I first saw Scream at the old and weary Northway Mall in Albany, where movies cost a mere $3 and the seats reclined. This wasn't a fancy cinema, but rather a cheap theater where the seats creaked and contorted from age, like your favorite battered arm chair. I don't remember who was with me, which leads me to believe that I must have gone to Scream alone, lured in by my love of The Doom Generation's Rose McGowan. Though I don't remember if I had company, I will never forget watching the film -- especially the first fifteen minutes -- the feel of the chairs, the darkness, and the fleeting looks at the exit as I mulled over a possible early escape.
I remember being torn. It was not that I hated the film and contemplated whether I could make it until the end. Rather, I couldn't take the horror stress, as Casey was stalked by Ghostface in her window-ridden home, trying to make an escape and coming oh-so-close, only to die one gruesome and ghoulish death mere steps from her parents. I remember thinking just seconds before her mother's scream that if it went on much longer, I'd have to leave. But just at that peak, when the chills seemed like too much, Casey Becker was dead and it was time to watch Billy Loomis try to get into Sidney Prescott's nightie. And by the time we met Tatum, Randy, and heard the low voice of Nick Cave, I was in love.