It’s been 25 years since Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courtney Cox) took on Ghostface in Scream, a teen slasher so iconic that it revived the genre in the 90s.
Not only was Scream a tremendous financial success but it has also become one of the most memorable horror films for its great sense of humour, love for horror films themselves and a well-chosen cast.
After three sequels (which have still been well-maintained), Ready Or Not filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett brought Ghostface to life in the fifth volume of Scream (it’s a shame they didn’t call the film 5cream).
As a Scream lover, it is very fun to watch this newest Scream, which immediately invites the audience to reminisce with a bombastic opening. This time the target is Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), a younger sister and lover of “elevated horror”. He didn’t watch Stab (a fictional film in the Scream series based on the adventures of Sidney and his friends) because it was just a stab with no meaningful emotion. You know what happens when Tara picks up a call from a stranger and asks what her favorite horror movie is. Tara’s attack makes Sam (Melissa Barrera) return to Woodsboro with his girlfriend Richie (Jack Quaid).
After he was also attacked by Ghostface, he found out why this scourge returned again. He finally asked Dewey. It doesn’t take long for Dewey to contact Sidney as well as Gale that the nightmare from their past has come again. The terror has just begun. What’s most fun about the Scream series is how these films celebrate horror films. Not only does he discuss the archetypes of the films he is discussing, but these films also try to change that rule.
In Scream 2 he discusses how sequels always try to appear more excited than the first film. Scream 3 reminds the audience that usually the victims are off-limits, aka the main character can die. And Scream 4, which was released 10 years ago, ruined the reboot concept that was currently booming.
It’s interesting to see the newest Scream (written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick) once again toying with this theme. This time, what is discussed is how filmmakers romanticize nostalgia as a selling point. When a character explains how the old-school franchise is coming back by dragging the original cast, I can’t help but laugh out loud.
Plot-wise, there’s nothing mind-blowing about this latest Scream. The new line of characters (played by Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Mason Gooding, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Sonia Ben Ammar) is not just a photocopy of the old version of the character, it’s just an improved version. Their characterization is no different from the teen series on Netflix. But who cares about the wong their job is only as a mannequin because we know they will face their fates one by one.
Of course the best part of Scream is the trio of Sidney, Dewey and Gale. Dewey is enough to make Scream very interesting and fun because he has the most “role” in this film. Meanwhile Gale and Sidney feel very much like “tourists” although their appearance in this film is enough to make the original fans (like me) scream with pleasure.
Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett quite manage to make cat-and-mouse thrilling. The scenes are fun too (though you have to forgive LSF for they cut almost all of the fun scenes).
But it’s clear that Wes Craven’s signature in this film is missing (he died a few years ago). Craven is always able to make the audience nervous with the arrangement of scenes and fun blocking. This film director duo has not been able to match Craven’s ability in that regard.
Even so, all of you Scream lovers will still laugh happily watching this film. Guessing who the culprit is is a form of entertainment in itself. The twists will make you happy because once again, this series has always been aware of the changing culture of cinema. Scream manages to not only be an effective longing cure but he is also an excellent horror.