I can confirm that the new Scream is a great movie. With No. 5, the Scream franchise proves time after time that it’s one of our best horror franchises. Bloody, brutal, and smart: Scream (2022) takes a slice at requels this go around. With clever kills and more meta-humor, you will have a blast! Wes Craven would be proud.
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The Scream franchise has always been ahead of the curb. Ever since the late Wes Craven's (A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes, and Swamp Thing) 1996 original slasher made its debut at the theaters, it completely flipped the horror genre upside down. Scream (1996) was a grade-A horror picture. To this day, the original Scream is still one of the most influential slasher films to come out. Craven's film is wickedly funny, nerve-racking, and completely self-aware. The 1996 original took the horror genre by storm, and Craven captivated on that success and released Scream 2 (1997) one year later. Craven's No. 2 was an absolute stellar follow-up to the original. More gore and more tongue-in-cheek. Craven's sequel continued to be ahead of the curb. Scream 2 took on the deconstructive approach to sequels. Now, I need to mention while Craven's direction was brilliant, the writing belonged to screenwriter Kevin Williamson, who wrote No. 1, 2, and 4.
The power duo of Craven's direction and Williamson's writing is was made these two movies so good. Scream 3 came out in 2000 — unfortunately — No. 3 is the weakest of the Scream franchise. This is due to Williamson not coming back to write. That's not saying that Scream 3 is a bad movie because it's not. While it lacked balance in terror and meta-humor, Craven's direction was still fun as his film tackled trilogies. Both Craven and Williamson returned to the franchise 11 years later with Scream 4 (2011). Craven's Scream 4 returned to its razor-sharp form: clever kills, strong meta-humor, and thrilling scares. This time, Craven poked fun at the sequel/reboot frenzy that was running through Hollywood's veins. Scream 4 also had a killer opening sequence to die for, and it was the best opening since the terrifying original with Drew Barrymore. Sadly, Craven passed away in 2015 from a brain tumor. He was only 76. Ten years have passed since No. 4 came to theaters, and directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (2019's Ready or Not) have taken up the mantle to direct the fifth installment for the Ghostface franchise.
Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett take delicate care with this film, making something that would have made Craven proud. Screenwriters James Vanderbilt (2007's Zodiac) and Guy Busick (Ready or Not) penned the script for the latest slasher chapter. Vanderbilt and Busick work harder than ever to keep the franchise's meta edge in focus and succeed. They also wonderfully balanced the thrills and scares throughout, never missing a beat. Vanderbilt and Busick even dip their toes into the internet world of toxic fandom and requels, raising a glass to director Rian Johnson and 2017's The Last Jedi. So, it has been 25-years after the original streak of brutal murders that shocked Woodsboro, Calif., and a new killer(s) has decided to put on the Ghostface mask. With Ghostface back in fighting form, they begin targeting a group of teenagers to help resurrect secrets from Woodsboro's deadly past, prompting our legacy characters (actors Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette) to return. It was great seeing Sidney (Campbell), Gale (Cox), and Dewey (Arquette) back on the big screen.
Scream (2022) also introduces us to a handful of new characters (actors Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jack Quaid, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sonia Ben Ammar, and Kyle Gallner) as well. All of these actors did a great job in this film, but the two that really stood out to me were Barrera and Ortega. Barrera was in last year's summer musical, In the Heights, while Ortega is in a handful of upcoming 2022 films (The Fallout, X, and Studio 666) slated for this year. The Fallout just premiered on HBO Max and is on my list of new films to watch. Both Barrera and Ortega bring an emotional core to their characters, showcasing their strong acting chops. They have bright acting futures ahead of them. Scream (2022) is a blast from start to finish. This slasher franchise has always been ahead of the curb, gifting us with frightening and wickedly funny films. There were also some strong emotional scenes that got me a little choked up in this latest installment. Scream (2022) is a smart, brutal, and bloody return for Ghostface. Welcome back to Woodsboro.
Scream (2022) is rated R (Restricted) Some Sexual References | Language Throughout | Strong Bloody Violence.
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
Starring Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Mikey Madison, Mason Gooding, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sonia Ben Ammar, Marley Shelton, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell.
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