Ghostface is back, twenty-five years after the original release.
This weekend the brutal requel (reboot sequel) of Scream sent chills down the spines of fans who flocked to see how it lived up to previous films. The original director of the classic 90s series and Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven, suddenly died in 2015, leaving fans of his work devastated. Without Wes’ direction, many thought it was the end of one of his most loved creations.
Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet picked up the torch for the fifth instalment, a controversial move to many. Along with screenwriters James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, the co-directors delivered a wonderful homage to the meta-horror flicks that Craven would have been proud of. It could even be considered the best film since the original, with more blood, gore and heartbreak than any other. The co-directors do a fantastic job of making the movie relevant to the current generation while initiating traditional meta-horror tropes and conventions. A meta-horror is a horror movie where characters are aware of the usual tropes and traditions in the horror genre and thus rely on these to stay alive.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tyler Gillet comments, “We are beyond thrilled [about the reactions] and so excited for audiences now to get to have the experience.”
“Obviously, we’re fans of the original four movies and all of Wes’ work, there was a sort of added layer of pressure with this.”
In the same interview, co-director Matt Bettinelli-Olpin expressed that “Our starting point was this has to be, on some level, a love letter to Wes Craven, Scream and his other work.”
“He’s one of the greatest directors, period, of his generation.”
The movie brings back beloved characters from the original films, such as Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette). After a slew of attacks by the legendary Ghostface, they return to help the latest leading lady Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), who returns to Woodsboro to protect her younger sister Tara (Jenna Ortega). The girls try to outsmart the killer with help from her boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid) and Tara’s friendship group, consisting of a wonderful ensemble cast of ‘Legacy Characters’ related to characters from the original movies. We see Jasmine Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding play twins Mindy and Chad Meeks, the niece and nephew of Randy Meeks, and Dylan Minette as Wes Hicks, the son of Scream 4’s Deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton). Sonia Ammar plays Liv, Chad’s girlfriend, and Mikey Madison plays sulky Amber.
However, the directors point out that the new instalment of Scream is not focused on the old characters but the new ones. Its target audience is those millennials and Gen Z youths who have grown up with the Scream movies, and its self-aware commentary makes it the perfect balance between horror and satire, playing with the fans who think they know what to expect.
In my opinion, there were only a few problems with the film. Firstly, some scenes tried a little too hard to subvert the audience’s idea of what would happen, leading to run-on scenes. Secondly, Melissa Barrera’s performance was okay; however, at times fell flat compared to the other energetic performances of the ensemble and her co-star Jenna Ortega. Finally, the use of heavy CGI at one point, which I won’t go into too much detail about due to spoilers, made the movie seem a little cheap and diminished the use of the effect.
Overall, the film did a great job providing fan service to fans who thought they’d never see another Scream movie again. A complimentary movie that fits in excellently with other films in the series, fans are thrilled to see if the directors continue with the series after this or if it is finally the end of an era.
Feature picture: @creepyduckart via @screammovies on Twitter
BA (Hons) Film, Media and Journalism graduate. Freelance Journalist for Brig Newspaper and Entertainment Daily. Head of Social Media for Brig Newspaper.
Passionate about diversity, inclusion and representation.