Review: SCREAM (2022)

Alan Acosta, Photography Manager

As before in recent years, sequels and reboots of beloved franchises have been developed for the big screen, reeling in audiences new and familiar. With the horror genre being the most prominent, it did not take long for the famous meta-slasher franchise Scream to return once again.

With the director of the Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises, Wes Craven, passing in 2015, it was doubtful that another sequel to 2011’s Scream 4 (Craven’s last film) would be made. Afterward, a Scream TV series ran on MTV for only 3 seasons, apparently ending Ghostface’s killing spree. In 2019, after Spyglass Media Group acquired the rights to the franchise, it was announced a new film was in development, with original screenwriter Kevin Williamson revealing the film’s title shortly after.

SCREAM (informally known as Scream 5), directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, was released on January 14, 2022. The film has had a positive reception from critics, with praise for its direction, modern relevancy, and its handling of Craven’s legacy. Some critics have even labeled the film as the best sequel in the franchise. The official synopsis reads, “Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, Calif., a new killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.”

Since 1996, Scream movies have brought a new edge to modern horror, constantly referring to itself and other horror clichés. This self-awareness, or Meta-Commentary, has been iconically present throughout the films. Especially now, during a time of many reboots and sequels. This movie addresses its “requel” existence (in its distinctive manner, of course), all while introducing new characters to a deceptively smart, yet familiar plot. Needless to say, it would not be a Scream movie without legacy characters returning, such as Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers, and David Arquette’s Dewey Riley.

Ghostface now returns after 11 years to bring new, explicit kills to the big screen, reminding audiences what made the slasher franchise so prevalent in the first place.

RATING: 4.6/5 Stars

(Credit: Wallpaper Abyss)