What people are saying about the new ‘Scream’ movie starring Alabama’s Courteney Cox

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Have you seen the new “Scream” movie? Everyone seems to be talking about the latest installment in the slasher film series, which debuted on Friday.

2022’s Scream made it to the box office, grossed $34 million over the four-day holiday weekend, and ousted Spider-Man: No Way Home from the top spot. So say Variety and others who follow these kinds of things in the entertainment world.

Meanwhile, movie fans are eagerly debating the horror flick, which stars a key role of Alabama native Courteney Cox, one of the franchise’s stars. As always, “Scream” focuses on a mysterious Ghostface killer stalking the good guys of Woodsboro. The new film is of course aware of the slasher genre and contains a satirical element in addition to the terror.

RELATED: Horror in Alabama: The genre’s roots in the state run deep, from ‘Scream’ to ‘Get Out’

Should you venture to a movie theater to catch Scream 2022? This is what reviewers say about the film.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety:

“’Scream’, the feisty new meta-slasher-thriller, is neither a reboot nor a sequel to ‘Scream’, the seminal 1996 meta-slasher-thriller with which it shares a title. The new movie is a reclaim, a term the film dutifully explains – it means a franchise expansion that balances on a kitchen knife blade between past and present, between something fickle and new and a respect for the old characters that gave the original its soul. (In this case, that means Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell are back, and not just in token roles.) …

“Is it fun? Most of the time yes. Surprising? It keeps tricking you into who the killer is and playing that guessing game is part of the suspense of the film, but it’s a suspense that’s based on the fact that the film ahead of us in a completely random way.The new Scream is about as good as Scream 2 – it bounces the thrill of the original Scream like a blood-soaked balloon in the air – but the movie is basically a bunch of variations on an old sleight of hand – hand blueprinted. Only now it’s old enough to seem new again.”

Joshua Rothkopf, Entertainment Weekly:

“‘Scream’ is long gone, its mid-’90s post-‘pulp fiction’ moment was hot and short. These days it exudes nostalgic warmth, fear not. Outrageous (high school student) Tara (Jenna Ortega) is paid a visit by the iconic Ghostface (a stabbing, hard-hitting R-attack that exaggerates the evilness), and perhaps this is this franchise’s revenge on the better movies seen in arrived in their wake . Yet, as its jaded non-title would imply, 2022’s at times funny and boring “Scream” has a solid, persistent game plan. It’s a lot of your father’s scream. You won’t be scared, but you might like being wrapped in something as cozy and familiar as Freddy Krueger’s sweater.”

David Sims, The Atlantic:

“Because everything old has to be new again, this film is simply called ‘Scream’, not ‘Scream 5’, and the three biggest characters from the previous installments return. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), the usual main target of Ghostface’s villainy, is now a fireproof gun-wielding mother; Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), a TV journalist chasing an ambulance, has become a morning show host; and Dewey Riley (David Arquette), the town sheriff, is going through a tough time. But they support players from a variety of emerging talents; Melissa Barrera plays Sam Carpenter, a 20-year-old who is trapped in Ghostface’s crosshairs along with her boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid); Sister, Tara (Jenna Ortega); and a bunch of other sarcastic friends.

“(Matt) Bettinelli-Olpin and (Tyler) Gillett direct each murderous set piece with visceral efficiency. The kills are the trademark mix of ratcheting tension and nasty stab wounds. The effective opening sequence mirrors the original Scream: Tara is on the phone with the killer while he’s quizzing her about scary movies. This time, however, she scoffs at questions about horror mists like Freddy and Jason; She’s into “sublime horror,” she says, like “The Babadook” or “It Follows.” This genre change is what ‘Scream’ wants to scoff now – after all these years, will audiences still fear the familiar specter of a masked man with a knife? I say yes: as a shaking piece of entertainment “Scream” absolutely successful.”

Matthew Jackson, Looper:

“Right from the start, from the first sequence, this incarnation of ‘Scream’ establishes two things: that it can deliver the slasher ware and that it can dodge on its audience at just the right moment to present us as the best of the Bringing balance to moments of previous installments did so. (James) Vanderbilt and (Guy) Busick have clearly done their homework on the script, digging through every nook and cranny of the “Scream” story to find the best bits to carry on, but at no point do they feel themselves like a Kevin Williamson cover band. Then there’s the direction of (Matt) Bettinelli-Olpin and (Tyler) Gillett, which is clearly and reverently inspired by (Wes) Craven’s masterpieces, but never fully derived from them. The result is a film that stands on its own as a stunning piece of slasher storytelling, while exploring exactly what we’ve come to expect from a “Scream” film. Or at least what we think we want…”

Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times:

“Crankled by a searing self-confidence, the latest ‘Scream’ is a slack, smug-faced slasher film so enamored with its own mythology that its characters speak of little else. This self-referential babble disguised as a comment on the franchise-within-the-franchise “stab” means there’s hardly a line of dialogue that doesn’t end with a wink and a nudge. …

“’Scream’ may not define itself as a remake, but a lot of it wallows in memories of the founding film. From the ringing landline that initiates the opening attack to the meticulous recreation of an infamous character’s home, the film revels in visual and audio callbacks. But in crafting a film that seems designed only to placate a devoted fanbase, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (two-thirds of the collective are known as Radio Silence) paint themselves into a creative corner. They’re so busy looking backwards that they can’t see a coherent way forward.”

Pat Brown, Oblique:

“A few lustfully staged murders accompanied by clever meta-comments don’t keep this ‘Scream’ from a creeping boredom. The first film was the expression of a horror writer (Wes Craven) disillusioned with his artistic milieu and, with typical postmodern horror, crafting a story from the thematic core with no new stories to tell. Now, four films later, screenwriters James Vanderbilt and Tyler Gillett can do little more than adapt the same message to new times, incorporating smartphones and a toxic online fan culture into a case that remains essentially unchanged.”

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