This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Paul Thomas’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Spoilers galore below
So I wanted to write this as a side note to the film and didn't want it to necessarily be part of my review because as the old saying goes, you shouldn't penalize a film for what you want it to be and should just judge it for what it is.
But when the news reports hit that Neve Campbell was shorted in salary and would not return, the sides of me that are both cynical and more clever than thou didn't believe it. These were obviously studio-planted stories. Sidney is 100% in this movie and I bet she's Ghostface.
Now if she is Ghostface, it would probably be stupid, but it would be a bold stupid. An almost shlockly fun stupid. But even within the stupid, there was motive. Sam Carpenter being the daughter of the man who killed your mother can really fuck a person up, right? So it's dumb, but at least with linear logical.
Then the trailers hit. Lines like "there's never been one like me" were in the trailer. Ghostface using a gun, which harkens back to part 5 and the line "I'm Sidney Prescott, of course I have a gun." It was all coming together.
Even the opening scene and first 30 minutes, with a Ghostface killing another Ghostface and revealing to Sam that they aren't gonna kill her, yet expose her. Perfect motive. She thinks Sam is going to become Billy (as the film keeps hinting at) and she's gonna expose her, not kill her.
I whispered to my friend, "Oh it's Sidney. This one is different. They aren't gonna pick some random new characters to be the killer."
And yet, that is exactly what they did.
So I left the screening with a feeling of disgust. Again reminding myself not to judge a movie on what you want but rather what it is. But also...fuck. They just straight up just picked random new characters to be Ghostface.
And even worse, they did the exact same trick that part 2 did by introducing someone under a false character pretense and then it turns out to be the parent of the murderer in the prior one. Ugh.
And then the ultimate disgust hit when it occurred to me that damn, they really did just nickeled and dimed Neve Campbell. That was real. I swore that was a ruse. Who would do that to her?
I'm trying not to let all of that affect my overall feelings, and it's a good time to remind everyone including myself that I did like a lot of these kills and set pieces, but something about this one is not sitting well with me, as it could have been bolder and crazier. For a set of films that thinks it's on the side of Rian Johnson by referencing him in part 5, well this could have been their crazy and controversial THE LAST JEDI.
But instead, it's simply safe and servicable. And I have a feeling it's gonna keep looking worse and worse in hindsight