface.

Now, I’m not much of a horror fan and don’t particularly like gore, but Scream really caught my attention.

You know how when you find something you really like and then for like a week or two you’re really obsessed with that one thing and just can’t get enough of it? That is what I am currently going through with Scream.

There are heaps of reasons to like the films.

For a start, they are self aware. They treat the audience not as naive, but as aware of the conventions and history of horror films – and they play around with those conventions. Scream was meta before meta was a thing. So in this there are some great moments of humour (I particularly like watching Ghostface bumble around, much less scary than I thought he was as a kid) but also some great scares, thrills and moments of suspense – you quickly learn that no one is safe.

It’s also nice to see how women are portrayed. Horror films are typically known for their less than flattering portrayal of women, but Scream is different. Sidney Prescott is not portrayed as a victim, she constantly stands strong in spite of what happens to her and the films treat her with respect.

The first three Scream movies also reek of the late ’90s. This is a good thing. I think we can all agree there is something about that period in time.

The fourth film though didn’t come out until 2011 and the way it handles Ghostface in a more modern era is actually quite good. At times it is a little ‘try-hard-y’, with its attempts to incorporate modern technology, but the story is solid and it does a pretty good job at capturing us youths.

Also, Henry Winkler as a slightly uncouth principal, Joshua Jackson just before he hit the big time with Dawson’s Creek, the actress who plays Sheldon’s mother in The Big Bang Theory, and Kristen Bell all make appearances in the films. So that’s cool.

Ultimately, the Scream series is fun, original, suspenseful, a little scary and everything else you could want it to be.

I actually was not let down; my expectations were 100% met.

Oh, excuse me my phone is ringing.

Hello? What’s my favourite scary movie? Well, Scream of course!

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