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Quentin Tarantino felt that he could have directed Wes Craven’s Scream. He took some shots at Craven’s version of the story. However, Tarantino admitted that he was terrified by one of Craven’s earlier films when he was a child.

Quentin Tarantino felt Wes Craven stopped ‘Scream’ from achieving its potential

During a 2015 interview with Vulture, Tarantino was asked if he wanted to direct any franchise movies. “I could have imagined doing the first Scream,” he said. “The Weinsteins were trying to get Robert Rodriguez to do it. I don’t even think they thought I would be interested.” For context, Rodriguez has worked with Tarantino on multiple occasions. Most famously, they each directed a film from the double feature Grindhouse.

“I actually didn’t care for Wes Craven’s direction of it,” he said. “I thought he was the iron chain attached to its ankle that kept it earthbound and stopped it from going to the moon.”

The ‘Kill Bill’ director was scared by another Wes Craven film

While Tarantino didn’t think that Craven handled Scream well, he’s still a fan of Craven’s The Last House on the Left. In his 2022 book Cinema Speculation, Tarantino said it was one of the scariest films he had ever seen when he first watched it. The only film that had scared him more was, of course, Walt Disney’s Bambi. Like many kids, he he was tramautized when Bambi’s mother died.

Tarantino has made many films with hardcore violence, including Reservoir Dogs, the Kill Bill movies, and Django Unchained. He also dabbled in the horror genre with his mostly ignored film Death Proof. Considering the career he has had, it’s a huge compliment for Tarantino to say Craven scared him. To this day, The Last House on the Left is widely considered one of the most disturbing films ever. It’s also a lot less polished, humorous, and, well, safe than Scream.


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The big connection between Quentin Tarantino and ‘Scream’

While Scream isn’t Tarantino’s cup of tea, the movie has one major thing in common with Tarantino’s early filmography: it’s very much a product of the 1990s. They’re both filled with pop culture references and a smart aleck attitude that defined the decade.

During his interview with Vulture, the Kill Bill director was asked if he was nostalgic for the 1990s. “I’m not, even though I think the ’90s were a really cool time,” he replied. “It was definitely a cool time for me. 

“But almost like how Bob Dylan had to survive the ’60s so he could be not just considered an artist of the ’60s, I had to survive the ’90s so that when VH1 does their I Love the ’90s thing, they wouldn’t mention me,” he added. “I think the jury was out about that for a while. But if I am going to be nostalgic about the ’90s, it’s for the lack of everybody being connected to all this technology all the time.” Interestingly, the fact that cordless phones are a big part of the horror in Scream speaks to the technophobia that Tarantino displays here.

Tarantino and Scream will always be remembered as huge milestones of 1990s American cinema even if Tarantino isn’t the biggest Scream fan.