REVIEW: Scream (2022): Add this new term to your lexicon, REQUEL
Back to basics. Be sure to refer to this as Scream (2022)
The next entry in the Scream franchise directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, two names I'm that are not well known to me. I see Matt Bettinelli-Olpin has been involved in some of the V/H/S franchise that peaks my interest.
Written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. Vanderbilt wrote the screenplay for David Fincher's Zodiac, a favorite of mine. Busick helped co-write Ready or Not, the film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin. This sounds like a interesting group of collaborators working together again.
A new young cast makes an appearance.
A requel, this is a sequel and a reboot as we are told by one of the characters in the film. This is the fifth entry in the franchise after many dismal outings especially considering the last one. Modernized with all the trappings once again of the age it was filmed. Similar in many respects to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre retelling that was released in this same year, 2022.
We start off the whole affair with a similar throwback to the original. A young woman all alone in the house and she receives a call from an unknown caller. All of this on a landline too! This entire scene is actually a throwback to one of Wes Craven's favorite films, When A Stranger Calls (1979). Craven being the director of this original film Scream in 1996.
OMG things are not what they seem.
What's your favorite scary movie? This time it's The Babadook (2014). I couldn't help but laugh at what she says next about the modern deconstruction of horror and the tropes associated with it. This is what's in store for the viewer. You thought the strange film nerd Randy had all the answers, well everyone apparently does in this outing.
Chases, stabbings and some surprisingly brutal scenes happen that made me sit up and notice. The series has always been a typical teen slasher for the most part. I see they're trying to get back to the root of the original film while at the same time trying to make it scary and more suspenseful.
Welcome back Ghostface.
The killer, Ghostface is so iconic with this franchise and does what they do best. Meanwhile, they get the tar beaten out of them too. I'm always laughing seeing this as the killer must have a lot of bumps and bruises. Always smashed in the head with something or being slammed against another object. I'd hate to see his medical bills after these encounters.
This woman (Jenna Ortega) survives and her estranged sister (Melissa Barrera) comes back to Woodsboro where the franchise is set. Along for the ride is her supportive boyfriend (Jack Quaid) too. We meet the friends of the Tara Carpenter, the surviving victim of Ghostface's vicious attack. The motley crew are ticking all the boxes for representation in film.
Hello Deputy Dewey and he does look a bit goofy here.
This is now time to start bringing back the characters from the original film, Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) is soon consulted. A well known character drawn up to aid in discovering who the killer is.
EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT!
I wonder if this line is used in each entry? I seem to remember it being used often for good reason. Arquette puts in a great performance here without the goofball persona the character was given for a long stretch of these films. He's older, wiser and his life has seen better days. Without too much convincing he's back on the case.
Arquette and Cox hashing out their long-standing issues.
He starts calling up his old pals, Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). Cox and Arquette were married in real life too for those that don't know and have since divorced. I wonder how much of their acting was acting or things left said or unsaid during their marriage? The scenes they both have together show some range I wasn't expecting from either of them. For a meta film these interactions appears very genuine.
We need this trio back in Woodsboro and Dewey manages to convince them to come back. The gang is all together again to determine who is Ghostface and stop these vicious killings.
While the story is miles above anything that has been dumped out from the studios in many years or even decades, this one didn't set the world on fire for me. The main troupe of new characters are forgettable while Arquette, Cox and Campbell were the real standout characters in this film. I wonder if they plan on continuing the series as they are attempting to pass the torch in more ways of one. There is a "pass the torch" scene that will leave people howling.
Neve Campbell is back as Sidney Prescott, she's a veteran dealing with issues such as these.
I believe the motivations of the original cast, Ghostface is back and discovering whomever they are is the main objective. They don't stop and will hunt all those around you. The trio aren't messing around and they flat out tell others they are there to kill this person. They always come back is a familiar saying in this series and horror in general.
The transition back to horror and suspense is a nice change. While I would prefer more scenes to actually get me scared that is a tall order for any filmmaker. This film is a great addition for those that grew up watching the original film in 1996. The writers know this and hammer this point home in different sections of the film.
I believe I've seen a scene like this play out in the past and it didn't end well.
Meta. The meta is so strong within this film and franchise. While I can't help but going back to the original film, horror was very dead or dormant according to whom you spoke to in the late nineties. Wes Craven brought out a film that flipped the script with characters that were self-aware. Having a friend knowing all the tropes was required to survive in this world but often will only get you so far.
We're back to the original house. You can never get away from this place apparently.
This is almost surreal in this REQUEL. Thanks to the internet everyone has an opinion about everything and this is very present here. Fandom is touched upon heavily throughout the film. People become very attached to film especially at a young age. The further commercialization of large franchises with entry after entry wears on the viewer. Some take it to the extreme and the notion of toxic fandom enters the fray. All of this is interesting and present in this outing. While I've never considered myself a superfan of anything I do think these well worn paths are being tread over and over again.
The most important aspect about film is its permanence. Even with those directors that wish to revisit their own films and make changes for the sake of making changes you can still source the original. Time-consuming or maybe expensive, lovers of film will get their fix one way or another.
An appropriate dedication to Wes Craven, the original director of Scream (1996)
The film ends with a dedication to Wes Craven, the horror maestro that started this franchise. I can't help but wonder what he'd think of this? I would like to think he'd be pleased, while not great it does touch back on many of his ideas brought forth in his excellent original film that brought horror back to the mainstream and made people notice the genre has much to offer.
Thanks for the read 🙂
All media captured by myself from the original source.