So this is Scream; in fact it should be called Scream 5, and surely they must have been thinking of 5CREAM. But this one has opted for the solemn tic of the franchise to get rid of the title number as if longevity entitles the last iteration to the status of automatic classic. In fact, Scream preemptively satirizes precisely this posting, with fans mocking the directors of the “Stab” franchise for pompously calling their latest episode “Stab” instead of Stab 8. I have to admit, there’s a bit of it. Watchable gonzo humor in this Fivequel (although I hid under my seat for the violent passages.)
The Scream Movies were born in the irony boom of the ’90s, about a serial killer called Ghostface who slaughtered his victims according to the horror movie rules tabulated by nerd geek and can’t be survived. or overcome only by sticking to these rules. (My fellow film critic Matthew Turner points out that the Scream films also had an unintentional irony, about which they are very silent: The Weinstein brothers were involved in production and distribution, and the franchise featured aggression and abuse from female actors.) horror Wes Craven, who died in 2015, directed the first four and this fifth film is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Original Scream screenwriter Kevin Williamson has executive producer credit.
We’re back in Woodsboro, the small town where the trouble started. Jenna Ortega plays Tara (pronounced “terror”), a teenage girl alone at home who texts her friend and intensely annoyed while ringing from something called “landline”. A horribly familiar voice asks her what scary movies she likes – and the horrible old boomer psychopath is enraged when Tara aptly names The Babadook, that “exalted horror” seemingly superior to the nerdy slasher cannon. Even more enraged when this Gen Z awakening starts talking about It Follows and The Witch, Ghostface shows up in person with his cloak and mask and chaos of cold steel ensues.
Tara’s longtime sister Sam (Melissa Barrera) arrives with boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid) and reveals a dark secret about their connection to the original murders. And after some consultation with Tara’s group of friends, Sam enlists the help of veteran policeman and Ghostface nemesis Dewey Riley (David Arquette), whose involvement involves Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Gale Riley (Courteney). Cox). The horrible truth is rising. Ghostface now engages them in a “requel” – a reboot sequel – the aim of which is to appease the toxic fandom by introducing a younger cast but respectfully leaving “legacy characters” like Riley, Sidney, and Gale untouched. And Ghostface is the most toxic fan of all.
Maybe there’s less zap in Scream these days and scrupulously summoning the next generation of indie horror – Jordan Peele is mentioned, with absolute respect – only serves as a long-term reminder of just how good Scream is old. But it is still capable of delivering piercing high-pitched decibels.