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Scream (2022) Review

Shall we just call it as it is? Scream is pretty much the benchmark of slasher films. Since Ghostface’s first outing in 1996, these films have been held in such high regard, served so many cultural references and even influenced a whole genre goofy spoof comedies.

Scream rejuvenates this classic horror series with its “requel” and acts as love letter to Wes Craven and the original film. It’s full to the brim with clever references to it’s origins and the genre as a whole with a great, diverse new cast while using the original cast as a base of familiarity. It’s doesn’t deviate much from what we’ve seen before and starting as it should, with a phone call, this film gives us everything we’ve come to expect from the franchise.

This time around a new generation of kids, who all have links to Woodboro’s shady history are the target of a killer on the rampage. The new cast are a breath of fresh air and subtly represent our society in 2022 pretty well. Sam (Melissa Barrera) returns to town with her boyfriend, Richie (Jack Quaid) after her sister, Tara (Jenna Ortega) falls first victim to the new Ghostface. We get acquainted with their group of friends, Wes (Dylan Minnette) who happens to be now-Sheriff Judy Hicks’ son, Amber (Mikey Madison) and twins Mindy and Chad (Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding). Sam and Tara are estranged and the reasons for this gives the story an interesting twist.

One of the films biggest draws is the inclusion of its original survivors, Sidney (Neve Campbell) Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courteney Cox). Sam experiences hallucinations which also cleverly brings in another classic character. They are reintroduced in a way which completely makes sense and it was fun to see these legacy characters back. They make their presence known but they don’t actually take over and I think that was a perfect combination for this. David Arquette gives a fantastic performance this time and re-establishes himself as the unconventional hero.

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett achieve what the film sets out to deliver. There are so many nods to the horror genre as a whole and so many well placed trinkets which take you back to watching the original film. The music used is reminiscent of the classic indie 90s music used in so many of our favourite films from that era. I loved the use of peoples opinions on the Stab films to express toxic fandoms as well as a basis for the journey these characters take. If you’re hoping for big scares you may come away disappointed but it does deliver some excellent gory, gruesome scenes and I appreciated how graphic the killings were at times. The hospital scene was probably my highlight of the entire film, giving us some of its most tense and shocking moments where you want to scream stupidity at some characters choices.

Being the fifth instalment, it’s a hard task to live up to its predecessors. Scream gives it a good shot and the result is a highly enjoyable and nostalgic film. Tongue firmly in cheek, it’s self aware and one of its appeals is that it doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. It paves the way for a new generation as both Jenna Ortega and Melissa Berrera give strong performances of our newest final girls. I would definitely watch a sequel involving them.

What’s your favourite scary movie?… quite possibly this one!