In the newest instalment of the Scream franchise, we’re taken back to the familiar small town of Woodsboro. Following the attack of her younger sister, Tara (Jenna Ortega), Sam (Melissa Barrera) returns home to protect her and try to stop the resurgence of a Ghostface copycat, the serial killer that plagued Woodsboro throughout the series. In order to stop the killer, Sam will need to unravel some of the town’s deepest secrets, as well as her own.
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Scream is a classic slasher movie that puts a spin on its prequels. With outstanding performances from Sydney (Neve Campbell), Wes (Dylan Minnette), and Tara, Scream is a successfully terrifying and gory horror film.
There’s nothing Hollywood loves more than a reboot of a beloved classic and horror movies are no exception. In recent years, cult classics like Halloween or The Candyman have been remade to fit modern standards. However, remakes are never as well received as their forebears, and typically fail to bring something new to the table. Scream, however, captures the essence of the original movie, while also revolutionizing the horror movie tropes we know and love.
One of the most prolific tropes of the slasher genre is the idea of the original hero coming back to end the cycle and defeat the killer, once and for all. While Scream still uses this trope, Sydney doesn’t fall into its grasp like other final girls have (I’m talking about you, Laurie Strode). Sydney and Gale (Courteney Cox) cement themselves as the ultimate final girls who are simultaneously badass and hilarious without overcompensating.
I find that many modern remakes of classics try too hard to seem relevant and cool to new audiences, especially young people, and end up looking stupid and cringe. While Scream does modernize itself, it isn’t annoying. Feeling authentic and real, the young characters act in ways that real teenagers actually would. Part of the reason that the movie succeeds in being scary is that the characters make all the right decisions but still end up in Ghostface’s grasp.
Like so many other slasher movies, Scream is 114 minutes of cringey one-liners and gore. However, it doesn’t stick with the clichés that plague every horror movie. It still has jump scares, iconic lines that stick in your head for hours after you watch it, and gore that chills you to the bone, but it adapts old moves to make something new. Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett created an effortlessly iconic movie, and weren’t too focused on trying to match theirs with the original.
One of the most refreshing parts of Scream is its self-awareness, which allows it to make fun of and not take itself too seriously. Throughout the movie, there are constant jokes about the horror genre as a whole, as well as the original Scream, that will have viewers knocking their head back in laughter. While many slasher movies do this, Scream accomplishes something the others don’t: it’s actually funny.
Even though the movie is packed full of humour and corny jokes, it doesn’t skimp out on the scares. Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin created a tense atmosphere that will have you holding your breath the entire time. Because of its length, Scream is very fast-paced, and doesn’t hesitate to throw fear at the audience. The gore, while over the top, is genuinely terrifying and realistic.
Make no mistake, Scream isn’t just for the die-hard fans of the original. Novices of the original franchise will enjoy it just as much, if not more. While there are many nods to the first Scream, the plot isn’t overly reliant on it, and much of the cast is new.
However, some basic knowledge of the first movie is necessary to fully understand it. Like many reboots, Scream uses aspects of its original plot to drive its new one. Legacy characters run throughout the movie, even ones from the later sequels such as Sheriff Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) who appears in the fourth Scream.
One of the strangest parts of Scream is just how real it is. Oddly, it’s a very enlightening and uplifting movie that evokes feelings you wouldn’t expect from a slasher movie. Even at its darkest moments, Scream puts in little aspects of human connection that are equally gut-wrenching and hopeful. For instance, the climax features a subtle fling between two girls that not only make the characters feel more real but allow the viewers to see the humanity in each character.
With such a banger being released in the early days of 2022, expectations for upcoming movies are certainly high, especially horror reboots. Scream has shown us that a movie can accomplish what it set out to do without losing the classic tropes that define its genre.