Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
ames Vanderbilt Guy Busick Kevin Williamson
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Marley Shelton
In most horror franchises, the villain some how always comes back. From famous slashers such as Michael Myers of Halloween, Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Jason of Friday the 13th, no matter how many times they meet their demise on-screen, they some how always return for more. The ‘Scream’ series though has operated a bit differently, keeping viewers guessing until the end. The masked killer named Ghostface subjects teens to creepy phone calls and stabbing them with a hunting knife. Ghostface is someone different in every movie, sometimes a pair of people, linked by a pathological love of scary movies. The viewers job is to try guess and unmask Ghostface by the end of the film.
The original Scream, directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, debuted in 1996, it was a film that set up the success of one of the biggest franchises in the horror genre. Craven made three more Screams before he died in 2015, each acknowledging the “rules” of horror sequels. Now in 2022, this ‘Scream’ film is marketed as a legacy sequel, a kind of reboot there calling a ‘requel’. Not only do we see some of the original cast return, ‘Scream’ introduces a new set of youngsters to carry the legacy on.
For the fifth installment we return to the small town of Woodsboro, the place where the trouble began all those years ago. Jenna Ortega plays Tara, a home-alone teen who is texting her friend and intensely annoyed by ringing from her landline, a piece of technology that’s become almost obsolete. During the ordeal a familiar voice asks her if she “likes scary movies”. As Tara names her favourite films, the voice becomes more aggravated. Which leads to Ghostface showing up in person with his cloak and mask and the mayhem ensues.
Tara’s estranged sister Sam (played by Melissa Barrera) arrives with her boyfriend Richie (played by Jack Quaid) and reveals a grim secret about their connection to the original killings. And after some consultation with Tara’s friend group, Sam asks for help from veteran cop and Ghostface arch nemesis Dewey Riley (played by David Arquette). Dewey then makes the much needed calls to Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Gale Riley (Courteney Cox), who all make the return to Woodsboro to help unmask the new Ghostface.
‘Scream’ 5 succeeds in delivering the trademark bloody stab wounds of it’s predecessors. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett even mirror the opening sequence of the original Scream, a scene made so famously by Drew Barrymore. She played Casey who talked on the phone with the killer as he quizzed her about scary movies. What Craven and Williamson started as a on the edge of your seat thrill ride, has some how transformed into a series of films that mock the movies in the Horror genre.
If your looking for a piece of entertainment, ‘Scream’ 5 definitely triumphs in giving viewers that. It can’t reach the terrifying heights of Craven’s original Screams, but it does pay homage to the legacy that carried them.