A 2020s sequel that knows the rules and follows well.
You have to begin the new “Scream” with the famous “What’s your favorite scary movie” question, and you have to be on a timely fashion when Tara’s (Jenna Ortega) response is “The Babadook.” It’s serves here as a topic about elevated horror. She barely remembers seeing the original “Stab” movie, which sets the girl in great turmoil, because the killer sets her up with a Live or Die trivia game.
The rules of the “Scream” franchise is to follow the rules of surviving a horror movie. Adding big names, social commentary, big laughs, and nonstop thrills, you have to know the stakes and know when to survive the sequel. That is if you could survive “Scream 3.”
As you know, Wes Craven, the man who directed Kevin Williamson’s characters, has passed away in 2015. The new filmmakers are Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who are both also known as Radio Silence. I’ll never forget how they made the horror comedy genre literally explode in “Ready or Not.” Now, they both take on the new “Scream,” which considers itself a “requel,” which wouldn’t completely be a sequel or a reboot, but a sequel that brings the characters from the original and new versions together. At least that’s what they talk about in the movie or if I got this info right.
Tara survives the opening attack, but her older sister Sam (Melissa Barrera from “In The Heights”)-who has seen all the “Stab” movies-must reunite with her after leaving her for five years to make sure she’s okay. She’s one of the next victims Ghostface terrorizes, and a twist in her past may have something to do with it.
Back in their iconic roles are Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, the survivor of all five movies, Courtney Cox as journalist Gale Weathers, David Arquette as her sheriff husband Dewey, Marley Sherlton is the deputy sheriff Judy Hicks, and Roger L. Jackson is still the voice of the Ghostface killer.
The new friends include Sam’s boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid), Hicks’ son Wes (Dylan Minnette), whom she gives a taser to, the Meeks twins Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad (Mason Gooding), the wisecracking Liv (Sonia Ammar), and the BFF Amber (Mikey Madison).
“Scream,” or “Scream 5” as the social commentary should suggest, may polarize fans in the ways that sequels, reboots, or the both of them combined have taken the good from the bad or the bad from the good. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and the ways movies are transcending can be complicated or interesting. From my perspective, this sequel delivers in its own genre about how many Ghostface killers there have to be, which important characters stays or dies, and how different generations of horror fans can merge together.
What can I say? I had a lot of fun, and I’m a film critic, who gives the B.O.T.D. when he senses something inside. Although, I should have been smart enough to avoid “Home Sweet Home Alone” or the 2015 “Vacation.” “Scream” is far better than those bombs combined.
I can’t give out any spoilers, but I can criticize one scene that lacks common sense and the next death, which looks gruesome. A lot of the deaths are supposed to gruesome, but this particular murder made me a bit uncomfortable. When you see it, come and talk to me about it. You’ll know then.
Aside from them, it still has its attitude. Campbell, Cox, and Arquette all allow their iconic characters to enter the 2020s, and they’re only hope on surviving the killer, since the original experts are dead. And the newcomers are also entertaining. Barrera adds humanity and structure to her character, and Ortega delivers her best work on film with her maturity and emotions.
Radio Silence are able to live up to Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson’s expectations without seeming so self-congratulatory, and they’re able to give it a ballsy look and feel with real shocks and stylish laughs. And this would be two movies in a row I’ve seen in which they have a villain begging for their lives.
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