More than ten years after the not so thrilling Scream 4 was released comes a fresh new take on the cult classic franchise.
Anyone who grew up watching horror films in the 90s knows very well the Woodsboro story of Sidney Prescott and the ghost face killer. There was just something about a creep in a cheap Halloween costume going around stabbing teens in the name of horror movie lore that drew us all in, and is the reason it remains a classic today. A horror movie that’s fully aware that it’s a horror movie, even going as far as giving viewers an extremely meta list of rules one must follow to survive. As the sequels began to spill out I found myself getting more and more uninterested as the same storyline was used multiple times, and decided the original was the best and only one worth watching anyway.
When I heard there was going to be a new film released close to ten years after the disappointing Scream 4, I was extremely excited. This was a new chance to revive a series with great potential, but lackluster sequels. After finally watching the film I can safely say it’s the best in the series since the original, and although it almost feels more like a reboot than a sequel, there were many things that made it feel fresh and exciting.
The story follows the character Sam as she returns to her hometown of Woodsboro after her sister Tara is attacked. After a series of revelations and reminiscing on the past, the two discover why the killer is after them and try to do all they can to get away. The best part about the Scream movies is trying to figure out who the killer is, and then it being revealed at the end as someone extremely obvious. This new movie embraces these classic horror movie tropes tenfold such as characters thinking things will be better if they leave town, suspenseful music buildups, and of course the cryptic man on the other side of the phone. One of my favorite scenes in the film centers on the characters Wes right after his mother has been killed. He is walking around the kitchen doing a series of menial tasks, but because of the build up of music we keep suspecting to see ghost face pop up behind a door. After several instances of this with no pay off it starts to become pretty humorous, and the satire becomes clear. Another instance of paying homage to classic horror is when Wes gets in the shower and ghost face asks Deputy Judy if she’s ever seen the movie Psycho. The character Mindy is one of my favorite additions as she takes over the mantle of slasher film expert from her uncle Randy, and provides a refreshing updated version of the rules to surviving a “requel”.
Although not a perfect movie, having a plot that is not very original and bringing back legacy characters only for the sake of applause, the new Scream movie is thoroughly enjoyable for any fan of the franchise, and any horror movie fan in general. The witty way it calls out classic horror movie tropes and twists throughout (that should have been obvious but still manage to take viewers by surprise), puts this film in the instant classics vault for me.