Scream ★★★½

Scream (5) is the latest film in the Scream franchise and is a continuation of the original four films while also being a reboot. Which is the primary meta commentary this sequel plays with (sequels that are also reboots).

In the new film, Ghostface is (of course) back and calling young women (of course) and threatening to kill them (of course) unless they can talk scary movie shop with him (of course). We meet a new cast of teenagers. Of course, "Everyone's a suspect" and everyone knows how this is going to play out. And since this is a requel, we have the return of Sydney Prescott, Gale Weathers, and Dewey.

I thought this sequel was just fine. I'd put it on the same level as Scream 2 and 4 - perfectly good continuations that adhere to all the necessary tropes of the series. Following the same groundwork while also commenting upon recent trends in horror films (like elevated horror). There's the expected discussion of the rules of a horror movie requel which included pretty much what I expected them to say given recent films like Halloween 2018.

The new cast of characters are a mixed bag. I certainly liked some of them, including the clever way they tied the main character to someone from the original film (nice visual effects there). But they all weren't a homerun and some came off as superfluous. And I kept waiting for Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox which does the new cast no favors.

The usual final act reveal left me only half satisfied due to some of these characters being less interesting than others. It's the usual type of reveal with the usual reasons, tied elegantly enough to the meta themes. I thought it worked.

I don't find the series particularly scary but I think they built suspense well enough to get the job done. The gore and effects are certainly improved with the addition of more visceral slicing and dicing. I'd say this is the bloodiest of the films.

Overall, I'm happy this latest Scream didn't embarrass itself. It's a well made little slasher film that obeys all the rules of a Scream sequel. It was nice to see the old cast back at it and hopefully the one who shone brightest in the new cast will be back (or at least have a long career of their own).

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