Film Reviews

Scream (2022)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

“You Sick F***s, you’ve seen one too many movies”df9f00

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Scream is the franchise’s meta Legacy Requel for a growing generation of horror fans.

It is the first big movie of 2022, and the first theatrical release to dethrone the latest Spider-Man film on the big screen. It’s been over a month since No Way Home’s release but this is still an applaudable feat and great for the future of theatrical horror movie releases. 

It feels like it’s been an extremely long time since a hard R rated horror movie has been released in theaters, especially one this popular. I’m so used to getting my horror fix in the privacy of my own home that it felt a bit odd being back in a theater with strangers. Last one I can remember was Halloween (2018), and Scream fits nicely with its fellow contemporary horror movies. The theatrically released ultra violent but thoroughly entertaining Hollywood horror blockbusters. 

The usual suspects are back. Not just actual legacy characters—Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox’s Gale or David Arquette’s Dewey—who all could very well be Ghostface, but there’s a group of new characters who instantly become distrust personified, a staple in the Scream franchise. It’s nothing personal, “Don’t trust just anyone!” The cast of fresh young faces makes this new Scream such a treat to watch. Maybe that’s because I’m a part of the same generation these characters come from. I was 1 when the original came out and didn’t see it until the 2000s.

25 years after the world was terrified by the Woodsboro murders and obsessively entertained by Stab’s legend, this film opens with that dreaded iconic phone call, only slightly tweaked for the current zeitgeist. Home security, A24 winks and nods and a whole lot of millennial spunk but with the same nostalgic Scream treatment. The spectral figure of Ghostface initiates it’s latest murderous spree by attacking but not killing teenage-home-all-alone Tara–played by Jenna Ortega.

This triggers her older sister sam—played by Melissa Barrera to finally return home and she’s joined by her boyfriend, Ritchie–played by Jack Quaid. And from there, we’re back in Woodsboro facing the same ghostly threat. Centered around Tara is a new group of teens. Wes Hicks (Dylan Minnette), Amber Freeman (Mikey Madison), Sonia Ammar (Liv McKenzie), and twins Mindy and Chad Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding) round out the latest class at Woodsboro High School. 

With 25 years of this franchise in the past, now more than ever, every single person is a suspect and the mystery of it all is half the fun! Even by the end you can try to convince yourself you knew it all along but let’s be honest here, you didn’t. You will second guess every single character, more so than others and from every possible angle, reading their body language, dissecting each word of dialogue, theorizing who has the most plausible motives because it could legitimately be anyone or everyone at this point in the franchise. 25 years is a long time for a tragedy like this one to spread like wildfire and attract the wrong people with the wrong mentalities.

Ghostface stabs (and trips) their way through Woodsboro without any care of getting caught because if local authorities haven’t figured out how to anticipate something like this coming back to life by now, then there’s really no hope. The camera is so mobile, directing us through fake out after fake out, rendering our imaginations nearly helpless to anticipate what’s coming and when and when it does, it’s ultra violent.

It’s a horror movie requel plot that leads us back to where it all began in the original. The Maker household, the legendary location forever solidified in the pantheons of horror, is where the 5th Scream (probably 9th Stab) movie was destined to return for its latest grand finale.

And by this 3rd act, my mental stamina is depleted and I find myself trapped in that iconic kitchen climax along with the movie’s final remaining characters. I’ve been stabbed, shot and my bones battered by some exhaustive horror entertainment. It’s a violent collision of tainted legacy and toxic fandom. The reveals and revelations don’t entirely cover new ground and sort of bother me but it’s perfectly in line with the Scream Franchise. It all results in a thrilling conclusion but man is it still a lot to watch.

Each Scream plays with the horror genre in its own ways and it has become one of the finest franchises because of this. Scream 2022 continues its self aware meta-mission by honing in on horror requels (and itself), and attacking toxic fandom with a taste of its own medicine—the manifestation of a tainted legacy, birthed from its fame and fueled by its obsession.

With everything put into perspective, Scream could now be easily followed up with 2 more sequels to make a neat modern trilogy for the franchise. Not that I personally want there to be any more Scream films at least not for another decade or so. But what I do want are more horror movies given sufficient wide released theatrical runs. Even if this can only come true with the release of sequels, remakes or requels, all which seem to always do decent box office numbers, at least breathe fresh air into the retreads the way requel Scream 2022 does!

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