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Scream (2022)

Synopsis:
Twenty-five years after the original series of murders in Woodsboro, a new Ghostface emerges, and Sidney Prescott must return to uncover the truth.

The legacy characters return to assist a new generation terrorized by the Ghostface killer in Scream.

Plot synopsis contains minor spoilers

After her sister Tara () is stabbed and left hospitalized by a new Ghostface killer, Sam Carpenter () returns home to Woodsboro accompanied by her boyfriend Richie Kirsch (). Sam joins up with Tara's group of friends, which include Tara's best friend Amber Freeman (), Wes Hicks (), son of Sheriff Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton), the twins Mindy () and Chad (Mason Gooding) Meeks-Martin, niece and nephew of the late Randy Meeks, and Chad's girlfriend Liv McKenzie (). Sam assumes that a dark secret about her parentage is the motivation for his new killer and seeks the help of original Woodsboro survivors Dewey Riley (), Gale Weathers (), and Sidney Prescott ().

It has been a decade since 2011's Scream 4 marked the first attempt to revive the franchise, which was originally supposed to end with 2000's Scream 3. In that time, director Wes Craven passed away from brain cancer in 2015 and following the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein, the rights to the Scream franchise moved from The Weinstein Company's Dimension Films to Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment.

This leads us to this new sequel, simply titled Scream. Following their hit 2019 horror-comedy Ready or Not, the Radio Silence team of directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpina and Tyler Gillett and writers Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt take over the reins vacated by Wes Craven, with original Scream writer Kevin Williamson on board as an Executive Producer.

Like David Gordon Green's Halloween, Scream acts as a soft reboot of the franchise or “requel” as you will. The original stars of Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox are relegated to featured supporting roles, as we are introduced to a new protagonist in the form of Sam Carpenter, played by Melissa Barrera (In the Heights). Sam is haunted by a dark secret, which caused her to leave Woodsboro five years ago. However, when tragedy strikes, Sam is forced to return home and she finds herself the target of a new Ghostface killer.

I more or less grew up with the Scream franchise, having seen every film except for the first theatrically. When it was released in 2011, Scream 4 was meant to be the start of a new trilogy, though a combination of poor box office returns and Wes Craven's death in 2015 seemed to put an end to those plans (and the less said about MTV's Scream TV series, the better). While it is risky putting a long-running franchise in the hands of a new writer-director team, Matt Bettinelli-Olpina and Tyler Gillett and their Radio Silence team have a clear reverence for the original film and Scream ends up being a film that follows familiar beats, while also going in a brave new direction.

As is the case with all the films in the series, Scream is filled with much self-aware horror trivia, with this new film tackling the recent trends of elevated horror, a term I personally dislike, and legacy sequels (or requels as the in-film characters call them). It's also probably no coincidence that the release of this film coincides with the 25th anniversary of this franchise and in many ways, Scream acts as a commentary on the dedicated fandom for long-running franchises.

I don't want to get too much more specific into the plot of Scream, since half the fun is seeing the story play out on screen, however, I will say that the film was an enjoyable (dare I say it) elevated horror legacy sequel.

Scream is now playing


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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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