The notorious Ghostface killer is on the rampage again in the latest Scream movie. The film rather awkwardly shares its title with Wes Craven's classic 1996 original, the post-modern slasher horror that revitalised the genre. Scream gave rise to several sequels and many sub-par knock-offs like I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), although few could match its canny mixture of bloodshed and irony.
The key innovation of Kevin Williamson's original Scream script was its self-reflexiveness: in the course of being stalked and terrorised, the film's characters had a choice of playing into, or steering away from, tired horror movie conventions like calling out 'Who's there?' or running up the wrong staircase.
The series is centrally focused around Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), a young woman with plenty of skeletons in her closet. The backstory of Sidney's adulterous mother Maureen has provided fodder for several genre-literate killers to target her over the course of the franchise.
Hopes are high for the new Scream, which comes from the directors of the terrific Ready or Not, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, after Craven passed away in 2015. That movie showcased a similar level of winking awareness to Scream, deconstructing just as many horror tropes as it rolled out. The script comes from James Vanderbilt who penned David Fincher's methodical, masterful police procedural thriller Zodiac (2007). The omens, therefore, are good, and it helps that the original Scream cast members are back.
Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Roger L. Jackson, and Marley Shelton all return, and they're joined by Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Mason Gooding, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Dylan Minnette, Mikey Madison, Sonia Ben Ammar, and Kyle Gallner. Here's the poster teasing the return of an all too familiar masked maniac – the tagline makes us wonder if the culprit is even closer to home this time around.
Expect a proper carve-up when Scream arrives in Cineworld cinemas on 14th January 2022. Can't wait that long? Check out our list of Scream 25th anniversary facts ahead of its Cineworld re-release this Halloween.