There's a line in Scream 4 that states: "Don't f**k with the original." Well, the upcoming Scream movie, the fifth in the classic horror franchise, may well have tweaked the formula to superlative effect. That's going by the initial reactions, which have lauded it as the best film in the series since the groundbreaking first movie.
Released in 1996, Scream was directed by the late horror veteran Wes Craven and scripted by Kevin Williamson. Their combined sensibilities resulted in a movie that dissected and celebrated the slasher movie genre at the same time, focusing on the movie-savvy psycho Ghostface and the equally pop culture-literate victims whom he puts to the test. The film spawned four sequels, including the one we're discussing here, a host of rip-offs and several increasingly tiresome spoofs.
The fifth Scream film is helmed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet, themselves no strangers to ironic, bloodthirsty, darkly comic mayhem. Their 2019 film Ready Or Not, in which a young bride tools up to fight her ghoulish newlyweds in a chilling game of hide and seek, was a big hit, evoking laughs and gasps of shock in equal measure.
So, what is it about the new Scream movie that works so well? For one thing, the first reactions indicate it's a brutal, bloody and genuinely scary ride (given that it's rated 18 in the UK, we'd expect so). However, critics have also praised the directorial duo's ability to keep us guessing throughout, as they draw on the legacy of the Scream series while also throwing in several diabolically clever new twists. Here's a sampling of the reactions.
The new #Scream is a BLAST & my favorite since the original. There’s some sharp writing here - a nice balance of well-crafted scares & amusing commentary on modern horror. It also pokes a lot of fun at itself, too, while remaining a bloody whodunnit & a damn good time. I’m a fan! pic.twitter.com/QZiguvUIWo— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) January 7, 2022
The new #Scream is the real deal. Such a well written script that keeps you guessing and wades into the treacherous waters of fandom in 2022. ‘Scream’ fans are going to love it. pic.twitter.com/caf2SqG0so— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) January 7, 2022
I have seen the new #Scream and it’s a winner! Yes it’s bloody, but also feels loaded with love and reverence for the original and the fandom it amassed … and felt like it was talking to me (to a degree). pic.twitter.com/x1gDCM9MYH— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) January 7, 2022
#SCREAM (2021) is a fittingly loud, bloody good time at the movies. It takes a knife to the heart of the modern 'requel' machine, "elevated horror," and toxic online fandoms. Seriously, no major film franchise is safe. This is Scream at its best since the first sequel, easily. pic.twitter.com/lNYkpZcrLp— Jon Negroni (@JonNegroni) January 7, 2022
#Scream freakin' slays! It's a textbook example of how to revive and reinvigorate a franchise and do it in killer style. Brutal genius, it has the razor-sharp smarts of the finest entries in the series with a third act that absolutely nails it. Two thumbs way up! #ScreamMovie pic.twitter.com/ZMmCDUFUrj— Simon Thompson (@ShowbizSimon) January 7, 2022
The 5th SCREAM film is the closest I’ve felt to the brilliance, excitement & horror of Wes Craven’s 1996 masterpiece. Hands down, the best SCREAM since the original. Beautifully honors the legacy of the first film while bringing a fresh yet brutal new tone to the franchise.❤️🎥🎞 pic.twitter.com/9LaeiyqUlF— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) January 7, 2022
As someone who worshiped the original #ScreamMovie (and absolutely adores SCREAM 2), I have to tell you…— Jake Hamilton (@JakesTakes) January 7, 2022
I absolutely LOVED the new SCREAM sequel.
It’s directed with such furious energy — it’s both a love letter to the original and entirely fresh.
I’m beyond ecstatic. pic.twitter.com/j2MmGwqKDF
In the new movie, a resurgent Ghostface returns to the town of Woodsboro with the aim of shaking out more than a few skeletons in the closet. The persecuted Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) must once again reckon with her past as she schools a new generation in the art of surviving a horror movie. But is this new Ghostface about to completely change the rules?
Fellow Scream veterans Courteney Cox and David Arquette return as Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley while the new faces include Jack Quaid, Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding and Jenna Ortega. Who will be doing the surviving, and who will be doing the slaying?
We'll find out when Scream is released in Cineworld cinemas on 14th January. Ticket booking is open now, so be sure to bag your seat and hide behind your popcorn.