Certain films come out and totally revitalize there genre. The reinvent it and give it the boost they need to continue on. They do it by doing something not only original, but truthful as well. These films truly honor the genre's they love. Such was the case with Wes Craven's 1996 film "Scream".
This film understood the slasher genre and what made it work while at the same time abandoning all of that to produce something truly fresh and original. Now that last statement may seem like some kind of hate pitch by some music video or commercial director talking about how he's about to lovingly piss all over everything that was good about some old 80's favorite that he's about to remake, but it is in fact true.
"Scream" abandoned the 2 dimensional, unlikable jerks that populate slashers films for truly witty and charismatic characters played by excellent actors that you pray to god are going to make it out alive. It was a funny film but when it got serious it became truly frightening because there was something behind the eyes of the villains that was horrifyingly close to that weird feeling you get from those bored rich kid ski bums you knew in high school. Like no thrill was ever going to be awesome enough until they found the ultimate high. It knew that you knew what was going to happen as soon as you walked in the door and then jigged and did something completely different. This made it truly scary. All of a sudden you were adrift in a world that you thought you knew so well, and that folks, it the essence of fear.
I believe "Quantum Theory" does this for the sci fi and heist genres. It has wonderful three dimensional folks portrayed by actors at the top of their game who care about each other deeply and thus make the audience care about them. When betrayals happen, the are deeply personal. And it changes the rules of the heist genre by saying "Nice, very well laid out plan! How bout this!!" and then shakes the reality etch-a-sketch on you and destroys everything you know. How do you plan anything against bad guys like that?! How do you even think? Very scary.
We have something very special going on here folks and it could change the world. They need to see it. Let's make it happen:http://bit.ly/HfaZwr
But... Scream is a horror film! Quantum Theory is not a horror film. You know? ; P
I'm kidding. In fact, Gerard was making this observation earlier - and I'd never made the connection before then - but Scream is probably as pivotal to the evolution of '90's snark as Buffy was. Self-awareness was the key to that whole humor, and where Quantum Theory serves as an evolutionary tool is in making the CHARACTERS self-aware, instead of making the movie itself into something post-modern. These characters have grown up in a world we recognize. They tease one another... if not in the way we tease each other, then at least in the way we TRY to.
In that sense, I think Quantum Theory owes a lot to Scream. I never saw Scream when it was in theaters, and I've only seen it twice - but plenty of the movies that have come out since have felt the effects of it. Movies like Hellboy would not have been the same without it, that's for sure!
There's no denying that when Wes Craven hits on something, he REALLY hits on it!
It's the ants. They do that to you.