When Wes Craven directed Scream way back in 1996, there’s absolutely no way he ever thought that the little movie he reluctantly took on when no one else was willing to would end up becoming a huge horror movie franchise. There’s just no way. The fact that there has been yet another instalment in 2022 – almost 30 years later – would have blown his mind, right? I mean, that has to be the case. Horror movies were pretty much a laughing stock in the UK throughout the 80s, with most labelling them ‘video nasties’, despite the 1970s being known for heavy hitters like The Exorcist and Halloween. One might argue, then, that with Scream, horror was reborn, and people began to covet horror once more.
As an unashamed lover of Scream 4, I was absolutely buzzing to see this one, hence why I went to our local multiplex on opening night. But more about that later. In this self-proclaimed ‘requel’, we join the town of Woodsboro once more, twenty five years after the original Ghostface killer rampaged through their neighbourhood. As you’d expect, in this movie (which is not called ‘Scream 5’, as some are still insisting on calling it) there’s a new killer on the loose, but as is always the case, he’s (or she’s?) still dressing up like the original murderer. I won’t go into any further details – it’s more fun if you go in blind to slashers like this.
My highlight of the movie? “I’m Sidney fucking Prescott, of course I have a gun.” The internal screaming I was doing when Neve Campbell returned was just as loud as those people who cheered for Andrew Garfield in that other movie.
So here’s the reason: whilst this won’t be for everyone, the Scream franchise holds such a special place in my heart that this hit so many of the right notes for me. I grew up with Scream, and in many ways these movies are what made me interested in horror as a genre. This is effectively my Harry Potter (although I did grow up with those too…) If you don’t feel that way, maybe you won’t be in love with this. But in my humble opinion? A worthy sequel that aligns perfectly with what Wes Craven started.
It’s true that there are plot holes; I won’t deny that. And yes, there’s a lot of fan service, but isn’t that sense of comfort something we all need after the past couple of shitty years we’ve had? Despite all that, what has always made Scream so great is it’s self awareness. It knows how cheesy it is and it knows its own clichés, but instead of shying away from those things, it plays right up to them. This fifth instalment continues on with that tradition, although some seem to think it’s ‘too much’ in this instance. In the immortal words of Luther Vandross, I say “never too much never too much never too much“. I’d also actually argue that this is the most cinematic of the bunch; there’s one specific shot during a brutal, significant death sequence that I’ll remember forever… but I won’t spoil it for you. Just know that I’m sure many people will be talking about that scene in particular.
On the whole, I could have done with more of the original trio in all honesty, but I get that this, in part, is an attempt at reaching a younger audience and I appreciate that this requel is bringing Scream to new cinema-goers. On that note, new casting additions Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega are fabulous, and Jasmin Savoy Brown is a worthy new age Randy Meeks. The mixture of old and new actually works surprisingly well, which is in all likelihood due to some decent script work by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man) and Guy Busick (Ready or Not).
Why not 5 Qs? It’s not perfect. The aforementioned plot holes paired with some mild disappointment I felt towards the ending means that the original 1996 film still wears the #1 crown for me. Either way, I’m super glad they made this, and judging by the fact that it made $30.6 million on opening weekend in North America seems to suggest that there may well be more coming our way…
Scream is currently screening in most cinemas in the UK.
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design:
Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½