I don’t envy the filmmakers in the position of helming the newest entry in any beloved property,
but I can’t even fathom the stress of sitting down to write a new Scream movie.
What you need to understand is, they aren’t just writing a movie. They’ve inherited an obligation to extend
the self-aware commentary at the heart of a franchise that has adapted itself across four
decades of horror. After Scream 4 boasted a self-aware commentary on the very nature of
self-aware commentary found in the horror genre during the 2000’s under the influence of the
original Scream, where does one go from there?
Rather than attempting to answer that question, 2022’s Scream, the franchise’s fifth installment,
took a breather and had its sights set on simply being a functional and entertaining horror
movie. This was not an attempt to reinvent the wheel, but rather give it a hearty spin. And if I may say so, it’s a bloody
After her sister Tara (Jenna Ortega), is attacked by a knife-wielding killer donning a Ghostface
costume in her home in Woodsboro, CA, Sam (Melissa Barrera) returns to her
hometown to be by Tara’s side amidst a slew of oncoming murders. The identity of the killer? Unknown. But the hunt is on to stop Ghostface 5.0 from racking up a body count in their attempt at making a real-life reboot.
We all love Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers, and David
Arquette’s Dewey Riley, but one of the great failures of every Scream sequel was, while the
film focused so much on the beloved original characters, the new characters made too little of
an impression to allow a viable mystery plot.
By making the bold choice to sideline the legacies, this story belongs to new characters in an extent that no Scream movie has since the original masterpiece. The script, through our new characters’ radiant wit and sincerely-played drama that grants them a needed shade of emotional honesty, ensures that these new faces make an impression on its audience. And I believe the movie is stronger for it.
Taking all of these points into consideration, Scream 5 is second-best in the franchise for me, mainly due to its efforts fun and real instead of clever. This movie could have attempted to outsmart the previous entries – which it could have succeeded, leaving us with a headache, or it could have failed, leaving us feeling disrespected – but, instead, by rejecting that burden, it leaves us thoroughly enthralled.
My rating: ★★★½