Scream Movie starring Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Melissa Barrera & Courtney Cox

Image source: IMDb

Scream Movie 2022

Distributor: Paramount Pictures Studios
Production Companies: Spyglass Media Group, Project X Entertainment, Radio Silence
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Producers: William Sherak, James Vanderbilt, Paul Neinstein
Writers: James Vanderbilt (screenplay), Guy Busick (screenplay), Kevin Williamson (characters created)
Main Cast: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Mikey Madison, Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Sonia Ammar, Marley Shelton, Skeet Ulrich
Released: January 14 2022
Running Time: 114 minutes
Certificate: 18

2022’s Scream is a “re-quel” that contains just the right amount of comedy to compliment the terrifying and well-known plot. The first of the franchise not to be directed by Wes Craven after his passing in 2015, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett prove their mastery of the formula, as the latest edition to the franchise is easily recognisable but at the same time unique and stands its own ground. The meta-slasher classic returns yet again to terrify the residents of Woodsboro, begging the question that if Scream isn’t, then truly what is your favourite scary movie?

Spoilers ahead – read on at your own risk.

Scream Synopsis

Opening with that recognisable scene, high-schooler Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) is home alone, eagerly awaiting the arrival of her best friend Amber Freeman (Mikey Madison), all the while being bombarded by calls from the landline (insert melodramatic teenage eye-roll – ugh, right?). A relentless ex? Maybe. But fans of the franchise are well aware of who is behind the call, and eagerly await Ghostface’s famous line that kick-started it all for poor Drew Barrymore’s character in the original – “What’s your favourite scary movie?” (Sidenote: check out the modern gadgets used that are still no match for the masked killer – the automatic security system that keeps deactivating, the intercepting of the smartphone by Ghostface – seemingly nothing can stop Ghostface.) As a newbie to the Scream universe, I really did feel the anticipation that no doubt the die-hard fans feel every time that line it uttered, almost as though I had been initiated into the world of Woodsboro.

After narrowly escaping the killer, but enduring several stomach-churning injuries, Tara’s estranged sister Sam returns to the town, carrying secrets that connect the dots between the new Ghostface and those around her who are increasingly in danger as the movie progresses. As the daughter of one of the original killer duo, Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), and the product of an affair, a combination of guilt and fear of turning out like her father (hence the frequent visions of Loomis) had forced Sam, in true murder-mystery fashion, to abandon her sister several years prior. Thus, the mysterious Sam, accompanied by her archetypical dozy sidekick boyfriend Richie, gets her sister’s gang of sprightly teens together to figure out is behind the recent killing spree, Cluedo-style.

Scream Analysis

Blood and guts aside, the movie is incredibly funny. A combination of cheesy teen talk (a Scream staple – insert several “mother-f*****” insults, a dash of sarcasm, and of course, the character of Chad) and Scream’s mastering of self-parody, taking every cliché of 90s horror and using it to its advantage, makes the fifth instalment a fantastic edition. As a first-time viewer, I particularly loved movie-buff Mindy’s (Jasmin Savoy Brown) rules on how to survive a horror movie. This piece of dialogue I later found out is echoed in every Scream movie, in particular, uttered by Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy’s uncle and victim of the second-generation Ghostface, Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy).

The inclusion of legacy characters Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) really ramps up the movie’s tempo. It ensures a continuation of the original plot and solidifies Ghostface as an unwanted heirloom of Woodsboro with a relentless, menacing hold on the sleepy Californian town. At the same time, the introduction of a new generation of characters tied to the former ordeals ensures that the movie can stay up-to-date, creating new complexities and terrifying new revelations.

Perhaps this is just me as a Scream newbie, but what enjoyed about the new edition is that the identities of the new Ghostfaces were so painfully obvious that it acts as a double-bluff. Gearing us up with the conventions of a horror movie killer in Mindy’s survival dialogue lulls us into a false sense of security, making us believe that we are armed with enough knowledge to “call it”, until we’re left frantically pointing the finger at every main character, just as the characters themselves are. Furthermore, the movie’s commentary on the horrifying lengths obsessive fans will go in the name of fulfilling their fantasies – in this case, Amber and Richie’s desperation to save the fictional Stab movies from a disappointing ending through real-life murder – serves as the chilling motive for the new Ghostfaces. In an online world of anonymity and Reddit, the new generation of Ghostface remind us just how dangerous fandoms can be.

With so many quote-worthy lines, what I liked about the fifth Scream is the fact that you don’t have to have seen the first movies to understand what is happening (although it certainly does help for the easter eggs contained throughout). The characters give enough context for viewers to remain in the loop without it feeling like the whole movie is just a recap.

Scream Movie Summary

Despite raising some questions (where was everyone else in the hospital when Dewey met his end? How on earth did Amber take out Dewey? With all her injuries, HOW DID TARA SURVIVE PAST THE OPENING?), the movie’s blend of humour and horror, culminating in a final showdown in the original house of horrors, is what makes it such a brilliant addition to the franchise. Sidney’s slamming down the phone upon hearing that eerie voice at the movie’s climax is a particularly effective comic relief. Here we see the franchise’s badass completely done with Ghostface’s antics, ready to finish it once and for all. Let’s not forget Sam’s iconic line – “Never fuck with the daughter of a serial killer” – as she is adopted as Sidney’s successor.

The newest Scream movie is one not to be missed, for old and new fans alike.


Target Audience: 18+
Content: Violence, gore, strong language and sex references.
Recommendation?: Yes

Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Excellent

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