Dec’s review published on Letterboxd:
Welcome to Act three.
LONG SPOILER FREE REVIEW INCOMING. My favourite horror franchise is back and anyone who knows me, knows SCREAM is one of my all time favourites. I’ve introduced this film to family members, friends and even strangers who ended up loving it. I love slashers and whodunnits so when I first watched the original Scream film, I felt it was just made for me. A film that told you the rules and cliches of horror but also flipped them on it’s head. Sidney Prescott is my favourite scream queen of all time. The prologue of Scream (1996) is one of my favourite beginnings to a film ever.
I remember waiting for Scream 4 to release on DVD back in 2011 when I was too young to see it in the cinema. Feels like I’ve been waiting for a sequel for forever and its finally here, i remember when it got announced the ready or not directors were making, I already knew this was in safe hands. I’m glad the original trio is back because a part me thought they might not want to return due to Wes Craven no longer being with us. I was hugely excited and anxious seeing this film as I didn’t want to be let down. I can say it is an honour to return to Woodsboro.
This is everything you love about Scream, it is a SCREAM film. It’s about as close as you can get to a Wes Craven film, Matt and Tyler smashed it. I was really happy to see Hitchcock’s legacy still live on in these films, as the original Scream’s opening is suspenseful, not your typical film and it features a blonde female character. One of my favourite Hitchcock films was referenced in this which was actually quite clever! It was remembering the past but also using it to create something new.
When they revealed this film, it did look like a remix of Scream 4. Scream 4 had an entirely new young ensemble as the side characters with the original trio front and centre, Scream (2022) is the opposite, the trio are very much a supporting role. Plus the new characters are way better than anyone from Scream 4. This is not a beat for beat retread of the ORIGINAL which I am so happy to see. It actuality critiques all of Hollywood and toxic fanbases. All of you fuckers who whined about The Last Jedi on Twitter, Reddit, Youtube, Discord and Letterboxd prepare to be called out. Thank you so much because without you there would be no Scream 5.
The METAness: Requels. This film fully calls out Hollywood as well as toxic fandoms. Where a franchise gets a sequel to the original but it also acts as a reboot, it’s not something entirely new and fresh, it’s a bit of the same as before but with a new cast and legacy characters returning; The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Creed, Curse of Chucky, Halloween (2018) Terminator Dark Fate, Spiral the book of Saw, Candyman (2021) Ghostbusters Afterlife, even Spider-Man: No Way Home is a requel due to the ending! Jeez that’s a lot. There’s not too much metaness but the perfect amount. They reference a lot of modern day films too. They pay tribute to previous scenes in Scream (1996) but with a twist, creating something new. Even Scream 3 they have something for.
Ghostface is back baby! One of the most recognisable horror icons in cinematic history, what I love about ghostface is that anyone can wear the mask. Ghostface was the scariest Ghostface of all with really brutal violent kills. I think this film has the most kills in the franchise. Ghostface literally is a ghost in this film, just vanishes and appears so quick. The jump scares work really well and it again flips on jump scares! Roger L Jackson gives his best voice performance yet as Ghostface. The way they filmed Ghostface was very good. Ghostface looks just very cinematic on screen, very cool looking and intimidating. There’s curveballs, red herrings and everyone accuses everyone of being Ghostface. There is more of an emotional weight and reveal to this than Scream 4. The kills are the best they’ve been since the original. The “reveal” is far more believable this time compared to Scream 2 and 4 in some sense. If you fully pay attention (but also have fun) and if you know Scream inside out, you can kinda see where it’s going with Ghostface. There is a lot of clever foreshadowing in the script that I picked up on a scene later after I saw the foreshadowing. I have to praise the writers as they deserve as a lot of credit for this film. It’s superbly paced, It feels so refreshing and relevant yet it’s like nothing changed. Having actual stakes, gruesome kills and referencing tropes worked. None of the characters act stupid either, smart decisions are made.
Without giving anything away I won’t even talk about the standouts or most of the cast. I really liked Jenna Ortega’s performance as Tara. I’ve seen people shaming Melissa Barrera’s performance in this as Sam, she seems to be more of a subtle actor than a super expressive one, her character is also kinda closed off with certain things too, I think that should be taken into consideration when watching her performance. They’re the heart and soul of the film. David Arquette as Dewey has more of a bigger presence than Sidney and Gale which I liked. Sidney and Gale still got it, they respected them and showed how their experience has prepared them. Jasmin Brown Savoy I can see why she was cast and why people are talking about her, she is the modern day version of a previous Scream character. (Not a spoiler, you’ll see what I mean) the comedy was nice playful banter like and I lol’d a few times but nothing really had me laughing a lot compared to Dewey or Stu in the original.
The only thing ‘negative’ things I would say about this is with Scream 1-4, Scream (2022) was more of a fast ride. There’s barely any downtime where characters just chill and do things, that’s something I missed from these films and this one didn’t really have it. Something like Billy, Stu and Randy in the videostore scene, there’s not anything like that here, it’s not a problem but just something I noticed. One of the twists is so blatantly obvious they do try to hide it but that didn’t bother me, there was an attempt at least. The other one got me. The motivation for it might be weak compared to Scream 1and 2 but overall I think this is still the best sequel. The kills aren’t super inventive but the scenes with the kills are great. They kept it simple with the kills and it works. I hope this film makes money because it is a good film and my cinema was empty!
I would like this to be the last one and not be like every horror franchise with a million bad sequels. Maybe in 10 years time, they’ll deliver another film when they have something to say again but I think we’ll get Scream 6 before that. Don’t go into this thinking it’ll surpass the original, go into it thinking it might surpass Scream 2-4. It’s most likely the best Scream sequel we will ever get. There’s a nice return to tradition in the credits! Wes would be proud. If you dislike this film, don’t be a toxic fan.
Fun fact: It has have been 25 years and 25 days since the original film, which came out on December 20th, 1996.