Scream is brilliant. Scream 2, Scream 3, and I'm guessing Scream 4 take the meta to heights that are a little ridiculous, but the first one hits the nail on the head. It's funny, it's light, and there is much slashing.
Kevin Williamson of Dawson's Creek fame knows how to make teenagers sound witty and smart and unlike any teenagers actually sound. It's part of his charm. Scream moves at zip-bam speed and if you aren't really listening, you'll miss all the clever quips and horror movie jokes. My fave, of course, is director Wes Craven dressed up as Freddy Kruger (and named Fred the Janitor) as he swabs the floors. My secret belief is that it was really the disgruntled janitor that offed Fonzie.
Back in the day, Scream was also unique in it's early slashing of its biggest star, Drew Barrymore and it's delightfully twisty and humorous reveal that there are two killers. The last ten minutes of Scream are still my favorite and I have to admit, I prefer my serial killers sexy as opposed to grotesque or masked.
Scream is one big meta mocky slasher film of fun and it's very smart. I'll watch it again and again.