The newest entry in a beloved Meta horror franchise slashes into theaters from directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett in Scream from Paramount Pictures. James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick pen the fifth film that will please old fans and possibly gain new ones. 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.
Scream opens up with a familiar vibe introducing Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), who decided to skip out on her friend Amber’s (Mikey Madison) party to stay home and study. Things take an unexpected turn when Tara gets a phone call from Ghostface, leading to an attempt on Tara’s life. Thankfully, Tara survives the attack that leads her friend Wes (Dylan Minnette) to phone Tara’s out of town older sister Sam (Melissa Barrera).
Initially, Sam is hesitant to return to Woodsboro but finally relents. Against the better judgment of her boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid), the couple returns and soon find themselves among Tara’s other friends, Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), and Liv McKenzie (Sonia Ben Ammar). However, when bodies start to pile up, Sam is forced to stay in town a little longer to figure out just who is behind the mask of this new Ghostface.
As one of the characters in the film puts it, Scream 2022 is a requel. The definition of a requel means the newest movie in a franchise that both continues the story and revisits familiar tropes. So much so, that it is as much a remake as it is a continuation of the story.
In essence, the newest Scream has a lot in common with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That means the surviving OG trio of Dewey (David Arquette), Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), and of course, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) all return. Scream 4’s Marley Shelton returns as Judy Hicks, and Scream 3’s Heather Matarazzo pops up for a brief cameo as Martha Meeks.
I won’t get too heavy into spoilers, but die-hard Scream fans will quickly pick up on the new character tropes and how they correlate to the original film. Part of the fun of the Scream movies was trying to figure out who the killer or killers are, and this one is no expectation. Throughout the film, I would quietly mention to my wife that I think such and such is the killer, only for said character to meet a bloody end. The new cast is generally good and brings the proper acting styles to the film.
Doing a total 180 from her American film debut in last summer’s In the Heights, Melissa Barrera has a nice arc as Sam, our final girl. One of the highlights of her performance was that Barrera never tries to imitate Campbell and brings her own flavor to the role. I was also fond of Jasmin Savoy Brown’s Mindy Meeks-Martin, as it was good to see a Black woman so well versed in horror. Regarding the return of David Arquette, Courtney Cox, and Neve Campbell, all three can do these roles in their sleep, but they do serve a purpose, and it was great to see them on screen.
I hope that Scream kicks off a new trilogy that focuses on our surviving characters, as I’m not ready to leave Woodsboro just yet.
Final Grade: B+
Scream opened in theaters this Friday January 14th
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