Recent Review: Scream (2022)


(Warning this review contains spoilers)

More than 25 years after the original and over a decade since the last installment, Scream (2022) is the latest in the Wes Craven-founded meta slasher franchise. Sadly, Craven passed away in 2015, and with that new installments were halted. However, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, fans of the late Craven, stepped up to the plate to co-direct this new installment. The film acts as both a step in the future as well as an homage to both the franchise’s past and to Wes Craven.

The film begins with a classic Scream opening kill scene, but with a few twists. Unlike what Scream 4 attempted to do with its faux gotcha stab movie within a movie, Scream (2022) attempts to capture a similar essence to the iconic Drew Barrymore (who makes a surprise cameo in the film alongside other scream legacy actors). Jenna Ortega as Tara and Roger L Jackson (the original Ghostface) play off one another effortlessly and there is no reliance on gags – they were serving pure fear. However, viewers could hardly call this an opening kill scene as to the fan’s surprise, the scene ends in Tara’s survival. An exciting and fresh means to restart the franchise.

The cast is filled with fresh blood. Let’s examine the standout characters among the entire bunch. Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown as twins Chad and Mindy Meeks, niece and nephew of Randy Meeks from the original. They are also children of Martha Meeks from Scream 3 played by fellow returning cast member Heather Matarazzo. Chad appears to be the standard jock but quickly denies that stereotypical archetype as he becomes a promising lovable and comedic character. Chad is a character you are greatly disappointed when he apparently dies and are satisfied when you find he survives. He is a great supporting protagonist who I can’t wait to see in the sequel and Gooding’s looks don’t hurt either.

Now Jasmin Savoy Brown is where it’s at. She has everything needed to be a protagonist or last girl. Her Mindy will go down as a beloved role for her hilarious lines, being an LGBTQ icon, and a small taste of her confrontation skills with Ghostface both physically and unbeknownst to her mentally. 

The only problem with her performance is that we want more of her, especially more than the Ghostface killer and daughter of Billy Loomis, Sam. Brown has the right ingredients to make the perfect protagonist that we haven’t seen much of before in Scream’s current surviving Legacy cast women. I hope she gets more of an elevated role in the sequel.

Jack Quaid as Richie and Mikey Madison as Amber Freeman play what I would describe as good introductory Ghostface’s for the new generation of Survivors to go up against as well as to refresh the legacy characters. Their movies are some of the most meta and similar to Jill’s in the previous installment. While Jill wanted to use the fame of her experience as Ghostface to gain Sidney Prescott levels of fame Amber and Richie wanted to use their killing spree to revitalize their beloved stab film franchise. 

Melissa Barrera as Sam is a great character in concept; mostly she is the daughter of Billy Loomis played by Skeet Ulrich in this film. Yes, that is right they brought Billy back as a delusion in Sam’s mind. While Skeet’s performance is excellent Melissa Barrera’s Performance as Sam while good needs more material to work with. I go to Scream for Sidney, Gale, and Ghostface. 

If the Scream filmmakers want to make their original content attract fans to theaters they should focus less on making pseudo-Sideny’s and expand on the Billy stuff because that’s the best part. Mikey Madison as Dylan Minnette as Wes Hicks’s son of legacy character Judy Hicks played by Marley Shelton are also honorable mentions for their deaths are real tragedies, performances are excellent, and the scenes are very well-paced.  

As for the legacy cast, the most memorable role is that of Dewey Riley portrayed by David Arquette. In the spirit of ripping the bandaid off, yes Dewey gets killed by Ghostface.  The former deputy turned sheriff goes back to make sure a down Ghostface is truly at their end and meets him instead. One knife to the front and back. The film portrays this as the tragedy it is and inspires the involvement of one Sidney Prescott. Dewey is perfectly funny and down to earth in this film, even accurately predicting the killer from the start. The filmmakers handle the death excellently and allow for Gale Weathers to have some of her best moments in the series. 

While most would simply argue that Sidney Prescott is the protagonist of the Scream Series it could be equally argued that the Gale Weathers Portrayed by Courtney Cox is also the protagonist. She is the character with the most growth and development throughout the series. She is one of Scream’s last girls. In this film, in the vein of Lin Shaye fighting off the bride in black in Insidious 3, Gale gets her vengeance on the killer whom she refers to as her best friend – starting with a punch to the face! 

It is more than epic when she and Sidney throw Amber WrestleMania tag-team style in Stu Macher’s Kitchen. Now reading this sounds more like fanfiction but it’s not. She is able to almost finish off her ex’s murderer amidst her fake apologetic pleads saying “ F*ck you!” shooting her into flames. With Sidney putting the cherry on top saying “enjoying that torch” in reference to the passing off the torch comment made earlier. Gale is so cool in this film and I want more of her.

Sidney Prescott is also amazing in this film in the moments we see her. The only issue with Neve Campbell’s performance is there needed to be much more of it. While it is an amazing role for Sidney to act mentor to the new generation of Woodburrow serial murder survivors, she needs more time you be fully realized. Her going through Stu’s house shooting through doors, insulting the killers, and fighting the killers is her highlight in this film. In the sequel however it will be important to get more out of this character and more moments in between the deaths with her. This film seems to set up for that potential.

That’s right Scream 6 has been officially greenlit and with that, we will be seeing more Scream in the future? What are your hopes and expectations for the next installment of the classic horror franchise? 

I give Scream (2022) 10 out of 10 Ghost Face Masks for its revitalization of this old franchise, its new cast and its legacy cast’s performances, and for its impressive kills.

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