Scream (2022)

Yep, the killer really is on this poster!

“Do you like scary movies????”

This is a spoiler-free review. Read on with no worries.

Taking place twenty-five years after the events of the original Scream, the new Scream film is a surprisingly well done sequel. It could have easily been just another whodunit that trucks out Sid, Dewey, and Gale. Instead, it brings those characters back along with a couple of other characters from prior installments and then swirls them around with a new batch of teenagers ripe for slicing. The basic plot remains the same as it is in all of the other sequels: a new killer (or killers) dons the Ghostface mask and systematically takes out members of a tight-knit group of teens. Those teens in turn attempt to discover the identity of the killer(s) and tries to stop them, usually with the help of Sid, Dewey, and Gale. In this new film, however, there are ties that bind all of the victims and potential victims and ghosts of Scream sequels past that also come into play.

As with the other films in this series, Scream pokes fun at other horror franchises, tropes of the genre, and itself. Despite this, there’s a much darker tone to this film. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett do a brilliant job of generating some decent scares, doubt about the killer’s identity, and making Ghostface a legitimate and looming threat. This was the first time that I watched a Scream film and was actually impressed by the menacing presence of Ghostface. Sure, the villain trips, stumbles, and takes a beating from his/her victims, but Ghostface is much more sure of himself/herself this time around. This movie bumps the masked villain up a step or two in my opinion.

For folks like myself that saw the original film in theaters, this film is something of a love letter. Yes, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette are back, but we also get to see another old friend pop up. I won’t mention who that is, but at the end of the film that character’s presence and influence leaves things wide open for the next sequel if one is ever made. There are other things that pop up in the film, some that are hiding right in plain site, that tug a little at the hearts of the older crowd. As far as their performances are concerned, Campbell, Cox, and Arquette knock it out of the park. They could have easily phoned in their performances but they put a lot of heart into their roles and it shines through in this film.

The new batch of victims and suspects…..uh…..actors and actresses that appear in this film do solid jobs. You’ll get to know some of them better than others. Melissa Barrera stars as Samantha Carpenter, the estranged older sister of Tara (Jenna Ortega) Carpenter that is drawn back to Woodsboro after her sister is attacked. Samantha is accompanied back home with her new boyfriend, Richie (gamely played by Jack Quaid) and the two of them (with eventual help from our beloved original film trio) decide to fight the killer(s) and end the threat to Woodsboro. The list of suspects include a pair of twins named Chad and Mindy (Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown), Amber (Mikey Madison), Liv (Sonia Ben Ammar), and Wes (Dylan Minnette). Kyle Gallner appears as Vince. Heather Matarazzo and Marley Shelton reprise their respective roles of Martha and Judy. Shelton gets a much more expanded role in this film. All of the cast do a great job, but I have to say that Mikey Madison delivered the best performance of the bunch.

This is a really enjoyable film. It’s the best sequel in the Scream franchise in my opinion and it blows another recent sequel, Halloween Kills, completely out of the water. Scream is a sequel done right. It gives fans all of the familiar scares, kills, and humor that’s expected of it, but it also makes the villain more impressive and tosses in a few pieces of dynamite to leave plenty of room for newer and spookier growth. It’s no masterpiece, not at all, but it’s a fun ride that breathes new life into a franchise that was on the verge of becoming stale and predictable.

Thanks for checking out my post. Go see this film in a theater and enjoy it. You won’t regret it!


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