Scream is slasher film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Additionally, it was written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. Releasing in 2022, it is the fifth installment in the Scream film series. Also, the film is a direct sequel to Scream 4 (2011) and is the first film in the series to not be directed by Wes Craven, following his death in 2015.
The film takes place twenty-five years after the original Woodsboro murders, when yet another Ghostface appears and begins targeting a group of teenagers who are each somehow linked to the original killings. We’re introduced to a plethora of new characters as well as the return of Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell, who reprise their roles from previous instalments.
I grew up watching Scream. In fact, I’ve seen all of the movies before this one many times. I’d certainly call myself a fan and it would be fair to assume that I know the movies pretty damn well. This new entry is presented as less of a sequel and more of a “relaunch” for the franchise. This raises the obvious question, does Scream have any tricks left up its sleeve? Well, yes and no. Considering this is the fifth film in a series that has ran for 25 years, you’d hope to see the stakes raised in some way. Unfortunately, this film plays it safe. However, the movie itself blatantly claims that this is the intention. At one point stating that sequels suck and that the original is king. Therefore, it being something of a rethread is exactly what it is going for. As Scream is no stranger to being “Meta” this works really well.
Talking of being Meta, who does it better than Scream? In the past we’ve had speeches from Randy on the so-called “rules” of horror movies. Now, we have an extended “stab” at toxic fandoms and the idea that Hollywood is void of original concepts. They tried remakes of beloved franchises but they bombed. Now, they’ve learned to deliver the far more palatable “requel” or “legacyquel”. You know, bringing back the “old guard” to essentially “put over” the new blood. Let’s be honest, it works right? Well, sometimes anyway.
Scream always did a great job of feeling relevant to the time period that it released in, especially in terms of where the slasher genre was at that moment in time. This new entry follows that trend as well as continuing to have digs at proven horror tropes.
The new faces we’re introduced to are all fine. That’s it, just fine. None of them are in any way developed enough for you to really care when they get offed. Sure, you never really know whose next but do you care? The show stealers are of course, our beloved returning characters of Dewey, Gale Weathers and Sydney. They steal the show and outshine most of the new faces. It’s a lot of fun to once again hang out with characters that we’ve been watching for the past 25 years. Credit to each of them for effortlessly falling back into the roles as if they had never left.
Arquette delivers the most memorable performance in the film and adds some genuine emotional weight to proceedings for invested fans. I found Sydney’s inclusion to be pretty pointless on the whole. She has to be there for obvious reasons but I do feel her story and character has run its course. On the whole, I thought the acting was very good indeed from just about everyone involved.
The blood and gore is a definite highlight. The stabbing felt more realistic in a way with some pretty nasty looking effects which was cool for a modern, mainstream slasher film. A very respectable body count for sure. Ghostface truly is the perfect slasher villain because it can literally be anyone. Even after all this time, the character still doesn’t feel boring.
Overall, while it’s by no means perfect or flawless, Scream (2022) is a solid entry that breathes new life into a tired franchise. What more could you ask for really? Ghostface in space? For what it was, I enjoyed it and I do believe it hits a sweet spot that will satisfy long-time fans and newer ones alike. Is it in need of a major reinvention? Definitely. With a Scream 6 confirmed, it won’t be long before we find out what that might look like. Here’s my idea, bring back Stu! He’s the only killer that didn’t get a “double tap” death and it would truly bring everything full circle.
The Final Score - 7.5/10