Scream sent the American horror industry in a very different direction upon its release. Forget about the resurgence of teen slashers in its wake or the stunt casting of a bigger name for the sole purpose of a shocking murder scene. The lasting influence still felt over 20 years later is self-referential horror. Scream is not the first horror film to mention other horror films, but it is the first that hinges on a knowledge of horror films and the most successful to do so. If you want to dive deep into self-referential horror now, you need to do something brand new with it.