In 1996, the classic slasher horror sagas had reached a dead end. ‘Friday the 13th’ literally made Jason explode at the end of its ninth part, Wes Craven put an end to ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ with the wonderful ‘The New Nightmare’ and ‘Halloween’ limped after a sixth part that only gained interest in the fans after its comeback. Craven and Kevin Williamson knew that it was time to breathe new blood into the genre based on him to create a film that would honor and parody him. No one imagined that ‘Scream’ would forever change the rules of the game.
25 years have passed and many things have changed in genre cinema: the irruption of “high terror”, the resurrection of forgotten classic sagasthe self-consciousness of terror… After the sad death of Wes Craven, a fifth part of ‘Scream’ (which, except for the third installment, counts each film by wonder) was completely off the radar. Who could dare sully the saga? And above all: so many years later, with an audience much more alert to meta and more alert to plot twists, how would you react? If you didn’t do it in the cinema, you can check it out today on Amazon Prime Video, because ‘Scream (2022)’ is now available.
Do you like horror films?
‘Scream’ is a cornerstone not only of my life as a movie buff, but of my life in general. In an adolescent moment real obsession with horror moviesthe first ten minutes, Drew Barrymore’s death included, made me feel heard. The conscious self-parody, the meta twists, the discourse of cinema influencing real life, the rules to survive… That same year, when it was time to get into my first chat, I used the name of his most charismatic character as a nickname: Randy Meeks. And until today.
You can imagine with this background that I was going to judge ‘Scream (2022)’ not from the fan perspective, but from the perspective of the absolute devotee. Matt Bettinelli and Tyler Gillett had done a good job in ‘Wedding Night’, but it is difficult to surprise in a saga that has already done it all: the horror films, the sequels, the trilogy, the late sequel… What is left? Exact: the reboot.
‘Scream (2022)’ is to ‘Scream’ what it was to slasher cinema. It is such a foundational and revisited film that a whole new universe can be created based on it. The new directors lower the comedy and raise the reverence for the saga, which instead of being a simple remake is a comment about them (and since we are, about high terror). It doesn’t clash with Wes Craven’s deliveries and, in fact, it’s better than some of them. It is not a small compliment.
Don’t say “I’ll be right back” because you won’t come back
The big problem with ‘Scream (2022)’ is his inability to overcome the classic characters: The movie spikes as soon as Sidney, Gail and Dewey make an appearance, eating up the plot. The rest of the new additions do not have the necessary charisma to carry a new trilogy behind their backs, and someone as charismatic as Kirby is missed (no, not the pink ball, the one played by Hayden Panettiere), which will at least return in the sixth part.
‘Scream (2022)’ is a sequel and a reboot, a tribute and a transgression, a copy and a break. It is a film literally designed for fans (the more devoted, the better) of the original film that instead of falling behind in its pretensions or being afraid of tarnishing a classic, steps on the accelerator and goes much further. It’s funny, bloody, teen and mature at the same time.
Far from being a profiteer without purposethis new installment would make Wes Craven proud with its commentary on the state of terror today. Don’t let the party stop, please.