Scream is one for the fans, constructed in a way so fitting it's as though Wes Craven directed it himself.
Scream (2022), following on as an unofficial direct sequel of 2011’s Scream 4, is a twisted tale that works perfectly with the horror of the small town of Woodsboro that was first constructed and brought to our screens in 1996. With Ghostface back in business, Scream offers 2 hours of solid enjoyment and all your favourite horror tropes to match.
As a Scream fanatic, it’s always a worry when one of your favourite franchises is brought back again but under new direction. With the late Wes Craven unable to direct the project, it was a pleasant surprise to sit in a full cinema screen with an animated crowd enjoying the new style of directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Whilst the return of original characters Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) weren’t hidden from the marketing material, seeing them on-screen years later in their now much older forms is a nostalgia trip and a half. Scream returns us to Woodsboro 25 years after the original killings as we follow Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenny Ortega) Carpenter and their gang of friends as they aim to unmask the latest reincarnation of Ghostface.
Bringing back locations from the original film and characters who have withstood years of Ghostface torture, Scream plays on everything the fans could want and more. Drawing upon Scream‘s need for metatextuality works in the film’s favour, as the ‘new era’ characters whose lives we watch be destroyed by Ghostface offer a way to comment on the franchise’s successes, failures and most notable moments.
Jasmin Savoy Brown steals the show as Mindy Meeks-Martin, a friend of Tara who commentates on the actions of the film through her existing horror knowledge and love of the ‘Stab’ films (a reference to the Scream films and the issues of Scream 4), coining the term ‘requel’ to describe the reimagined sequel we are watching. In one particular scene, Mindy directly mirrors her uncle Randy (a character from the original film), bringing together the years that have passed since the franchise’s gory beginning – a moment for the hardcore fans.
Although the score was brilliant, the soundtrack often hit some strange points for better and for worse. As much of a cracking tune ‘I Don’t Want to Talk’ by Wallows is, hearing it blast out at the end of the film to a crowd who have just seen lots of gruesome murders, particularly one of the band’s frontman himself, is a choice that Wes Craven would be proud of, but one that still feels a little odd. Parody is a key element to the franchise’s eternal success, yet sometimes parody can go too far and take away the reality of wanting to leave the room with a chill up your spine. Whilst Scream has always removed fear at the end of its films with ‘positive’ outcomes, a menacing hint towards what is next to come for Woodsboro inhabitants would have really been the cherry on the top of the slasher-fuelled cake.
Scream is a parody filled bit of fun that appeals to the fans, but still offers a selection of your favourite horror archetypes and tropes. As a potential end to the franchise, it is brilliant to see that the slasher still lives on as a fan favourite.
Scream is in cinemas now with an 18 certificate. Watch the trailer below: