It’s been 25 years since Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) first heard the very infamous question, “What is your favorite scary movie?” And after four movies and 47 cumulative kills, the newest installment is here to add more murders to his number.
Coined by the movie itself as a “requel,” how does the new “Scream” hold up to the very different horror scene nowadays?
“Scream,” or some fans call it ‘Scream 5,’ was released Jan. 14 and is the fifth installment of the Scream franchise. The slasher film stars a group of teenagers who are terrorized by a masked serial killer named ‘Ghostface,’ and is a direct continuation of “Scream 4” (2011).
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (“Ready or Not“), the new edition is the first Scream film not directed by the late Wes Craven, who created horror classics like “The Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) and “The Hills Have Eyes” (1977). The new directors added their own subtle style to it, while maintaining the suburban slasher feel from the previous films.
The horror scene has changed tremendously since “Scream 4” was released back in 2011. Scream is known for its self-awareness and its tongue-in-cheek commentary on the horror film genre, and this movie upheld that. With its self-referential jokes and self-awareness that poke fun at horror movie tropes, this movie didn’t feel like it was made by a different director. In addition, it was fascinating to see the movie pay homage to the recent elevated horror movies like the “Babadook” (2014), “Hereditary” (2018), “The Witch” (2015), and “It Follows” (2014).
There are many things that define Scream films, but nothing defines them more than their opening scenes. The new installment amped up the gore, making this one of the bloodiest Scream movies in the franchise, a statement that this is not some run-of-the-mill franchise reboot.
With a fresh set of rules and a riveting whodunit plot, the film was a successful return for the franchise. Although the film’s comedic banter may have suffered from its darker tone, it still contains many of its signature satirical moments.
While the second act was on the slower side compared to the previous installments, the third act made up for it. The final reveal was something you’ll never see coming, but the movie did a fantastic job making this twist make sense while still being culturally relevant, especially on how social media and technology have reshaped not only society but also horror.
The film was able to maneuver integrating the new set of cast with the legacy cast. Sam Carpenter, played by Melissa Barrera, is the franchise torchbearer of the final girl. Though she might not be as fierce as Neve Campbell’s Sydney Prescot, she still filled most of the shoes that she wore.
Also returning were David Arquette and Courteney Cox, who played Dewey and Gale — this couple has proven why the original Scream films were made into horror classics. But don’t expect much on seeing these characters, as they were put into the background to give some breathing room for the new cast, yet a smart move for the franchise.
Despite not being the best of the franchise, because nothing can top the original, “Scream 5” still packed a punch — it’s definitely better than Scream 3 and arguably the fourth too.
With the new “Scream” being able to land a good reboot and a generally positive response from audience and critics, we might be expecting more Scream films coming in the future.
Juan Miguel Jocom, or Juanita Banana as his friends call him, is an Editorial Board member at the Seattle Collegian, where he focuses on writing about the experience of immigrant students at Seattle Central College. A documentarian, he hopes to create videos that will showcase the chaos and glory of humans.
As a Seattle local, he’s an aspiring granola boy, who enjoys rock climbing and jumping off cliffs. His recent documentary, Welcome to the Neighborhood, was an official selected entry for the 2021 SCOOP film fest.