review by Bobby Blakey
Back in 1996 the late horror icon Wes Craven teamed up with writer Kevin Williamson to change the slasher genre with Scream. The film not only spawned 3 sequels in 1997, 2000 and 2011 as well as a TV series that ran for 3 seasons on MTV. After the fourth film it seemed the film series was at its end, but then Ready or Not directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett came onto the scene and are bringing an all-new chapter. Does this latest entry offer up the killer formula that made the series great or was it a failed stab at bringing it back?
Scream follows twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past. This new entry brings both some new blood to the franchise as well as the OG’s of the series including Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette return to their iconic roles in Scream alongside Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.
I love this series, every one of them. I recognize the flaws with some of them, but love them nonetheless. I was excited for this film, but after the last film that had hoped to build a new franchise kind of fell flat I was a bit nervous to what they were going to do this time around. I am happy to say it delivers everything fans want from the series while paying homage to the previous films and being its own thing. Make no mistake there are quite a few rehashed sequences twisted for this tale, but for me it just kept it in familiar territory while allowing it to do what it wants to.
You could probably make an argument that this film copies a lot of what came before, but that is kind of par for the course to this franchise. It has already taken on a meta tone to not only elevate it to something that stands out, but also bring some relevant to the forefront. They clearly took the series seriously for this entry that harkens back to the tone of the original and really does a good job at creating something fresh and familiar. Sure there are elements that are frustrating but a lot of this is just what is done in these kinds of movies.
What has made the original films work was both the mystery of it all and the fact that no one was safe. That started losing its steam in the last couple of films, but has found its way back this time around. I dig the young cast and the use of the original cast to create what’s being referred to as a requel, with an explanation in the film. They all hold their own with the OG cast and unlike a lot of films in this genre didn’t have any that were too annoying. The originals all dived right back in and much like the previous films have evolved them to new places in their lives and they gave them some story and stuff to do instead of just glorified cameos.
It pokes fun at the previous films in a fun way while still being respectful as it pushes forward to try and carve its own path. This all brings it to the big reveal twist and reasoning behind this outing. I was on the fence with it at first, but it’s so spot on in what they are dealing with and how they go about it that it just works. Sure it’s a bit eye rolling in why, but in reality isn’t too far from the truth. I actually dug this new entry that brings a similar tone and plenty of blood while doing this franchise justice. I am glad they did it, but while part of me wants more and its been announced, but I think this is an excellent cap to the franchise once and for all. Nothing is going to live up to the original, but this is a good entry worth checking out.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes and more. Return to Woodsboro and grab your copy of Scream available now on digital, 4K, Blu-ray and DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment.