Now here’s an interesting insight

05/24/2001

Now here’s an interesting insight into the problems of reviewing movies. BBC film got three different reviewers to examine the three Scream movies. And the three present fairly conflicting views of the the 90s leading horror franchise.

Almar Haflidason reviewed Scream, and found it lacklustre, giving it three stars. Now, I would personally disagree with that opinion. But that’s not really relevant. What is relevant is that a different reviewer (Neil Smith) then reviews the significantly inferior Scream 2 and similarly gives that movie three stars. There’s no explicit comparison between the films in the review which is a shame, because I think it would have demonstrated a radical disjuncture between the two reviewers’ opinions of the first film. Now in I come, with my review of Scream 3, which I believe to be inferior to the first movie, but a substantial improvement upon the second. I want to give it three and a half stars, but as I can’t, I give it four, declaring it an average film that nonetheless caps the trilogy admirably. If the same reviewer had covered all of the films, then there would be consistency and a way of comparing their quality. But then again, the single reviewer would necessarily have their own opinion which a reading audience would not necessarily have agreed with. Is it better to have three opinions or one set of comparable ones?

Which brings me to another point of interest. Each film carries with it a ‘rate this film’ box – which is a new addition for the BBC and will provide another way for the reader to determine whether the film is actually any good or not. I’d like everyone on this site to go and vote on each of the three films, and in a couple of days I’ll check back and see which of us was closest to the consensus opinion. I suspect it will be Neil.