Scream ★★★½

If there was ever a film that had all the odds stacked against it, this is it.

Scream (5) debuts 11 years after the previous installment, and it is the first in the franchise in which filmmaker Wes Craven does not return to the director's chair after his death in 2015.

The previous fourth picture, released in 2011, was the series' first installment in 11 years, going back to the third film's premiere in 2000, the same number of years as this current installment is to the fourth now.

Since 2011, the horror genre, like any other, has developed considerably.

Scream 4 was released during a period when the sub-genre of cash grab horror remakes reached an all-time high.

The film was fully aware of this, which is why Sidney's final line in it is "Don't fuck with the original."

Scream (2022) comes at a time when slasher flicks are no longer as popular, and the focus within the genre is shifting more towards the artsy farty A24 Horror fringe and socio-political horror subgenre that Jordan Peele pioneered with Get Out.

It's also worth noting that the most lucrative slasher films released today are primarily heritage sequels that double as reboots, as evidenced by the David Gordon Green Halloween films mentioned in this film's dialogue at points that contribute to the franchise's well-known meta-ness as a whole.

Let's move on because I feel like I'm just reinforcing the meta-ness of what this film says about the horror genre and where the movie industry as a whole is at the moment. Still, I think it's worth starting my review with it all because it more or less just leans into why this film didn't end up becoming an unnecessary sequel in the end, which it could have easily been.

With all that being said, Scream 5 is an absolute blast.

Having been a person who had grown up watching the first three films in the franchise and having a lot of fond nostalgia for them, I was a little apprehensive about having this film exist in the first place without Wes's involvement.

With the success of Ready or Not, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett had a lot to live up to with the first four films, all directed by Wes Craven.

In retrospect, I recognized that these two guys coming off a baller of a movie like Ready or Not would seem to be the perfect match for this franchise.

But, to be fair, I didn't expect them to do such a fantastic job here as they ended up doing so here in the end.

Scream (2022) lives and breathes like a Wes Craven-created Scream film. The meta-ness of this new installment, like the others, is absolutely off the charts, and the killings are absolutely bloody wild and maybe some of my favorites in the entire franchise.

Shit, the only thing truly missing from this film is the absence of the Dimension Films logo from the previous four. But, in reality, that's more so of the non-involvement here regarding two certain brothers, one of whom was a massive predator who once ruled Hollywood.

Apart from that, the ensemble as a whole is rather lovely. Jenny Ortega is, without a doubt, a major highlight for me. Jack Quaid was also pretty good in the character of Jack Quaid. In my opinion, Melissa Barrera, who was terrific in In the Heights, blundered in the main role here. She just didn't bring it, and although it may be attributed to the fact that everyone else was more entertaining to watch than she was, I'm still perplexed as to why this happened.

The returning heritage characters, Sydney, Gale, and Dewey, were likewise as wonderful as ever. I like how the film has them act as if they're dealing with the Ghostface killer as if their role in bringing them down is nothing more than an exterminator job. Shit has me laughing just thinking about it.

I'll conclude by stating that if the Ghostface killer were to ask me about my favorite scary movie while I was on the phone with them, while I wouldn't claim it was this one, it wouldn't matter since I had such a good time with it that I would still recommend it in the end.

But, c'mon, I'm still going to get butchered by them with whatever I respond with, so does it matter what I say in the end?

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