This week has been all about Scream (Check out Sidney’s review here!) and when we found out our friend, the incredibly talented David Ayllon (See our interview with him here!), was doing a Scream-themed photo shoot, we knew we had to share the results with the WERRRK.com Universe!
After it was announced that Scream would be released January 14, Ayllon, an award-winning creative director, graphic designer, photographer and MFA graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design, had an idea.
“I’m a gay man – being perceived as feminine was always looked down upon growing up – but in the Scream franchise, I saw strong, smart women who were both fierce and feminine at the same time,” Ayllon said. “In most horror franchises, the villain is the star (i.e. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers), but in Scream, teenage heroine Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and catty reporter Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) carry the films.”
Ayllon recalled watching the original Scream at nine years old in 1996 when the phone rang.
“The last thing I wanted to do was answer the phone, but I convinced myself it was Grandma calling,” he said. “That’s when I heard, ‘Do you like scary movies?’ I screamed and ran crying to my mother before I saw my father walking up the basement stairs, laughing with a cell phone in his hand.”
“It has since become a rite of passage in my family to watch this movie.”
In fact, his sister Nicole recently had a baby girl named Camryn J. – just in time for the next installment of the sleeper hit franchise following its 25th anniversary.
“That’s when I realized: the women in my family are just as strong as the women in the Scream films,” Ayllon said.
Ayllon said he himself always related to Neve Campbell’s and Courtney Cox’s more complex, intelligent, and confident portrayals of the “final girls” horror trope – female characters who ultimately fight and outwit the villain – and wanted to honor their unique strengths and vulnerabilities in a series of photos with his niece and his husband, a.k.a. drag queen Pissi Myles, with whom Ayllon shares a common appreciation for horror movies – especially Scream.
With powerful heroines such as Sidney and Gale, writer Kevin Williamson managed to revitalize the once-tired horror genre by infusing innovative, sharp and campy humor alongside trauma and suspense.
It was the late Wes Craven’s widely successful direction of his scripts that then created both a layered deconstruction of and introspective commentary on the typical “slasher” sub-genre tropes and archetypes – one in which we find Sidney Prescott even writing about her own story, volunteering at a women’s crisis line, and personally reaching out to victims because she refuses to be one herself.
Taking ownership of one’s survival is an idea both Ayllon and Williamson say they and many others in the LGBQTIA+ community can relate to.
“We know Camryn will be no different,” Ayllon said. “She will be as tough as Sidney and as sassy as Gale – and that is what I wanted to capture.”