In order to survive a Scream film, one must have a basic grasp of horror movie conventions. The final trailer for the upcoming Scream, the fifth movie in the bloodcurdling franchise, makes that abundantly clear as the haunted and haggard Sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette) reckons with his past.
The terrifying Ghostface killer has returned to the afflicted small town of Woodsboro and, as ever, the psycho's motives are initially elusive. After surviving four run-ins with the various iterations of Ghostface, Dewey is on hand to school a new generation of youngsters (among them Jack Quaid, Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega and Mason Gooding) in the art of survival. And he's talking from past experience, having been stabbed by Ghostface not once but twice over the course of the series.
But is this Ghostface even playing by the conventional rules? Perennial survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is another seasoned pro at surviving Ghostface, saying, "I've seen this movie." However, the sardonic reply (uttered in the unmistakeable tones of returning actor Roger L. Jackson) is chilling: "Not this movie."
Certainly, the rules of the game have been malleable relative to each Scream film in question. In the first one, the playing field was established, and Ghostface's victims had to play against horror movie clichés (don't say "who's there" and so on) in order to make it through alive.
However, these ground rules were tweaked in the sequel when it became clear that not everyone was destined to survive a follow-up (we're still mourning you, Randy). If the third Scream was slightly redundant, the fourth riffed on the notion of the movie remake and how that, once again, changed the expectations as to who would survive. So, how is it going to change again in the fifth movie?
The presence of a metal-masked Ghostface wielding what appears to be a flamethrower makes one thing absolute: this killer is gunning for everything and everyone in Woodsboro. And who's the person in the wheelchair being stalked by Ghostface in the hospital? Is the fifth Scream about to ret-con the events of the prior movies and show us that an apparently dead character actually survived a prior Ghostface massacre? It would tie in with the notion of the past being a vengeful entity.
Either way, click here to book your tickets for Scream and prepare to be scared when it's released in Cineworld on 14th January.