Scream Review: Scream Calls the Franchise Back to Form

Scream Review: Scream Calls the franchise back to form

SCREAM takes place twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, California. A new killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette reprising their roles as Sydney, Gale and Dewey, and introduces a handful of “fresh meat,” as the Scream Official Twitter so nicely put it. Sam Carpenter, played brilliantly by Melissa Barrera, is a former Woodsboro wild child and reckless teen, who returns to Woodsboro after several years, concerned for her sister, Tara (in a breakout performance by Jenna Ortega), after a new Ghostface attack.

SCREAM‘s OG Cast Members

It’s hard to talk about this film without giving away spoilers. Scream films are the type of movie where you go in clueless other than knowing the movies before. But this film starts like with every other film, an attack by Ghostface. Sam lives in Modesto, California, and decides to return home to Woodsboro, with her boyfriend, Richie played by Jack Quaid. Back in Woodsboro, Sam meets her sisters’ friends and begins to become suspicious of everyone. Another attack happens. Dewey becomes involved, a haunted soul who looks more worn out than ever before. More bad stuff happens, people die. Gale and Sydney of course help too.

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So many events in the film are spoilers, so I can’t really say much. But we get a whole new cast of suspects I can break down that won’t ruin your fun. There is Wes (Dylan Minnette) the son of Deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton, Scream 4), Twins Mindy and Chad Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding) who are related to Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy, Scream 1996) Liv McKenzie, Chad’s Girlfriend (Sonia Ben Ammar) and Amber Freeman (Mikey Madison), close friend of Tara. So, who’s a suspect? Everyone. And I can’t say anything else cause don’t want to ruin it.

SCREAM (2022) pays homage to the franchise, especially to the original. It is referenced many times throughout that it always goes back to the original. And as well it should. The 1996 film of course started this whole savage story, and as Randy said in SCREAM 2, “Sequels are never better than the original.” But that’s not the case this time. SCREAM (2022) brings the franchise full circle, as evident in the trailers.

SCREAM knows its audience and what they expect, a complex story that keeps you guessing at every turn. The humor is toned down just a bit from previous installments, but the jokes hit when they need to and give you a breather from the relentless suspense. Melissa Barrera fills the shoes of the heroine in brilliant fashion. Having the same strength and determination as Sydney did for all those years.

Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette hit the mark once again in these roles that have grown up since the days of Woodsboro 1996. They continue their characters’ stories in such a masterful way that you could only wish they could play these characters whenever the need calls. David Arquette brings a whole new level to the Dwight character. Gone is the goofy Dewey of 1996.

Dwight is now a grizzled worn-down man who is still haunted from the past. A brilliant performance to a loved horror movie character. Courtney Cox brings new growth to Gale Weathers, a news reporter who only wanted fame and now knows that fame comes at a price. And Neve Campbell is stronger and more badass than before. Sydney is now in control of her own fear and can now help others cope with trauma.

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SCREAM (2022) brings newcomers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, of Devil’s Due and Ready or Not, who brilliantly take the reins to the series as directors after the unfortunate passing of franchise director and horror legend Wes Craven in 2015. And writers James Vanderbilt (Amazing Spider-Man) and Guy Busick (Ready or Not) skillfully recreate the smart dialogue and the beautiful chaos that is this mystery. SCREAM creator, Kevin Williamson served as Executive Producer this time around.

Where this franchise goes is beyond me as there are many possibilities at this point. But if this were to be the final installment in the franchise, which I doubt, then this would make a great bookend to a 25-year story. I give my SCREAM Review a 4.8/5.

SCREAM 2022 Poster

Scream releases in theaters this Friday, January 14, 2022, with early screenings Thursday, January 13, 2022. Tickets are on sale now.

Are you a fan of the SCREAM Franchise? Do you already know who the killer is? Have you really been able to predict a SCREAM movie? Let us know what you think in the comments below and be sure to share your reactions with us on Twitter.

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Picture of Shea Almanza

Shea Almanza

Embedded at birth with everything pop culture. I will argue until I am blue in the face that The Last Jedi is a terrible movie. Been spending a lot of time behind the scenes and developing new content for The Illuminerdi.