Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, and Drew Barrymore. Released on December 20, 1996, Scream follows the character of Sidney Prescott (Campbell), a high school student in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, who becomes the target of a mysterious killer known as Ghostface. The film combined black comedy and whodunit mystery with the violence of the slasher genre to satirize the clichés of the horror genre popularized in films such as Halloween and Friday the 13th. The film was considered unique at the time of its release for featuring characters who were aware of real world horror films and openly discussed the cliches that Scream attempted to subvert.