When Wes Craven passed away in 2015 at the age of 76, fans of the Scream franchise wondered if the end had come.
However, new directors Matt Bettinelli-Oplin and Tyler Gillett tick most of the boxes for a basic scream-slasher movie: epic killer scenes, goofy character choices that have viewers screaming at the TV, and even the twists and turns at the end of the movie.
The new film is aimed at the fans who grew up watching the original 1998 film and its sequels. Like the first four films, the fifth film managed to give slasher films a lot of tongue-in-cheek digs and then do exactly what they made fun of. Scream continues with the meta-commentary, just like the previous films, but this time the commentary is aimed at the fans as well.
Writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick managed to roast everyone involved in the Scream franchise in the fifth film. The film successfully builds on the previous films in the series while being unique enough to stand on its own.
As usual, Scream begins with a phone call—but not just any phone call. Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) answers the phone. Ortega’s character is attacked while home alone after another persona is inspired by the universal “Stab” franchise. The attack on her little sister motivates Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) to return home with fear and a secret.
Ortega kills performance as she does with every role she plays. Barrera played the role of the older sister perfectly. Fans of the previous films will know that Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox will return as Sidney, Dewey and Gale in 2022.
The casting for the “Requel” was surprisingly well done. The Carpenter Sisters act like siblings, the return of original characters and diversity. The film spans the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and a mix of rising stars with new faces.
Once again, Woodsboro faces another Ghostface killer (or two), and a group of friends and old characters are determined to unmask the traitor. Fans of the first film will be delighted to see some of the old sets and Skeet Ulrich’s handsome face again.
While I won’t spoil who is alive and who suffered from yet another brutal Ghostface murder, I will say that I shed a few tears during the film. The film was a great change of pace for the franchise while still retaining its original meta-comments and slasher movie horror scenes.
Better use of blood, makeup and special effects upgraded the film’s murder scenes from decent ’90s horror scenes with little blood to some brutal on-screen crime scenes.
Throughout the movie, I cried, laughed, and quietly mentioned to my friend how stupid the characters were. Craven was honored in the new film with “For Wes” signs at a party in tribute to the original director of the Scream franchise.
Although Craven will be missed, at least the franchise is in the hands of great creators. Can’t wait to see the confirmed sixth film due out in mid to late 2020