Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Starring Melissa Barrera, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jack Quaid
25 years after the horror-obsessed Wes Craven brought us a new kind of self aware horror film that would change the way the genre was presented, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have been passed a torch and in turn have released a film of the same name, same structure, similar characters, but a whole lot more nostalgia.
The film itself coins the 2022 released Scream a requel (a reboot that still follows on from the original) and these have been very popular as of late. With Ghostbusters Afterlife, The Matrix Resurrections and the newer Halloween movies doing a similar thing. Here we see a new cast of characters eventually accompanied by the original gang - those that are still standing that is.
Big set pieces are just as dramatic as the franchise has ever been, and the happy-go-lucky soundtrack juxtaposes everything on screen to perfection. There are new jump scares and change in jump scare expectations; one moment sees a character (aptly named Wes) opening different hinged doors for dramatic effect; it's excellent.
The film does however sag a little when it relies on obvious callbacks. Most of the sets and themes are the same here but when it brings back the old characters and expects you to cherish them as much as the Friends cast reuniting or the Star Wars legends returning, it feels a little cheap and unwarranted. The whole film is unbelievably self aware that it feels ridiculous that the characters would be this stupid. Some of them make intelligent decisions but for the most part we still get the idiotic motivations that we've come to expect from a slasher horror.
The collective cast are astonishing, finding that 90's high school feel whilst still submerging themselves in the horror genre. Both Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega as sisters Sam and Tara are full of emotion and so much refreshing energy. The supporting cast around them enrich everything to an expected degree, and Jack Quaid adds humour in all the best places; he steals the show for me.
Scream  is so meta that it's sometimes hard to gage exactly what's real and what's not, but the energy displayed from start to finish is engrossing. The opening scene is exhilarating, and the final payoff is so satisfying and still manages to be unpredictable. Scream should finish here, as this feels like a decent conclusion to the franchise and a great tribute to Wes Craven. Something tells me however that Ghostface will strike again in the not so distant future, so don't answer your landlines!
Scream available in cinemas now