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Scream (2022)

 
 
Film Information
 

Plot: Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town's deadly past.
Release Date: Out Now
Director(s): Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Cast: Melissa Barrera, David Arquette, Jack Quaid, Neve Cambell
BBFC Certificate: 18
Running Time: 115 mins
Review By: Samuel Love
Film Genre:
 
Film Rating
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/ 5


 

Bottom Line


Exciting kills and stellar performances elevate Scream beyond previous sequels and sit it right up there with the first two acclaimed classics. This is the best Ghostface outing in years.


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Posted January 16, 2022 by

 
Film Review
 
 

The horror movie landscape has changed a lot over the years. In the last ten years alone, we’ve seen a huge rise in so-called “elevated horror” – films like Hereditary and The Babadook – so it was only a matter of time before Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven’s iconic meta slasher franchise Scream returned for one more scare. A decade on from the divisive Scre4m, has the series got anything left to say?

Twenty-five years after the original Woodsboro murders, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask. When her sister is brutally attacked, Sam (Melissa Barrera) must enlist the help of previous victims Dewey (David Arquette), Sidney (Neve Campbell), and Gale (Courteney Cox) – while confronting her own history that may be a vital key to the identity of the killer. If you’ve seen any Scream films, you know the story…

Let’s start with the negative. Narratively, Scream doesn’t do anything particularly new or exciting. But wasn’t that always the point of the series? The whole structure continues the Scream approach of pastiching the genre and its cliches, with this fifth entry focusing almost entirely on the ‘requel’ craze. The snappy dialogue is largely as witty as ever, although the usual deconstruction of horror tropes – particularly newer hallmarks like returning legacy characters and the aforementioned “elevated horror” – is laid on a lot thicker than usual here. The film often feels reliant on it, which detracts from its comedic impact. When self-awareness is this heavy-handed, it just feels like lazy writing. If you had a penny for every wink to the audience, you’d walk out of Scream a rich man. The pacing is a little off, too, and the runtime of just-shy-of two hours is certainly felt. 

But despite all this, Scream is still a hell of a lot of fun. For fans of the series, the returning cast and numerous callbacks are exciting and rarely feel forced, while newcomers shouldn’t feel too adrift as the film does a good job of exposition early on. The kills are imaginative and brutal – although, squeamish be warned, perhaps too violent for a Scream film and better suited for something like Halloween – and the performances are consistently excellent across the board. Arquette is particularly memorable here and certainly given the most to do out of the returning cast, while series newcomer Jack Quaid (The Boys) is a comedic standout. The whodunit mystery is genuinely compelling and consistently surprising, too, which makes for a fun and exciting watch. You’ll find your prediction for the killer’s identity will shift wildly from scene to scene as suspects are introduced, and killed – and your theory changes accordingly.

So, where does Scream sit in the franchise? It is considerably better than the third and fourth entries – although that may not be saying much. Much like those sequels, this ‘requel’ often comes dangerously close to becoming what it is spoofing, which threatens to negate the humorous self-awareness in the dialogue. But the exciting kills and stellar performances elevate the film beyond previous sequels and sit it right up there with the first two acclaimed classics.

SCREAM is exclusively in cinemas now

 


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com


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