Horror has been one of the more reliable subgenres during the pandemic, but the current Omicron wave has complicated the calculus. Wherever people watch this slasher film designed to please, it should have a healthy shelf life, even if that’s without a crowd.
All of this is accomplished quite impressively, while at the same time mocking the original, its three sequels, and that 25-year relationship with the audience, but still treating it with a seriousness that matters to every detail and that’s generally reserved for movies starring superheroes or spaceships . There are also plenty of references to current horror films, their different ambitions and where Scream fits in.
It goes without saying that the basic template remains intact, with an incident involving Ortega’s character bringing her older sister (Barrera) back to the town of Woodsboro, accompanied by her boyfriend (Quaid). A previous killing spree there sparked a string of films, meaning this Ghostface killer taps into that mythology and leaves no shortage of suspects or corpses.
The newcomers get the brilliant idea of seeking advice from veteran pros, and that’s where Arquette, Cox, and Campbell come in, albeit reluctantly.
Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett supply the requisite blood by the bucketload, leaving no open door—closet, fridge, you name it—to milk a crack or fright out of.
That might not sit high in the rules for surviving a pandemic, but it bodes well that Scream is proving to be successful enough to have a resurgence, be it a sequel, remake, reboot or like this one Case essentially all of the above.
“Scream” opens in US cinemas on January 14th. It is rated R.