Scream ★★½

It's fairly difficult for the Scream franchise to keep re-inventing itself. That first film was a great satirical slasher, and the first sequel did a good job at mocking horror sequels. Then Scream 3 and 4 lacked an identity really, beyond mocking sequels and remakes even more. At least Scream (2022) is able to draw upon a new type of slasher franchise movie, the requel. Enough time has passed for something new to emerge. Yet the problem with requels is that they foundationally lack originality. That is why they exist. So while Scream (2022) may be a self-aware requel, it is still a requel. It brings nothing fresh to the franchise if we're honest. We have the same type of kills, the same type of mystery, the same type of discussions on horror clichés. The context may be different, as the characters know they are in a requel and not just a horror movie, but the bulk of this movie is stuff we've seen before. Like 3 and 4, it still lacks a really new angle.

That said, Scream (2022) still partially delivers as a fun slasher. Like all the Scream movies this one has great, tense kills and doesn't rely entirely on endless gore. There are moments here which are thrilling and suspenseful without ghostface even turning up. The mystery around the identity of the killer is exciting too, and used for some funny moments. The final revelations are not satisfying, but that seemed inevitable. The return of the legacy characters is a bit lame, and only detracts from the new characters, but that's what being a requel is all about I suppose. Scream (2022) does a better job when it examines the large cultural legacy of Scream and has fun with the tropes created by the first movie. The explicit requel stuff is just a tired way to extend the franchise.

Scream (2022) is a decent horror movie that has some good scares and a fair amount of fun. Like a lot of the Scream sequels it doesn't manage to tap into anything insightful or sharply satirical, which means New Nightmare and the original Scream still remain a million miles above all other meta horror films. Yet overall this new Scream is a fun ride, even if it doesn't deliver much new. Probably about as good as 3 and 4.

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