How Scream is Raising a New Generation of Horror Fans

5 mins read

All horror film fans are familiar with Scream and its iconic Ghostface killer. The original Scream was released in 1996 and it was a hit for satirising slasher tropes and bringing a fresh style to the sub-genre.

Ghostface went on to become an icon of horror, but in this new generation of Scream movies is the magic of the franchise being lost? Are they a simple cash grab at an overused story? Or is Ghostface helping raise a new generation of horror lovers? 

The Originals 

Image Credit: @Screammovies on Instagram

The first four instalments in the franchise were all directed by Wes Craven. They followed the story of final girl, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), and her friends as they survived various Ghostface-clad killers in the fictional town of Woodsboro.

Courtney Cox and David Arquette star alongside Campbell in the originals. Unfortunately for those who get attached easily, many of the cast for each movie ended up dying. This means we get to see many new faces among those we are familiar with.  

Sticking to a specific structure while adding new twists (such as every movie having a new killer or killers) helped keep these movies fresh. The ‘whodunit’ aspect of Scream always guarantees a shocking twist, both in the originals and the new-gen. 

What is a requel? 

Image Credit: Screammovies on Instagram

11 years after Scream 4 was released, Scream (2022) hit the big screen. Not being labelled as Scream 5 brought some confusion. Was this a reboot or a sequel?  

Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) brings up a good (and fourth-wall-breaking) point in Scream (2022). Where do we draw the line between a sequel and a reboot?

As Scream (2022) and 6 follow the same timeline as the originals while introducing a new cast, they are what Mindy dubs a “requel”. The latest release, Scream 6, embraces its requel status and names itself as the sixth instalment to the franchise.  

A requel can be risky business, as we have seen with the Star Wars sequels which were not a hit with fans. Fans can easily pick apart everything wrong with a film if the change is too uncomfortable for them. The Scream requels were handled in a way that saves this from happening. 

New Generation of Ghostface: The Sequels

Image Credit: Screammovies on Instagram

We see the return of Sid, Gale, and Dewey in Scream (2022) but they take a back seat in this film. Instead of being the main targets of Ghostface’s bloodthirst, they serve to mentor the new generation’s final girl Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera).  

The old cast sprinkles in some familiarity while simultaneously building on new characters’ stories. This keeps the movies interesting as well as not straying too far from the blueprint. Easing us into the change of setting in these movies, they break it up between the two requels. Scream (2022) is set in Woodsboro, a town very familiar to fans, while Scream 6 moves the bloodbath to New York.  

The requels contain enough of the structure from the originals, including poking fun at slasher film tropes, a list of rules about how to survive a horror film, a final girl, a friend group, and of course everyone is a suspect.  

They do deviate slightly, as a requel set 25 years later would, and most of the friend group survive the attacks in Scream (2022). More survivors does not mean less gore, Scream (2022) and 6 are as bloody as ever. The new-gen films surprisingly focus less on the final girl and poke more fun at horror film fanboys instead. This change is not off-putting however, as Sam has enough screentime for them to feel like Scream movies.  

All-in-all, the Scream requels have been a complete success. They are certainly something that Wes would be proud to have been associated with. It’s safe to say the new generation of horror lovers are secure in the hands of Ghostface and the future Scream movies.

Featured Image Credit: Screammovies on Instagram   

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First year student journalist studying Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Journalism Studies.

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