Directed by late, great Master of Horror Wes Craven, Scream is often
credited with singlehandedly reviving the horror genre in the late 90s. Scary,
gory and full of self-referential humour the movie struck a chord with knowing
horror fans but the critically acclaimed Scream series has attracted its fair
share of controversy too for a series of violent crimes it supposedly inspired.
The first known Scream copycat murder took place in California in
1998 when 16-year-old Mario Padilla and his 14-year-old cousin Samuel Ramirez
killed Mario’s mother Gina Castillo after reportedly being inspired by the
slasher movies. They also planned to rob Castillo to fund the purchase of
Ghostface masks and voice-changers for a Scream-themed murder spree.
A year later two British teenage boys obsessed with Scream stabbed
their friend 18 times and left him for dead. Luckily, the victim survived the
attack and the pair were found guilty of attempted murder. Over in France in
2002, a 17-year-old male murdered a teenage girl while wearing a Ghostface mask
after repeated viewings of Scream.
But perhaps the most infamous Scream murder took place in 2001
when 24-year-old Belgian truck driver Thierry Jaradin stabbed his 15-year-old
neighbour Alisson Cambier to death while dressed as Ghostface after she
rebuffed his advances. After confessing to the murder, Jaradin claimed the
Scream movies were his inspiration.
Pretty ironic for a film series whose original Ghostface, Billy
Loomis, implored us not to blame the movies.