- Hamish Hart
Scream (2022) Review
Updated: Jan 28, 2022
WHAT'S your favourite scary movie? Paramount Pictures certainly hopes the answer would be any of the Scream films, and if you're looking for a fun slasher with a little bit of blood, Scream 5 has more than enough nostalgia and new elements to create a chaotic murder mystery.
Twenty-five years following the horrific Woodsboro murders of 1996, a new Ghostface killer emerges hellbent on fulfilling an unknown vendetta against relatives of previous Ghostface murderers, forcing Dewey Riley (David Arquette), Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) to return to their hometown and warn these new teens what unknown dangers lie ahead.
Scream isn't your typical slasher franchise. Since its debut in 1996, the horror series has developed a cult following due to its abnormal structure and take on the genre as a whole, relying on the genre's all-encompassing commitment and self-referential comedy. Despite many believing Scream 5 would fail, against all odds, this sequel-reboot managed to bring back everything fans loved about the originals while introducing passable characters only existing to be torch bearers and to keep the sub-par plot moving forward. This film doesn't do anything new, but it defines the phrase that something old can be considered new given enough time.
I would be lying if I wasn't happy to see the return of fan favourite characters such as Dewey and Sidney; if not just to see the likes of Courtney Cox and David Arquette return to the big screens. Their presence didn't feel forced and felt critical to the overall plot Scream was attempting to portray, and while some characters could have benefited from greater screentime, it is something to be expected when dealing with a slasher flick. Newly-introduced protagonists such as Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Richie (Jack Quaid) also provided some amusing moments, bringing some much-welcomed levity to an otherwise bleak setting, building up the intensity and contrasting amiably with the dark undertones presented. In terms of actual performances, many of them fell below the bar, but in a conflicting manner, they did seem intentionally-bad in certain scenes due to the nature of the franchise. However, bad is still bad no matter how much you look at it.
Everyone likes a bit of blood in their horror slasher, and Scream is no exception. Despite not being on the same level as something like Saw, the Scream franchise still offers plenty of uncomfortable death scenes for fans of slashers to sink their teeth into. There may not be too many actual deaths present in the film, but for what we are given, fans of the franchise will be more than satisfied with the demises shown - particularly towards the end when the killer, inevitably, meets their end.
Is Scream the best horror movie ever? Far from it. Is it the best Scream movie ever? Perhaps. The film may lack actual scares and an over-reliance on its past, but what Scream introduces is new story elements to keep fans of the previous four films fully-invested from first-to-last kill. Try not to take this fifth instalment too seriously and you'll have an easy, fun time with this newest Scream.