Spoiler Free Review: ‘Scream’ (2022)

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Between remakes, reboots, requels, and so on ‘re’s of every genre franchise under the sun such as HalloweenSAW, and even Star Wars, the phrase that comes to mind is “Everything old is new again.” Movies, and horror in particular, have a considerable hook for nostalgia and the frights most familiar to us. Hence why there’s an innumerable amount of Children Of The Corn movies. So it should come as little surprise that one of the biggest horror movies with one of the biggest and most recognizable icons of slashers is making a comeback twenty five years strong to stalk audiences again and slash through modern day horror trends. Which brings us to Scream (2022)! This review is spoiler free, so I’ll try and delve in without divulging too many deadly details…

Ghostface and Jenna Ortega in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

Woodsboro, California. Who could imagine a small, quiet town was ground zero for a series of slashings and slayings that rocked the country and popular culture (both in the context of the movies and in real life) for decades to come. And like the leaves turning brown and falling, birds flying south for the winter, or the moon turning full, another cycle comes to pass. Yet another Ghostface has appeared and is bringing another rampage of slasher bloodshed- “elevated horror” be damned! This terror brings young Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera, In The Heights) from Modesto to Woodsboro in order to confront the ghosts from her past in order to fight the one currently haunting her, the town, and some familiar faces from the history of Stab

Considering the circumstances,  a new Scream would be a daunting challenge  for any genre filmmakers. Particularly having to follow and fill the shoes of the late, great Wes Craven and the writing of Kevin Williamson. But I am happy to report that Radio Silence, the team behind horror movies such as Southbound and Ready or Not have proven themselves more than capable of taking the reins, especially for a new audience and decade. The keyword of course being “Requel” a trend that should be all too familiar for fans of particular franchises. A direct continuation of the original, usually sidestepping the weirder or more convoluted sequels while giving us a new cast of potential victims and/or suspects while bringing back some familiar legacy characters to guide the ship.

L-r, Dylan Minnette (“Wes”), Jack Quaid (“Richie”), Melissa Barrera (“Sam”) and David Arquette (“Dewey Riley”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

First it was about slasher movies and tropes, then sequels, then the Hollywood system, then reboots, so it’s only a logical extension. And it works. Said new cast of potential victims and/or suspects being well casted, as well. Melissa Barerra’s Sam makes for an intriguing protagonist especially as revelations about her add layers to the mystery of this new Ghostface. Though a particular highlight for me was Jasmin Savoy Brown as Mindy Meeks-Martin, the niece to the original Scream meta character Randy Meeks (May he rest in peace. He even gets a memorial home movie theater in his honor at the Meeks house.) who establishes herself quickly and succinctly as the new meta horror expert.

Complete with new rules for a new decade and a focus on elevated horror vs Stab style slashing and bashing. With regards to legacy characters, we not only get the holy trinity of the franchise with the triumphant returns of David Arquette, Courtney Cox, and Neve Campbell as Dewey Riley, Gale Weathers, and Sydney Prescott but Marley Shelton as Judy Hicks from Scream 4. This makes for some interesting comparisons and contrasts that wouldn’t feel too out of place with older horror fans hanging out with the next generation of fear fans. Dewey in particular making some jokes about how old and how many times he’s been stabbed going through this over and over and how fed up he’s become.

Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

As for Ghostface, it’s the same old bag and mask with a whole heap of new gear for a new year. It is funny looking back how every Ghostface before has had to be rather tech savvy in order to operate how they have, and this new one isn’t any different. Armed with some high tech gadgets and with the know-how of how to operate them simultaneously, this psycho can get you on your landline and your smartphone. Mess with your GPS. And even hack into your smart house security systems. Adding a layer of technological horror on top of the most basic fear of all: some freak in a Halloween costume bleeding you out with a hunting knife. And in terms of scares, there are some scenes and sequences with excellent build-ups and pay-offs. One bit in particular went on so long I couldn’t help but laugh as the sheer expectation kept on building and building further and further. Highlighting that while the times have changed, Scream is still just as funny as it can be scary and meta.

Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

At its core, Scream (2022) is… a Scream movie. it hits all the familiar beats without retreading old ground. Too hard, that is. It does literally revisit some familiar spots around Woodsboro, but the plot is a pretty fun series of twists and turns. Though the focus of which is rather singular and could have been interesitng to see more of the widespread and ripple effects of yet another series of Ghostface killings. Definitely serving in both scale and scope as a bookend or mirror image to the original and how far it and horror have come in 25 years. In as much as it deconstructs slashers and the tropes surrounding them, it also gives new life and honor to them simultaneously. Taking it apart and putting it back together to make something new. Who knows? This could be the spark that re-re-resurrects slashers for the big screen or at least shines a spotlight from elevated horror to just horror. At the very least, we should all be able to agree that this is better than Scream 3. And Ghostface is always ready to come back when the winds and trends of horror are turning…

Scream will be released in theaters on January 14th, 2022.

4.5 out of 5 eyes.

iHorror – Spoiler Free Review: ‘Scream’ (2022)
Author: Jacob Davison
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January 12, 2022

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